The death penalty is a sensitive issue that has the World quite at odds. While there are many proponents of it, the opposition is also humongous. In the United States, thirty three states have legalized the death penalty, while only seventeen states have abolished it. The death penalty should not be legalized. There are many reasons as to why it should be abolished throughout the United States, and globally. This treatise argues that the death penalty is a violation of the constitution, with respect to the right to life, morality and retribution. While some may argue that the use of death penalty significantly deters citizens from committing serious crimes such as murder, the death penalty is an unconstitutional act that goes against the basic right of life.
Human life is sacred and valuable such that even the worst of offenders should not be dispossessed of the value of their lives. In other words, the value of the offender’s life cannot be trampled even by their own misdemeanor, including committing murder. The counter-argument is that an offender, by their malfeasance, forfeits their right to life. However, no one is supreme to even forfeit their own right to life. The constitution clearly protects everyone’s right to life, including offenders. One of the problems in the use of the death penalty is the execution of the innocent. Let’s face it, the justice system is flawed. Sooner or later, innocent people will get killed because of mistakes made in the judicial process. In that case, how will they give back the innocent soul condemned to death by a soulless electric chair? There is plenty of evidence in the US department of Justice where such mistakes are possible. Since 1973 to 2013, about 130 who were sentenced to death were later found innocent.
The use of the death penalty as a form of retribution is fundamentally flawed. The death penalty is immoral in that it is just a sanitized form of revenge. It is common to see howling mobs confronting prison officers around courts or prisons when an offender is being executed. Thus, vengeance remains to be a key element in the public perception of capital punishment. Additionally, the death penalty may fail to deter crime. What deters people from committing crime is the likelihood of being caught and punished. In 1996, the UN conducted a survey to determine the impact of the death penalty on homicide rates and found no significant effect. In summary, the death penalty is a cruel, inhumane, and degrading form of punishment and should be abolished. Many of the methods used are cause enormous suffering, such as electrocution, use of lethal gas, or strangulation.
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