Death Penalty Essay: Arguments Against It
In 1998, there were only 35 countries in the world that rejected the death penalty. Today this number has tripled. However, the real picture behind these figures is not simple and straightforward. This castigation is applied in the countries of Africa, Middle East, and Asia. However, this list also includes the United States. There is no unanimous answer to the question whether the capital castigation is necessary for society. The arguments of the supporters are clear: the deterrent, the impossibility of relapse, the threat of Lynch’s trial, the softness of life imprisonment. Nevertheless, it is necessary to look at the issue from the opposite perspective and tell why is the death penalty bad.
There is a possibility of a judicial mistake. Despite the professionalism of the investigators, the convincing evidence of the convict’s guilt, and the justice of the court, the possibility of error always exists. This moment can become a real catastrophe in countries with a high level of corruption, where the opportunity to bribe officials at all levels flourishes to the full extent of its power. Just imagine how many innocent people can be killed, and how many of the most dangerous criminals can be released in such a situation. Until the verdict is put into action, the convict still has hope and the opportunity to collect the necessary evidence of his innocence and convince the investigators and the court. After the execution of the sentence, neither evidence nor rehabilitation will be able to return the executed person to life.
It is not a deterrent. According to the researchers of the issue, a person committing a crime expects to avoid castigation, regardless of its kind; consequently, there is no difference whether he will be condemned to life imprisonment or to a death chastisement. In addition, criminals who realize that the capital castigation is expecting for them, always commit new crimes, because they realize that there will be no more terrible punishment. This castigation does not make any difference to the killer who wants to kill again, or for the terrorist since this criminal is always risking own life.
This gives rise to violence in society. Long ago crowds of people gathered in the squares to look at the hanging, burning or beheading of criminals. However, in ancient times the executions were even crueler and sophisticated. Nevertheless, the methods did not deter viewers, on the contrary – they wanted more and more bloody spectacles. In an atmosphere of cruelty and dispassion, new crimes were committed with enviable regularity. However, it was a long time ago, and one could say that society has changed and ennobled. In fact, this is not all the sooth. The UN reports clearly demonstrate that in countries where the death chastisement is allowed, crimes that are “worthy” of this castigation occur more always. This leads to serious reflections on the issue is the death penalty effective.
There is the presence of executioners. The existence of an institution of the death chastisement dehumanizes society. This measure of castigation provides for the existence of a permanent terrible apparatus of perpetrators, the whole institution of the death penalty. In countries where the death chastisement is permitted, the executioners are, in fact, legal killers. The difference between them and those they execute is only that the former act for the benefit of their state, whose constitution, in turn, states that the murder of a person is punishable. In this way, the state justifies murder in the public consciousness. It undermines the full inviolability of human life as the fundamental principle of public morality. One contradicts the other, and there is a vicious circle.
This does not eliminate the reason for the commission of a crime. The main factors provoking criminality are poverty, lack of education, inequality, mental deviations of a specific criminal. Applying this type of castigation does not influence these reasons.
This prevents the possibility of correction. A serial killer, who is particularly cruel in his crimes, may not deserve to be justified in the eyes of the people and relatives of his victims, but he certainly has no chance to think about his behavior. Moreover, the expectation of death always does not motivate but demotivates the defendant to reflections since he is not able to change his destiny. The same UN report states that life imprisonment and isolation from society frightens criminals much more than the death chastisement.
It does not punish. This is one of the most conclusive arguments of why the death penalty is wrong in support of its prohibition. Castigation is a measure of state coercion applied against a person convicted of a crime and consisting in a certain narrowing of his legal status, giving him special rights and duties. The death chastisement, on the contrary, only involves the deprivation of the defendant right to life.
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