Social Science / Criminology Essay

Death Penalty. Pros and Cons

Death Penalty. Pros and Cons.

The Death penalty, also called Capital punishment, is a government-sanctioned practice in which a person is killed as a punishment for a capital offense. These capital offenses include treason, espionage, and death involved in aircraft hijacking. Nevertheless, they commonly consist of different kinds of murder, for instance, murder during the abduction, murder during a drug-related case and genocide (deathpenaltyinfo.org, methods-of-execution).

In many states, hanging is the primary method of execution whereas, firing squad, gas chamber, electrocution, and lethal injection is also followed in many countries.

People who are convicted of committing capital offenses are eligible to get the death sentence. These criminals are sent to the death row which is also a part of a prison where convicts awaiting are kept. In many cases, a criminal is housed in the death row for numerous years during the whole appeal process. The death penalty is still a controversial topic. There are hands full of people that are still against capital punishment, and they think that it is morally inappropriate. Some people also think that the death penalty is influenced by racial bias, while others think that keeping the convicts on Death Row for a long time has adverse effects on their mental health.

Policymakers have now begun to recognize the death sentence as an excessively expensive policy that is against the law of public safety. The indication is obvious that executions don’t help in reducing homicide rates. Let’s put it this way, the South has the highest murder rate in spite of carrying out almost 81% of executions. On the other hand, The Northeast has less than 1% of executions and still has the lowermost murder rate. Death Penalty Execution costs millions of dollars, and surveys show that mostly common people are in favor of life sentences (eji.org, death penalty).

Reasons to Abolish the Death Penalty.

It is irreversible. The Death penalty is an ultimate, irreversible punishment and the risk of giving the death penalty to an innocent person can’t be eliminated. For instance, since 1973, over 160 prisoners that were sent to the death row in the USA later got released or exonerated from the death because they were not proven guilty while  other convicts have been executed in spite of serious uncertainties about their offense.

It doesn’t discourage crime. States that execute usually refer to the death penalty as a way to discourage people from committing offenses. This claim has always been repeatedly condemned. There is no evidence or guarantee that the death penalty can be more effective in decreasing crime than a lifetime sentence. In most of the cases recorded by Amnesty International, people were given death penalties after being convicted in totally discriminating trials, with insufficient legal representation.

Additionally, in some countries, the execution of the death penalty is the mandatory punishment for some particular offenses. It means that even the judges cannot consider the offense’s circumstances or study the case of a suspect before sentencing.

It is discriminatory. Death penalty is usually given to people coming from less privileged socioeconomic backgrounds or the ones that belong to an ethnic, racial or religious minority. They typically don’t have proper access to legal representation.

It is also used as a political tool. In some countries like Iran and Sudan, the authorities also use the death penalty for punishing political opponents (amnesty.orgDeath Penalty. Pros and Cons, death penalty).

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