Death Penalty

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 19, 2017

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Submitted: September 19, 2017



Salma HassaninOmar.  
Death penalty.


-Between justice and delusion.
Thought history; some human beings have managed to prof that humanity can take the evilest most twisted turns; some people are able to commit the most brutal vicious crimes and acts. It’s not debatable that those evil minds should face a harsh and fair punishment, but the most controversial question here is; should murder be faced with another murder?
Execution is the ultimate, irrevocable punishment, it’s the final thread, the emergency button, the last existing methods that we turn to when all sense is lost against finding a justification to the human’s brutality. But are all those who face death penalty are truly guilty? the risk of executing an innocent person can never be eliminated. Since 1973, for example, 150 US prisoners sent to death row have later been exonerated. Others have been executed despite serious doubts about their guilt
‘The punishment should match the crime’ some people might think. But Isn’t it strange that a nation would denounce the practice of murder by committing the very same act? By doing so, are we essentially championing the right to life by taking it from others? Is it truly justice? Or is a hidden delusional cruelty? The answers to these questions will forever be debatable; as the public’s opinion when it comes to this matter is a never-ending roller coaster.

-We move suffering from a one side to another.
Don’t victims of violent crime and their families have a right to justice? They do. Those who have lost loved ones in terrible crimes have a right to see the person responsible held to account in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty. In opposing the death penalty, we are not trying to minimize or condone crime. But as many families who have lost loved ones have said, the death penalty cannot genuinely relieve their suffering. It just extends that suffering to the family of the condemned person. Revenge is not the answer. The answer lies in reducing violence, not causing more death. Every day, men, women, even children, await execution on death row. Whatever their crime, whether they are guilty or innocent, their lives are claimed by a system of justice that values retribution over rehabilitation. As long as a prisoner remains alive, he or she can hope for rehabilitation, or to be exonerated if they are later found to be innocent.
Supporters of the death penalty often say they are doing it for the victims, who have a right to see justice carried out through execution. But many victims, and in murder cases their families, oppose the death penalty. Execution ‘for the victims’ encourages the idea that justice is about revenge and retribution, rather than deterrence, rehabilitation or public safety. Being a victim of serious crime creates a lot of suffering, upset and anger towards the offender, but this cannot justify cruelty towards the offender and his/her family. The death penalty also creates additional victims – the family members and other loved ones of the person executed. When an individual is executed, little thought is given to the suffering or support of their families, who are often forgotten, marginalized or stigmatized in their communities.
If the goal of any punishment, is to teach us those things we should not do, then the justice system should more adequately teach the criminality of killing by refusing to partake in it.

-It is always cruel.
There’re many ways of execution used thought the world; but what’s not debatable, is that all of these methods are vicious and cruel, it’s almost as the governments are trying to master the art of torturing a human soul. Some of the most famous ways of executions are
-Lethal injection.
-Firing squad.
-Gas chamber.
They All involve a deliberate assault on a prisoner and cause suffering. Even when execution is quick, it cannot be kind or humane. It might be fair to say that we law-abiding people, who embody the justice system, are guilty of equal cruelty towards criminals who commit murder.  The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for one, dictates that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Human rights – including the most basic right to life – are universal and endorsed by the vast majority of countries in the world. Human rights apply to the best of us – and the worst of us.
The suffering is not only about the minutes when prisoners are actually killed; they live with the fear of approaching death from the moment the sentence is passed. Prisoners on death row spend an enormous amount of time anticipating their own execution, frequently in worse conditions than other prisoners. The combination of time on death row, extremely harsh conditions and the mounting anguish of awaiting execution is called ‘death row phenomenon’ and can cause severe mental trauma and physical damage. Even if you think people deserve to die for some crimes, they are not sentenced to become mentally ill and then be killed. Moreover, the prisoner’s children and family members are also traumatized by seeing their parent or relative deteriorating on death row. They haven’t committed any crimes themselves and shouldn’t suffer for somebody else’s crime.
Even though some countries believe that they use some non-crucial ways of execution; it was never because they care about the state of their prisoners. The search for a “humane” way to kill people should be seen for what it really is – an attempt to make executions more palatable to the public in whose name they are being carried out, and to make the governments that execute appear less like killers themselves.
An execution – or the threat of one –inflicts terrible physical and psychological cruelty. Any society which executes offenders is committing the same violence it condemns.

-Execution and crime rates.
If the foreknowledge of any punishment is meant to dissuade the criminal from committing the crime, why do people still murder others?
No reliable research has found that death sentences prevent people from committing crimes more than other punishments. Many countries without the death penalty have lower murder rates than those that keep it. For example, in Canada, the murder rate in 2003 (27 years after the death penalty was abolished) was 44 per cent lower than in 1975 (before abolition). The main thing that stops people from committing crimes is a belief that they will be caught. Therefore, increasing the chance of arrest is more effective than having severe penalties like execution. Many crimes are committed in the heat of the moment, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The fear of the death penalty has never reduced crime.Through most of history executions were public and brutal.Some criminals were even crushed to death slowly under heavy weight.Crime was more common at that time than it is now. Evidence shows execution does not act as a deterrent to capital punishment.
In terrorism cases, executions can become a rallying point for their organizations, encouraging more attacks and continuing the cycle of violence. People prepared to sacrifice their lives for their beliefs – for example, suicide bombers – are unlikely to be put off by execution: it may even encourage them.
 Capital punishment does not appear to be doing its job; it doesn’t seem to be changing every criminal’s mind about killing innocent people.  If it does not dissuade, then it serves no purpose.  The warning of life in prison without parole must equally dissuade criminals.


-Is execution really the only answer to murder?
There’s a different theory that supports death penalties for the sake of applying justice no matter how cruel it might be; the theory says that If murder is the willful deprivation of a victim’s right to life, then the justice system’s willful deprivation of the criminal’s right to the same is a punishment which fits the most severe crime that can be committed.  Some believe that without capital punishment, it could be argued that the justice system makes no provision in response to the crime of murder, and thus provides no justice for the victim. Sometimes the justice system basically attempts to mete out punishment that fits the crime. Some also believe that If someone murders someone else, they have given up their human rights, including the one to stay alive themselves.
Governments that keep the death penalty often claim that public opinion favors the death penalty, so therefore they cannot abolish it. However, the right to life is fundamental, and cannot be held hostage to public opinion. Levels of public support for the death penalty change and tend to fluctuate: when a particularly horrible crime is in the media, death penalty support goes up; when a wrongful conviction is exposed or a citizen is sentenced to death abroad, support for abolition increases. It has been shown that the more people are aware of the facts, the less likely they are to support the death penalty. When people are shown that their reasons for supporting the death penalty (e.g. it stops violent crime) are incorrect, they often change their mind.
The public can be ill informed and governments often use public opinion only when it suits them. Governments have a duty to all their people. This means they should protect any and all of their citizens from facing an extreme and irreversible punishment, even if most of the public seems to want it. Governments should lead public opinion in matters of human rights and criminal policy
The best opinion that has been said about this matter, is a quote from the movie ‘dead man walking’; as Matthew Poncelet’s last words before his execution were ‘I just want to say I think killing is wrong, no matter who does it, whether it’s me or you or your government’


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