The death penalty is a definitive way of punishment that has been in existence for a long time all around the world. Not every criminal is sentenced to death; only the most severe crimes such as murder or terrorism are usually punished in such a way. Among the most common execution devices, one can distinguish “the electric chair, the gas chamber,” the guillotine, the brazen bull, and suffocation by elephant. When the first three methods are less cruel, the latter methods bring great sufferings and pain to the condemned person. However, these kinds of capital punishment were popular in Europe many decades ago. Interestingly, huge stadiums were filled with the spectators who were happy to observe the cruel movements. Later, capital punishment migrated to prisons, and only the closest people were allowed to be present at the execution. Nevertheless, even nowadays, some countries have preserved and practice public executions.
Today, almost all European countries have abolished capital punishment. However, such countries as China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, the USA, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. still use the death penalty to punish murderers, terrorists, and other criminals. Therefore, many discussions and debates occur about the necessity or wrongfulness of capital punishment. Some people affirm that it is an important method to punish a murderer because if a person has killed another person, he/she must die as well. Others argue that the death penalty is the easiest way out since it gives a guilty individual a chance to die quickly and allows not to stay imprisoned until the end of his/her life. In ancient times, it was cheaper to kill a person rather than incarcerate him/her for many years. Today, such a method cannot justify the means because death is the best present for the killer. Furthermore, it is more expensive to kill a person than to sentence someone to life because those who are condemned to death spend more time in court, they need attorneys, and the execution devices are not cheap. Although many people claim that the death penalty may prevent future crimes, it should not be used since it is immoral, it violates human rights, an innocent person may be executed, and imprisonment for life is a more severe punishment than death. These issues will be discussed in the paper.
Some individuals argue that capital punishment is a good way to fight against future crimes. For instance, if every drug-seller is afraid of being caught and executed, nobody will sell drugs. By analogy, if every murderer is sentenced to death, there will be no murders. However, such an opinion is wrong since people often do not think about the consequences when they commit a crime. Moreover, some of them violate the rules and commit offenses to be imprisoned or penalized for some reasons. Other murderers or terrorists could be insane, and they could act while being affected by their disease or mental illnesses. For such people, the death penalty will only relieve their sufferings and allow the state to get rid of unnecessary citizens. However, it is the easiest method of punishment and the most unjust one because the state should protect the rights of every person, even if he/she is insane or invalid. Capital punishment will be the best way for every accused person to escape the eternal sufferings and thoughts about the crime. The aim of the court is not to exonerate a criminal from such sufferings but to let him/her live with the sense of guilt until the end of his/her days.
In addition, according to Warden, the death penalty does not prevent murders but, on the contrary, it has “caused some murders and, more generally, [it] may contribute to a cycle of violence that raises murder rates”. This opinion has sense since there always be some friends or relatives who will want to avenge the condemned person’s death. Thus, they may kill innocent citizens just to show their protest against the capital punishment, and the more punishments are administered, the more murders will occur. In addition, people may organize armed revolts against the death penalties, and much blood may be shed. That is why capital punishment cannot be used as the most severe way of punishment since it will not prevent the crimes but only mitigate the life of the offender.
Consequently, capital punishment should be abolished since it is immoral and inhumane. The government or the court cannot decide whether a person should live or die since they did not give this life to him/her and they cannot take it away. Many religious people would support this claim since the judges and authorities are not God, and they cannot decide the fate of other people. Some individuals may argue that if a murderer has taken a life of another person, the court may take his/her life as well. Such people consider, “the execution of dangerous criminals is highly moral and religiously based on the notion of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’” (Marcus 849). However, the question arises whether vengeance is moral because based on the above statement capital punishment is nothing more but revenge. If the answer is “yes,” then every person will take vengeance on his or her enemies and offenders, claiming that it is moral. Consequently, many religious people would become outraged and rise in rebellion against such immorality. Thus, Catholic bishops appeal to the government of the USA, “We do not teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill others”. This statement is right since people will not understand why killing is forbidden if other human beings are killed.
In addition, it is obvious that a person who has murdered another human being deserves the most severe punishment. However, even if such individual has acted immorally and wrong, this fact does not give other people the right to kill him. In civilized countries, the state does not do to the criminals the same things they did to their victims. It means that rapists are not raped for their crime, and kidnappers’ friends or relatives are not kidnapped. The question arises as to why the civilized countries allow murderers to be killed for murders. A single answer comes to mind: capital punishment is nothing more but a side effect of barbaric society. The death penalty is the most immoral and unequal way of punishment since it is not humane, and it makes those people who condemn to death become killers...
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