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Capital punishment refers to the infliction of death on a person who has broken the law, as a punishment. Capital punishment has existed in the world since ancient times. Legal systems use capital punishment on people for various offences. With an increase in the use of capital punishment, people started arguing of whether capital punishment the legal system should continue using capital punishment or stop. The two sides bring forward their reasons as to why they support capital punishment or do not support it. Capital punishment involves killing people through either hanging or any other way. People should understand that killing people for the crime they committed does not serve to prevent others from committing the same crime.
I do not support capital punishment because it is against humanity, human rights and forgiveness. It is the cause of family hardships and suffering. This paper explores why people should stop using capital punishment.
Capital punishment goes against humanity. Capital punishment also known as the death penalty uses techniques that undermine humanity. When undertaking capital punishment, the process involves hanging, firing bullets, slaughter, inducing death through drugs and any other way causes psychological torture and physical pain. Humanity requires that people treat others with dignity they deserve even when they have done mistakes. Capital punishment does not have any form of dignity. The whole process functions more of a revenge rather than punishment. Punishment should offer a corrective measure to the individual who has committed a crime. It should make the person who committed a crime understand that they did a wrong thing. They have to understand their mistake and take the punishment that works towards changing them so that they do not commit the same offense again. Humanity involves giving people a second chance to do something in a better way.
Capital punishment does not offer people a chance to correct their mistakes. Capital punishment involves ending the life of people; it shutters their dreams and does not give them a chance to prove that they did the wrong thing. Sometimes the court convicts people for the mistakes they did not do just because they could not prove their innocence. It could be fair for people in such circumstances to have a second chance to prove their innocence. Capital punishment does not offer them that chance. Therefore, capital punishment is inhumane in all considerations. Sometimes, people commit crimes mistakenly. Legal systems become inhumane when they do not offer people in such situations a second chance and decide to end their lives through capital punishment (May, 2005).
Capital punishment does not respect human rights. Human rights require that people own a right to life even when they have committed crimes of whatever level. Capital punishment has a single way of handling all people pertained to have committed a crime worth that kind of punishment. That happens through death irrespective of the way used. It involves killing. Human rights does not support killing. Death should only come from the creator. Human rights require that legal and court systems including the trial process and the people involved in the trial respect life as a quality beyond human control. Therefore, any action that leads to the death of a person violates human rights. In any sense, capital punishment involves violent actions against humanity that violates human rights.
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Any person has a right to life irrespective of the offense he or she has committed. For instance, in a case where a person has killed another person intentionally or unintentionally, legal systems should not punish the person with the use of capital punishment because that functions as revenge. Human rights prohibit revenge and any form of killing whether as a punishment or not. Capital punishment involves torture, cruelty, unfairness and sometimes discrimination. It fails to reduce the possibility of similar crimes happening in the future. All these violate the human rights of individual persons. Besides that, other ways of punishing people exist, such as life sentences. The United Nations commission on human rights observes that the use of capital punishment goes against human rights because it denies a person the right to life by deciding to end the life of a person based on evidence that can be true or false (Rosenthal, Carnegie Council on ethics & Iternational Affairs,2009).
Capital punishments cause family hardships and suffering. People who provide basic needs for their families can commit crimes that may call for the use of capital punishment. Such people provide almost everything for their families. This becomes complicated when persons involves have children and take care of them as single parents. In case these people commit crimes punishable through capital punishment, they leave their dependants in compromising situations. For instance, when a single mother who has children below the age of ten commits crime and becomes convicted then sentenced to death, the children she will leave behind will suffer in several ways. First, they will lack a person to provide for their basic needs, such as food, clothing and housing. Secondly, they will lack a mother figure in their lives that can take care of their psychological, emotional and comfort needs. These children will remain suffering.
Capital punishment torture people mentally and psychologically. People experience a lot of pain when they imagine that their loved ones will die through hanging, slaughter or any other form of capital punishment. This becomes more painful when an innocent person gets a capital punishment sentence for a crime that he or she did not commit. Sometimes capital punishment does not allow family members to take their dead for burial as heir last respect to them. The court may kill a person and decide to bury the person without the consent of his or her family members. This tortures the family of the victim who has to live with the fact that their loved one died in that manner. Parents, siblings, children, spouses and friends suffer with agony when their friends end p as victims of capital punishment. Capital punishment ends educational life and other essential necessities of the dependants of the person who perishes through capital punishment (Kronenwetter, 2001).
Religious teachings from whichever religions exist in the world advocate for forgiveness. The value systems of different societies in the world advocate for forgiveness when people do mistakes and commit crimes. Human nature involves forgiveness even when societies have no clear guidelines on issues that touch on forgiveness. However, capital punishment works against forgiveness. When people decide to use capital punishment they show clearly that they have not forgiven the person for the wrong he, or she committed. Forgiveness involves giving people a second chance to do things right and prove their worth.
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It involves accepting that someone did a mistake but have the opportunity to change what he or she did. Sometimes, forgiveness involves making people understand that they did mistakes and should take punishment so that they do not repeat the mistake again. Forgiving ensures that people do not revenge the actions of other people. However, capital punishment goes against all viewpoints considered in forgiveness. It does not give people a chance to correct their mistakes because it ends their lives. Capital punishment acts as a form of revenge, something that does not happens once forgiveness takes effect. Capital punishment involves erasing the crime committed together with the person who committed the crime. Therefore, when people decide to use capital punishment they have decided not to forgive the person who committed the crime. Forgiveness can never work through killing people (Govier, 2002).
People could use capital punishment as a way of ending a crime that a person has committed. However, this serves to eliminate the person who committed the crime rather than eliminate the crime or reduce the chances of such crime happening again. In many occasions, people use capital punishment to punish crimes against humanity. However, the use of an inhumane way to solve an inhumane crime cannot offer a solution to the problems that people encounter.
Capital punishment works against humanity because it involves torture and does not give a person a chance to do things in the right manner. It works against human rights because it denies individuals their right to life. People violate human rights when they kill other people as a punishment for the wrong they committed. Capital punishment causes suffering in families because it takes away people who perform breadwinning functions for their families. It causes psychological, mental and emotional torture that causes pain for the family of the victim of capital punishment.
Capital punishment works against forgiveness because it does not give people a second chance to do things in the right way. Instead, it acts as a form of revenge by killing. People should not continue to use capital punishment because it does not solve anything. People die and the world goes on with a repeat of the same mistakes, and crimes. Some people argue that by using capital punishment they eliminate criminals and thus eliminate crimes. This does not work in any way because similar crimes happen thus increase the use of capital punishments. I do not support capital punishment because it goes against humanity, human rights forgiveness and makes families suffer in pain and agony.