Against the Death Penalty essay
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There are a number of issues that are considered controversial in our modern society. Some of these issues are death penalty, abortion and euthanasia. The public, civil societies and religious societies are constantly involved in debates aimed at proving the legality (or illegality of these issues. In this paper, all the three issues won't be discussed but we will go directly into discussing death penalty. Death penalty is inhumane, barbarous and does not respect sanctity of life. In the sections of the paper that follow, reasons that make many hold this opinion will discussed.
Death penalty is cruel and unusual (Frederick 104). We are now in the 21st century where almost nation is civilized. Gone are the days of slavery and related barbarous acts when executions were a common place. Death penalty can be compared to killing for pleasure and with ceremony. This act has been overtaken by events. State institutions should not execute citizens in the name of law or maintaining order. There is a widely held fallacy that death penalty effectively achieves its objectives. Facts, however, disapprove this.
The main reason why death penalty was instituted was to deter crime but available evidence speaks against this. There are other ways that crime can be deterred. Mark and Hurwitz (1106) note that controlling drugs use and, reducing the number of guns in the hands of civilians, are two ways that can effectively control crime. According to these authors, Death penalty comes last in the list of possible ways of deterring crime. Long life sentence, as a matter of fact, is a better method of controlling and deterring crime compared to death penalty.
Death penalty is usually applied arbitrarily and is most of the times irrevocable. This means that application of death penalty denies the due process of law (Bedau 4). Victims once convicted are denied the right to benefit from new evidence that may come up after conviction. Life in parole sentences are advocated for by many who are against death penalty as victims may have a chance of being acquitted once new evidence comes up.
In the United States and other heterogeneous societies, the public and civil societies always feel that death penalty is violates the constitutional right of equality and protection. Available statistical data from different states in the United States prove that death sentence is never applied fairly. There are more blacks who have been executed compared to other races (Frederick 108). This does not necessarily mean that blacks are involved more in crime compared to their white or colored counterparts. Instead of people arguing every now and then that Race is not the only factor that determines whether a suspect criminal ends being convicted to die or not. Other factors like education status and social status have been quoted as other basis used to disproportionately apply death penalty (108).
Those who advocate for death penalty argue that death penalty has far reaching economic benefits compared to other forms of sentencing like life without parole. They argue that maintaining a life sentence criminal costs nations lots of resources compared to death penalty. This, nevertheless, is not necessary true. Capital punishment squanders and energy of the whole justice system. Prolonged court session before one can be convicted waste resources that could otherwise be used to compensate families of victims.
As it has already been noted, some suspects get executed on the basis of social status. The numbers of poor people who have been executed in all American states exceed the number of rich suspects who have had the same fate. Poor people may not have enough fees to hire attorneys who can put up a strong defense in court. Innocent people have thus ended up being executed a simply because they could not hire attorney who could represent them well. The issue of poverty notwithstanding, suspects may get convicted to die simply because an error was made by a judge who is all human and bound to make mistakes.
90 percent of the world's population belongs to a religious group. All worlds' religions (including certain cults) teach against killing. Christians, for example, state that God is the sole provider of life and no human being has the power or authority to take human life. Other religious hold a similar stand. If almost everyone living on this planet is taught about sanctity of life, why should a state organ, like the judiciary, come in and do something contrary to these teachings.
Arguments against death sentence are solid. Any person looking at these arguments rationally will be convinced that death sentence should be abolished by those who still practice it. We are in the 21st century and so barbaric executions like those of days of slave should be done away with. Death penalty fails to respect sanctity of life and should thus be seen as an unfeeling, immoral and inhumane act. Researchers and analysts have come into a conclusion this act is applied randomly and that factors like race, social status and education, determine whether suspects end up in death row or not (Mark and Hurwitz 110 8). Innocent people have ended up being victims of errors made by justice systems. All these reasons form a formidable force that should push any stubborn nation, institution or individual to admit that it is a high time that death penalty was abolished.