The death penalty or capital punishment is still being practiced in many
countries. Criminals who are put on the death row include those who are arrested
for drug trafficking and those who commit murders.
In Asia, death by hanging
is the most common method of capital punishment. Among the countries, lethal
injections, electrocution and death by a firing squad are more common.
Should the death penalty be abolished ? The proponents for the death penalty
feel that the punishment meted out to a criminal should reflect the seriousness
of the crime. If this line of argument is followed, then a person who kills
deserves to die. In other words, a person who takes another person's life,
forfeits his won right to live.
Another argument is that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to
crime. If murderers and drug dealers know that they will be punished by death,
they will be less likely to commit the crimes.
The main purpose of capital punishment is to isolate criminals from society
so that they will not have the opportunity to repeat their crimes.
Whatever the reasons are for defending the death penalty, I feel that it is
an archaic form of punishment that has no
place in a modern, civilized world.
It is true that crimes of a serious nature deserve severe punishment. But
taking a person's life in return is equivalent to taking revenge or 'an eye for
an eye'. Two wrongs do not make a right. Hence, when we put criminals on death
row, we are stooping to their level. Instead, if a serious crime is committed,
the criminal should be sentenced to life imprisonment. By spending the rest of
their lives in prison, these criminals would have time to reflect on their
misdeeds and repent.
No matter how careful and fair the judicial system is, the possibility of
perjured testimony and human error always
remains too real a threat to be brushed aside. If a member of the jury makes a
mistake, a person can be falsely accused of a crime. If the death penalty is
meted out to a person who did not commit the crime, then the sentence cannot be
It is not true that the threat of capital punishment reduces the number of
violent crimes because most crimes are committed on the spur of the moment or
under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many offenders, therefore, do not think
about the consequences of their crimes.
Preventing crimes from happening is the most effective way to deter crime.
Increased surveillance or police patrols, an increase in the number of police
officers and a strict control on the availability of weapons are more practical
alternatives in the practice of crime prevention.
For these reasons, capital punishment should be abolished.