The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished or It Deters Crime
In the news, this month is the story of Charles Russell Rhines, who could become the first man in the history of the United States to petition the South Dakota state to use a lethal injection drug of his choice. Rhines filed a petition asking the court to use the same type of drug mandated form lethal injection. However, the state has stated that it will use pentobarbital, which is typically used to euthanize animals. According to critics, Rhines will be executed in a cruel and unusual punishment. This begs the questions of why a death penalty and the rationale used to determine how Rhines will be executed. Capital punishment typically refers to the legally sanctioned killing of individuals as a form of punishment for the offense an individual has committed. Low crime rates, as well as humane treatment of convicts in countries such as Norway and Sweden, have strengthened the fact that the death penalty is an unfair, costly, and ineffective form of justice.
Besides, advocates of capital punishment assert that the theoretical assumption that the death penalty is irrevocable and can lead to the killing of innocent individuals is a mere perception. The supporters argue that the judicial system is typically perfect. As a result, there are minimal chances of wrong executions. For this reason, individuals who commit crimes such as murder should not be allowed to live in prisons funded by the public. They argue that killing an individual gave up the right to life. As a result, justice can be served when the murderers are executed. The advocates say that capital punishment will aid in reducing such crimes. The reason for this assertion is that criminals will be afraid to commit a crime when they know that they will be murdered (Sethuraju, Sole, & Oliver, 2016).
This relates to the Rational Choice Theory. The criminal can choose if they want to get involved in a crime or not. They base this decision on whether it will satisfy there needs or not; they also base it on their earlier learning experience. This includes their moral code and how they view themselves. While doing all this deciding on if they will do a crime or not they also weigh the consequences, and they are fully aware of the death penalty as one of those consequences. Some still chose to participate in crime despite the consequences, so the death penalty is not deterring them from crime.
In addition to deterring crime, advocates argue that capital punishment is the sure way to ensure that justice is served to the families of the victims. The family can be assured that the killer is punished and cannot come out of prison (Eaton & Christensen, 2014). As a result, the family of the victims can be able to forget the incident knowing that justice was served. In the case where criminals are sentenced to life imprisonment, the family cannot put behind the crime. They may be uncertain if the criminal will stay in prison or will get out through other means. Also, it is asserted that capital punishment is in line with the crime that the murderer committed. For instance, killing a murderer typically means that the execution fits their crime.
In contrast to the argument of the proponents of the death penalty, opponents argue that this form of punishment is typically costly to the suspect, criminal as well as the families of both the suspect. Those against capital punishment say that the federal court incurs much cost to ensure that cases are persecuted only for the suspect to be killed after the case is over (Collins, Boruchowitz, Hickman, & and Larrañaga, 2016). According to the opponents of capital punishment, this is a burden to the government. Besides, the family of the accused will spend money to ensure that their family member is set free. For instance, they will spend a lot on the legal costs. Similarly, the families of the victims will incur costs since the case will go for long. Also, they will incur expenses paying a lawyer that will represent them in the case.
Moreover opponents of the death penalty consider it to be cruel. They view death penalty at a different angle rather than in regards to reducing the crime rates. Their arguments are typically based on solid reasons that make capital punishment an ineffective way of reducing crimes and offenses. Opponents consider the death penalty as inhumane (Mendez, 2012). They hold the view that, killing people makes us look the same as the murders who most of us deride. Every person perceives that the life of a human is valuable. Most of the individual against the death penalty believe that the presence of human beings is so precious that even the murders should not be subjected to or deprived of the value of their lives. Moreover, it is asserted that the value of the offender’s life, cannot be destroyed by the bad doings of the offender, even if they had killed someone.
Also, opponents argue that every individual has the inalienable right to life, even those who have engaged in criminal activities such as murder. Therefore, sentencing an individual to death, and, thereafter, executing them violates their right to life (Johnson, 2019). The counter-argument is that an individual can forfeit the rights of other human beings through their bad actions, and the murders forfeit their right to life. Executing individuals to the death penalty will not reduce the cases of crime rates but will make individuals be smarter about how they carry out their criminal activities.
Besides, irrevocability of capital punishment is the most common argument that is against the death penalty. Opponents argue that death penalty is irrevocable. As a result, once the individual is executed, it cannot be reversed. It is believed that with time, innocent people will end being executed and killed due to the mistakes as well as the flaws in the justice system. Moreover, the death penalty is not justiciable on the basis of self-defense. The witnesses, judges, and lawyers are prone to making mistakes. Therefore, when this is coupled with flaws in the judicial systems, it is clear enough the innocent individuals will be convicted of various kinds of crimes. For instance, in the USA alone, more than 103 individuals are convicted of a crime that they did not commit. Therefore, capital punishment can result in the death of many innocent individuals.
Even though convicts are treated as humans in countries such as Norway and Sweden, these particular counties have low crime rates. This confirms that reform can serve effectively in the deterrence of crime rate as compared to capital punishment. Also, it is confirmed that the death penalty is an unfair, ineffective, and costly form of justice. As a result, it cannot be an effective way of reducing the many cases of crimes such as murder. Moreover, the death penalty is also cruel and inhuman in that it deprives individuals of the right to life. The death penalty should be abolished in that many individuals may get killed without a proper hearing. This will deny individuals their right to live. This makes the death penalty to be an ineffective act of punishment. This implies that the death penalty has never been a deterrent to crime. Moreover, the death penalty has been proven to have no effect or influence on crime rates. This myth is confirmed to not be true. This is justified by the fact that there are increased cases of crimes reported not only in the US but also around the globe. Therefore, there are many ways in which punishment can be made to avoid any kind of casualties that may arise, such as mistakes during convictions.
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