Capital punishment is a lawful method that is used to inflict death to criminals. The practice was started in early times to a variety of offenders. The bible even prescribed death to offences of murder and other offences including witchcraft. This punishment is, thus, believed to remove the worst criminals from the rest of the society permanently as the criminal executed commits no more crimes providing a safer environment for the rest of the citizens. There had many executions, and the lethal injection is the most commonly used in the US as the other methods are rarely used.
There is no state that has the right to put to death of these criminals perceived to be worst, but it is the citizens wish that confers to this right. People usually die even when not in death penalty through the shootout of the police and these criminals, and opinion of the majority favor this cause of justice. The ultimate knowledge of death in advance has been associated with pain and the emotional anguish, and this method of conviction is seen to be unacceptable as there are other methods. This paper is focusing on the pros and cons that are associated with the execution of criminals as it is presumed that they will not commit crimes further when they are dead or permanent behind bars.
Arguments against Death Penalty
a) Cost of Administering Death Penalty
The cost that is incurred in the execution of a criminal is seen to be higher than the confinement. The high costs are due to the numerous appeals that are allowed and the death low usually takes up to 12 years. It has been estimated that the cost that is associated with execution to be totaling to $3.4 million, while the cost of life without parole is $30-35,000 a year, but these costs is not inclusive of appeals the increasing cost of health care with the inmates aging.
The execution, thus, do not cost much as it is estimated that the LWOP cases are $1.2-3.6 higher than the death penalty. The upfront costs of the death penalty cases are higher than the LWOP, but over time the LWOP cases proves to be more costly than DP. The repealing of DP by states does not see the significant of saving the trial costs. Where the DP is the maximum penalty, there are large numbers of defendants who usually have the will of pleading guilty for LWOP and this offsets the number of trials where the prosecution had sought DP offsetting the costs by7 the avoidance of trials when the defendant pleads guilty (Justice Paper).
The abolishment of DP will ultimately lead to the abolishment of LWOP leading to the increase of costs associated with appeals since there are no executions to end the LWOP. The costs of criminal’s execution can be lowered further by allowing relevant appeals while eliminating those that are used merely as tactics for delaying theexecution (The pros and cons of the death penalty in the USA). The confinement of criminals is viewed to be costly due to the many appeals which raise the cost as those under DP; this is because the convict has a lot of time conceiving the habeas corpus petitions as in effect they can not be rejected.
There the wasting of the limited resources as most time and energy of the courts is squandered by the personnel involved in the proceedings the criminal justice system is unduly a burden to them as the counter productiveness is the societal control instrument to violent crimes. The limited resources that could have been used in the process of controlling crimes are used in the administration of capital crimes.
Execution is the real form for punishing criminals rather than their rehabilitation, as they suffer in proportion to the offence that they committed. This is viewed to be the main reason why most people are in favor of the DP. As it is required for justice, has to administer DP as the most suitable retribution for the heinous crimes. Any punishment by its nature is retributive and not only the DP as retribution can be satisfied without the execution course. The DP can be retributive for the crimes of murder, and not the other forms which are subject to this mode of punishment (Bedau).
There is no doubt that criminal deserve to be punished with the severity that is in their culpability and the harm that has been caused to the innocent victim. This severity has to be limited through the justice to the common human dignity, and respect to the limits. Do not use premeditation to be the instruments as social policy. This is because an evil deed can thus not be redeemed by the evil deed of redemption, and that justice can not be advanced through the taking of human life.
The opposition of the death penalty does not mean lack of sympathy for the victims of murder. This do demonstrate the lack of respect to human life as life is considered to be precious while death is irrevocable, then murder is abhorrent and it is immoral for the authorization of killing by the state policies(Bedau). This is the optimization of inefficacy and a brutality of violence which is less t5han reason to solutions of social problems that are complex. This state sponsored violence is not supported by many in avenging for their loved ones; it is only the politicians that publicize the option of the death penalty.
The DP is thus viewed as a method of deterring murders because they are effective in minimizing crimes. The use of DP as a deterrent to crimes is dependent to the population and the rate of crimes with areas that experience high crime rate preferring the DP to minimize this rate. Death is feared by everyone, and this leads to decrease in the number of crimes. As shown by a study carried out during a time of temporal suspension of DP the number of murders increased from 9,960 to 23,040 between 1964-1980, this led to the argument that DP has the effect of deterrence to criminals(Bedau).
There are many people that have the strong feeling of feelings by the witnessing the execution of the murderers of their loved ones. The increase in the DP has witnessed a considerable decline in the number of murders. There has been reasonable political and social change over time due to the execution of criminals. Any punishment can be a deterrent if it is effectively and employed promptly. The administration of DP can not meet the conditions. Although the number of execution has increased, it is only a few murderers that are executed as it is just a small percent that is uncovered and those convicted only a small number executed.
The time taken to the conviction is long in the judicial process and the appeals take a long time thus increasing the costs that are associated with the administration of the criminal justice. The ethics of this is the reductio9n of the safeguards of the procedure and the constitutional rights which subsequently increases the risk of executing the wrong person. If crimes can be deterred by the administration of severe punishment LWOP is thus enough for any rational person to ever commit a crime, the DP is viewed thus to be less effective than LWOP as it can also draw excitement to criminal violence in some cases(ACLU).
Those who commit felony either premeditate them or they do not. Therefore, a person whose crime is premeditated does always concentrate to escape detection and the severity of any punishment does not affect their deterrent. The reduction of felonies through severe punishment ignores the fact that these criminal have already bet on their lives. The death penalty does not affect the rate at which crimes are committed. A study conducted to police chiefs on the mode to use to decrease the number of crimes found out that, curbing the use of drugs and increase in patrol personnel and control of guns and sentencing of criminal to long sentences were seen being the primary factors to of reducing the rate of crime. The death penalty was considered to be less effective, and the public are the one who mask their own failures of identifying and confrontation of the true causes of death.
The due processes of the constitution and the elementary justice have the requirement that the trial and sentencing be conducted in a fair manner mostly in the death penalty for the sanctions are irreversible. There has been cases of arbitrary, racial and unfairness of courts by sentencing persons to prison and others to death. Racial discrimination was a ground that was relied by the Supreme Court has witnessed the rise of black people in murder cases (Justice Paper).
This has been disproportionately large population to the total population relative to their fraction. It has been seen many black people been sentenced often with crimes receiving DP. The close examination to those in DP has turn out that the determining factor is race, as there have been results that indicate that the murder of a white person is severely treated and examined than that of the black person (Gerber and Johnson).
The social economic class and sex are also the determinants of the person who receives the death penalty and the one to be executed. Men are the one who face death penalties even though women do also commit murder. The poor are discriminated as around ninety percent of those executed are unable to hire lawyers during the time of their trials (The pros and cons of the death penalty in the USA). Thus, the lack of social roots firmness leads to inadequate representation in trials and appeals, which are the common factor of DP population.
The imposition of the death penalty is sometimes arbitrary, and its nature of it being irrevocable. This irrevocable nature, thus, has the tendency of an individual being deprived of any opportunity of benefiting evidences and laws that might be having the ability to warrant a conviction reversal which set aside the death penalty.
e) Public Opinion
It has been reported that it is the politics that has the tendency of supporting the death penalty. The careful analysis of the public attitudes is, however, revealing that most of them are in the opposition of the death penalty, and indeed the convicted murderers should be sentenced to life without parole and the requirement should be to make some form of retribution that is financial in nature. A survey carried out in California indicated that 82 percent were in the approval, in the principle of the death penalty, but only 26 percent that chose death penalty when asked to choose between the death penalty and life imprisonment without parole in addition to restitution (Gerber and Johnson).
The constitution guarantee of the equal protection is violated by the death penalty imposition to criminals as it is applied randomly and indiscriminately. There is disproportionality that is imposed to those whose victims are white, and the offender is a person of color as they are concentrated to different regions of the nation.
f) Inevitability of Errors
The uniqueness of the death penalty is it nature of irrevocability, as this can be argued by the proponents of the death penalty that it is a merit that is worth to the occasional execution of innocent people, arguing that the risk of an innocent person to be executed is limited (Gerber and Johnson). There are a lot of evidences that show there have been a large number of innocent people that are often convicted of crimes that leads to some of them being executed. There have been more than four people’s cases on average since 1900 in the US per year where the entire person had been convicted of murder. Some of these persons were sentenced to the death penalty with some reprieve and communications being arrived at in just hours, and in some cases, minutes before the execution schedule.
There have been erroneous convictions that do occur to virtually every jurisdiction allover the entire nation. Innocent prisoners are saved from the execution and released, but when the prisoner is executed there are no forms of legal resolutions that exist to concerning the questions that are unanswered of the prisoner’s guilt.
There are enormous factors that explain the failure by which the judicially is unable to guarantee that there will never be a miscarriage of justice. The retaining of the death penalty is a clear indication of the failure of the system which is unacceptable as there are no strong factors that do counter balance the favors of the death penalty.
Hanging was the traditional mode of executing criminals, which is still, practiced in some states in the US. The gallows death is usually bungled, when the drop is shallow, the death by strangulation is agonizing, and if it is long there is a tendency to torn off the head the lethal injections, electrocution and the gas chambers.
The constitution was amended to prohibit the imposition of punishment that is perceived to be cruel and unusual way, but the entire mode that are applied when administering an execution are cruel and inhumane. There is no form of execution that can be said that does not cause pain. The methods that are used only have the deterrent effect although they are considered to cause slow death that is no agonizing. The time taken in the preparation prior to the execution has a significant cause of emotional suffering which outweighs the physical pain (ACLU). The capital punishment as it uses the relics of the earlier days of penology where branding and corporal punishment were the order of the day. Those were barbaric and in the modern society execution has no place. The practice is unusual as there is the tendency of randomly sampling of the convicted murderers that are sentenced to the death penalty.
Not all criminals that commit murder are evil as some are usually sick. The punishment of criminal through the death penalty is, thus, not reasonable as the sick criminal should be administered an effective punishment over those which are intentional. Even though majority believe that there is nothing that exists as evil and others arguing that they should let off to determine their action predicting those that are prone to committing murderous crimes preventing them before it happens (Gerber and Johnson).
i) Abolition Treads
The international perspectives to the administration of the death penalty in the US are required as it is regarded as to be anachronism thing. Many countries have abolished the death penalty as a mode of punishing criminals that commits murder and others have restricted the number of offences that can lead to the administering of a death penalty. There is a wide and diverse opposition to the death penalty, and today it is being forbidden by the law and the practice being abandoned as being a mode to punish criminals. An execution can thus be viewed to be the spectacle of the violent public to the official homicide which has the power to endorse the killing of people in trying to solve the social problems. There have been various attempts to the justification of the lethal fury due to the extolling the benefits that are purported to have been brought to the society through such killings. The benefits that are accrued with the capital punishment are illusionary, and it is the resulting destruction of the decency of the community that is real.