Capital punishment (also known as the death penalty) remains one of the most contentious issues in many societies. This is the case because the process is cruel, degrading, and inhuman in nature. The contentious issues associated with the death penalty can be used to explain why it is unacceptable.
Analysis of the Death Penalty
The first issue is that of deterrence. Some proponents of capital punishment argue that it discourages more people from committing heinous crimes. This is the case because they learn their lessons from the individuals who are executed using the process. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that the number of people committing criminal acts across the globe has been on the rise. The focus on capital punishment as the best method for deterring different crimes is something that has been unsuccessful. Over 80 percent of criminologists argue that capital punishment will not discourage people from committing crimes.
The methods used to execute crimes or victims include lethal injection, hanging, firing squad, electrocution, and beheading. Different countries have their unique execution methods. In China, the process is conducted through the use of a firing squad. Lethal injection and electrocution are common in different states across the United States.
Several crimes are usually referred to as capital offenses. This means that they are punished using capital punishment. One of these offenses is espionage whereby a person spies to obtain military and political infiltration. Treason and aircraft hijacking can also attract the death penalty. In many countries across the world, drug trafficking, kidnapping, genocide, and murder are punishing using the death penalty.
Many criminologists and experts have presented diverse views and opinions to describe when the death penalty should be used. For instance, some proponents suggest that a number of crimes such as espionage or genocide should be punished using capital punishment. However, some critics have gone further to suggest that the death penalty should be abolished. By so doing, societies will identify new approaches and punitive measures to deal with every form of crime.
The use of the death penalty to punish juveniles is something that has attracted much conjecture. Amnesty International indicates clearly that the death penalty has been used against individuals suffering from different health conditions and mental problems. The method is also used to penalize juveniles who commit various crimes.
Sentenced individuals are allowed to appeal against the decision. However, the appeal is handled by federal courts in the United States. Throughout the process, the appeal is usually limited to the issue emerging from the trial. The executive clemency refers to the power of a given body (or governor) to grant relief to the sentenced individual. In America, the Supreme Court is usually the final resort for defendants who want their death sentences to be appealed.
In terms of cost, experts have indicated that the death penalty is expensive than imprisoning criminals. It is also indicated that the government incurs numerous costs to support one death row inmate. Estimates have indicated that the government spends over 90,000 USD annually to cater to a single death row detainee. Specific racial groups have been targeted the most by capital punishment such as African Americans and Latinos. This means that the process is unfair.
From these facts, it would be agreeable that capital punishment is unethical and unacceptable. The process is costly and unsustainable. It also breaches the basic rights of man such as freedom to life. When the death penalty is abolished, more people will receive fair trial and punishment.