Since 1977, more than 1,480 people have been executed, mainly by lethal injection, a year after the US Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of the death penalty. Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers, but the death penalty can also be applied to treason, espionage, and other crimes.
Advocates of the death penalty say it is an important tool for maintaining law and order, deterring crime and costs less than life imprisonment. They claim that vengeance or “an eye for an eye” honored the victim, comforted grieving families, and that perpetrators of heinous crimes had no opportunity to cause tragedy in the future.
Opponents of the death penalty say it has no deterrent effect on crime, incorrectly empowers governments to take human lives, and perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people of color (racists) and people who cannot afford good lawyers (classists). They say life sentences are heavier and cheaper than death.
Advantages of the Death Penalty
It discourages criminals from committing serious crimes. Common sense tells us that the most frightening thing for a person is to lose his life; Therefore, the death penalty is the best deterrent when it comes to deterring people from committing the worst crimes.
Fast, painless and humane. Execution methods have become increasingly humane over the years, so the argument that the death penalty is cruel and unusual does not apply.
The legal system is constantly evolving to maximize justice. Just because a wrong decision can be made by the legal system does not mean that the death penalty is wrong. In the US, every effort is made to give death row inmates the opportunity to challenge the court’s decisions. Modern crime detection methods such as DNA testing also provide greater guilt certainty than in the past.
It calms the victims or the families of the victims. The death penalty can give victims’ families some degree of closure, which can help them cope with their suffering.
Without the death penalty, some criminals would continue to commit crimes. It discourages life-sentenced prisoners from committing more serious crimes in prison.
It is a cost effective solution. The notion made by abolitionists that it costs more to execute someone than to put them in prison for life is not true, and there is a lot of evidence to show this.
Revenge and revenge are not the same thing. Revenge is a necessary part of the punishment process – without it, the friends and families of the victims and the general public would not feel justice being done.
Disadvantages of the Death Penalty
There is no reliable evidence that death penalty is a deterrent. In the US, in the states where the death penalty has been abolished, there has been no significant change in the rates of serious criminal offenses such as murder.
It is a brutal and unconventional punishment in which basic standards of human dignity are compromised or weakened.
It continues the cycle of violence. Revenge is another word for revenge – in fact, it is a form of flawed thinking that two wrongs can make one right. The professional argument is that killing people is wrong; That’s why you have to kill people to kill, which doesn’t make any sense. . .
It disproportionately affects the poorer segments of society and racial minorities, partly because they cannot afford good legal support. In the US, 50% of death row inmates are African-Americans, although only 13% of the population is African-American.
It is an old fashioned and ignorant solution. If the death penalty is lifted, America’s image will improve in places like Europe. Repressive regimes such as Iran, Yemen and Saudi Arabia are among the places where regular executions take place.
The justice system has to make mistakes. In the case of those who are wrongfully incarcerated, they can be released from prison and receive compensation, but the wrongful execution can never be corrected.
Death penalty is not cost effective. When all practical and legal costs are taken into account, it is clear that execution is more expensive than life imprisonment.
A life spent in prison is a worse punishment than execution. A life inmate has many years to bear his sentence, regret, and ponder his crimes.
There are strong religious arguments against the death penalty. Life is sacred and given by God. Divine judgment comes in the afterlife.
The pros and cons of this death penalty are not intended to serve as a moral framework, but are an attempt to look in a balanced way at why capital punishment is a useful tool in societies and vice versa. There are also certain consequences that can be beneficial when the death penalty is not a potential punishment. Therefore, these critical points should continue to be discussed so that we can all come to the best possible decision to keep each other safe.