Since the beginning of the 19th century, people on both social and legislative levels started questioning the existing patterns of human rights and freedoms. Hence, after the slavery abolition, the global community has become anthropocentric, and people from all over the world from that moment were considered equally vital social representatives. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, issued on December 10, 1948, served as an official confirmation of the aforementioned idea (Steiker & Steiker, 2019).
According to the document, every single person de jure had the right to live and be protected from the inhuman and violent behavior. However, the main controversy regarding the issue was the presence of the death penalty as a means of response to violent behavior. Serving as a severe punishment for the criminals, the existence of death sentence traces back to the prehistoric times. The main purpose of this essay is to dwell upon the notion of the death penalty in the context of the modern US juridical system as well as to define its current relevance.
The idea of the death penalty as a notion seems to be understandable for the majority of people since it means a severe form of criminal liability for extremely serious crimes. However, the question of its effectiveness and appropriateness in terms of the modern world nowadays concerns a great number of researchers and ordinary world residents.
There are still those who stand in favor of the death penalty as a concept, while the vast majority of people find such an approach inhuman. In my opinion, instead of coping with the crime dispositions while the person is waiting for the conviction, US legislatures are pressuring the criminal with continuous victimization.
On the example of the US juridical systems, as it is now divided into two camps, one of which still stands in favor of the death penalty, it may be analyzed why such a way of criminal responsibility is present at the moment. First of all, the US nowadays is one of the major executors of the death penalty once it comes to the regularity of its assignment. Being supported by the majority of the states, the death sentence system, however, is suffering a lot from the question of whether the committed action is, in reality, severe enough for such a kind of punishment.
One of the main problems US juridical representatives have to face is the ambiguity in the criteria defining an extremely serious crime. While some of them are comparing crimes with the actions that took place decades ago, others insist that the action should be regarded in the context of modern society with its peculiarities (Stinneford, 2017).
For this reason, people sentenced to death are spending years or even decades pending for the exhaustive court’s decision. Quite often, the standards of living in prison make the defendants pass away earlier that the decision is made. The statistics claim that the number of court cases where the prisoners are sentenced to death is steadily declining every year.
For example, if in the 1990s, this number consisted of three digits, only thirty-seven defendants were accused of extremely serious crimes with potential execution in 2017 (Garrett, Desai, & Jakubow, 2018). Hence, if the number of cases is falling while the criteria for the death penalty assignment becomes more twisted, the relevance of such a criminal liability seems not to be exhaustive enough.
To sum everything up, the issue of the death penalty and its inappropriateness in the context of today’s anthropocentric society has become the topic for the ongoing discussion over the past decades. Having analyzed the data provided on the topic of the death penalty, it is evident that the system of the punishment is unlikely ever to become exhaustive and unambiguous. Furthermore, the principles of victimization should be no more regarded as an efficient way of punishment and rehabilitation. Thus, death penalty should be better eradicated for the sake of justice.
Garrett, B.L., Desai, A., & Jakubow, A. (2018). The state of the death penalty decline. Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series, 10(2), 1-57.
Steiker, C.S., & Steiker, J.M. (Eds.). (2019). Comparative capital punishment. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Stinneford, J. (2017). Original meaning and the death penalty. University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy, 13(1), 43-62.