Death penalty is the highest form of punishment and a debate whether to abolish it has created huge public attention (walker, 2009). According to numerous polls, many people are in support of principal punishment and a survey done by Harrison polls in the US shows that two-thirds (2/3) of Americans supports it. Death penalty has helped to curb crime rates, provide a safe environment, and administer justice. This paper will discuss several reasons why death penalty should not be banned.
Foremost, death penalty has helped to keep murderers out of the society hence preventing further crimes (Walker, 2009). Execution of serial murderers, terrorists and other deadly criminals keeps them at a bay therefore ensuring a secure environment for everyone. It is self evident that a dead criminal cannot commit any crime. According to (Stewart 2009) a prosecuting attorney at Clark County, Indiana death sentence is superior as opposed to life sentence without parole. The county attorney argues that life without parole does not eliminate the criminal who is still eligible to commit other crimes like attacking a guard, fellow inmate or even visitors (Stewart, 2009). Furthermore, these convicts can escape from prisons subjecting the populations to a great danger.
Secondly, capital punishment helps in discouraging crime. Countries whose constitution has legalized death penalty such as Singapore have less serious crimes outcomes (Bohm, 2011). Principal punishment becomes more deterrent especially when crimes require planning and therefore criminals reflect on possible consequences of their actions and more likely aborting the plan (Bohm, 2011). When Britain abolished death penalty, crimes skyrocketed overtime as compared to other countries that upheld death sentence. The number of unlawful killings in Britain was more than double since 1965 when death penalty was dropped with 57 murder crimes and later a double increase to 107 ten years later, which rose to 173 in 1985 to 214 in 1995 (Bohm, 2011). During early twentieth century in the US, executions were frequent and popular (Herrmann, 2008). More executions occurred in 1930s with an average of 150 executions every year. Statistics has exemplified a lucid comparison among those in favor for and against death penalty. In Singapore, capital punishment is carried out when an appeal fails and people are aware of the consequences of crimes such as drug trafficking or murder and this becomes embedded in their sub-consciousness acting as an effective deterrent. In deed, death penalty has prevented further occurrence of such crimes of this magnitude. There is no doubt that principal sentence deters crime since an executed criminal cannot or will never kill again.
Death penalty is effective and economical since it is cheap compared to life imprisonment. Since money is a scarce commodity, its use should be considered. Money used to maintain criminals who have been imprisoned for life can be used in adult support, education and health facilitation. The cost of maintaining a convict is higher as compared to money used where death sentence is served. For instance, using a rope in death sentence, which can be recycled, evidently demonstrates how cheap it is to choose death penalty. The cost of keeping a convict who will be launching expensive appeals is substituted by adopting death penalty (Feldman, 2011).
Morality can be pivoted by death penalty as it addresses such crimes as rape, treason, kidnapping, torture, murder and larceny (Bohm, 2011). If such crimes cannot be prevented populations would plunge into anarchy since moral sense will be neglected (Feldman, 2011). Some people argue that death penalty is immoral but in reality, death penalty honors human dignity by treating the defendant as free moral being that can control their destiny for good or bad; it does not treat them as animals with no moral sense. If immoral activities can be reduced or even completely be prevented by the practice of death sentence in our legal systems, then capital punishment should be encouraged. It might look brutal to take someone’s life but if the actions of the defendants have been proven beyond doubt to be legitimate for a death penalty, then its execution will have advantage. Since the crimes that often fall under death sentence are of great magnitude and in many cases trigger emotions to the affected, then capital punishment is justified (Feldman, 2011). For example, death sentence served to James McVeigh for Oklahoma bombing was justified. Survivors expressed how the blast was so lethal, and how they were subjected to inhumane and this compelled the jury, who were also touched emotionally with tears shade, to issue death sentence to McVeigh on June 13 1997 (Haute, 2001).
Death penalty serves as a real punishment rather than rehabilitative treatment of criminals (Stewart, (2009). It makes a criminal to suffer in the same proportion of his/ her offense. Death punishment ensures that justice is served to victims their relatives, and friends (Feldman, 2011). Crime disturbs this just order, where criminals take away peoples life, property, and even peace. Death punishment is a form of punishment that re-establishes order in society by morally making offenders, especially murderers to pay for their actions at a price comparable to their mischief (Bohm, 2011). Capital punishment is justified where “injury is paid for injury” (Bohm, 2011).
Death penalty saves life by ensuring that murderers are completely removed in the society (Feldman, 2011). Errors in administration of justice (in the criminal justice system) are minimal where the advantages of death penalty do outweigh disadvantages. Since activities/incidences such as wars, medical practice, manufacturing, or sports have caused deaths to innocent bystanders, arguing that death sentence is immoral is incorrect because wars that results in killings can also be subjected to the same treatment. In these cases, fallacy is committed as people tend to only look at defendants without considering the feelings subjected to the victims. People fear death and if any individual knew that if he kills then he instantly dies, cases of homicides would be minimal. The fact that people fear death, life imprisonment does not have a great impact in stopping murder but death sentence is. If time taken to appeal is reduced and justice is served faster, then a considerable reduction in death will be realized hence saving peoples life (Feldman, 2011).
Increase in crime rates has been caused by the justice system that does not work (Feldman, 2011). Millions are killed and will be killed in days to come if something is not done. According to the Fieldman (2011), about two million people are insulted in the US either through being shot or stabled using knives. Because of errors in the justice delivery, crimes have since hit the maximum with many being victimized. With the leniency in judgment, order has not prevailed in the society. Applying the principle of “an eye for an eye” is therefore fair since criminals should pay for their crimes (Feldman, 2011). In this case, a murderer should face death. Therefore, death penalty is equally a tool to avert crime rates.
Threat of death penalty has seen the rate of homicide decrease substantially. Statistics has shown that countries such as US and Singapore have less cases of homicide (Siegel, 2009). A clear comparison can be seen in the continuous increase in homicide in Britain since dropping of death penalty in 1965. Siegel (2009) argues that common sense supports that decrease in death penalty increases murder rates. However, if death penalty is emphasized in the criminal justice system, crimes such as murder may reduce considerably. Presence of more stringent rules will make criminals to reflect on consequences of their actions making them shy away from committing a crime. These rules creates fear among people hence reducing murder and homicides.
Religion has endorsed death penalty where it deserves. In the bible, God himself instituted the penalty (in Genesis 9:6) “Who so sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” Since religion promotes morality it will be valid to conclude that death sentence does upholds morality. Christianity demystifies execution where God commanded Israelites to execute people through public stoning. The bible also elaborates description of execution that proved Jewish judges had little regret about sentencing criminals. Later, Romans seized a huge power in death sentence that Jews generally lacked. This demonstrates how history of death penalty has been great and therefore it cannot be wrong to be incorporated in this century.
In conclusion, death penalty helps to keep murders out of the society, serves as a real punishment for crimes such as rape and murder, facilitates deterrence of crime, saves life, and administers justice to victims in the society. in fact, many people are of the opinion that capital punishment should not be banned as a form of punishment. Religion, which is a popular institution, has also supported the idea that capital punishment should be used in deterrence of crime. History also shows the existence and practice of capital punishment (Stuart, 2003). Romans emperors and Jews courts executed death sentence in the days of yore (Stuart, 2003). Capital punishment existed because many people believed that justice for murder was administered by taking a murder’s life. Capital punishment is not an act to take one’s soul but it is there to exclude the killer from the society to prevent recurring events of that nature. Misconception that death sentence has executed innocent people has been proved wrong by Adam Bedau through his extensive research (Siegel, 2009).
Adam a research expert reviewed more than seven thousand (7000) cases and proved that none was executed innocently. Therefore, such notions or misconceptions should not be used to criticize death penalty since they lack solid facts. Death penalty makes us acquaint with crime seriousness and also the value of life. The presence of capital sentence has kept people in their toes in appreciating and upholding good morals hence creating conducive environment. An orderly society without anarchy can be seen with the modification of death penalty. The fear instilled by the penalty make people engage in lawful and just activities for fear of the consequences if they cross the line (Stewart, 2009). As such, capital punishment should not be banned as form of punishment.
Bohm, R. (2011). Death Quest: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Feldman, D. L. (2011).Tales from the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State. New York: Sunny Press.
Haute, T. (2001). McVeigh took last rites before execution. Web.
Herrmann, J. (2008). The History of the Death Penalty in the United States. New York: Grin Verlag.
Siegel, L. J. (2009). Introduction to Criminal Justice. California: Cengage Learning.
Stewart, D. S. (2009). A message from the prosecuting attorney. Web.
Stuart, B. (2003). The Death Penalty: An American History. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Walker, I. (2009). The Death Penalty. Johannes Gutenberg: ABDO.