The death penalty is a form of government-imposed penalty practice whereby a person proven guilty of a crime is put to death. The death penalty is often given to capital offenders. Capital crimes are serious offenses that include murder, robbery with violence, treason, and espionage (Siegel & Bartollas, 2014). A lot of controversies surround capital punishment, with its supporters arguing that it reduces prevalence crime rates and the antagonists claiming that it is a great violation of fundamental human rights. The death penalty is an ineffective form of punishment that should be abolished and substituted with a more humane form of sentence such as life incarceration. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Capital punishment does not deter further crimes. Similarly, it does not influence second thoughts in criminals. Gauging from statistics from the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) (n.d.), in the US, states that have enforced the penalty have higher crime rates than those without it. Additionally, states that do not have the death penalty have had significantly lower mortality rates compared to states that have enforced the capital punishment. In 2015, the murder rates in states with the penalty were 4.75% while in states without capital punishment, the crime rates stood at 3.70% (DPIC, n.d.). A 2009 study by Amnesty International USA revealed that 88% of criminologists do not believe that capital punishment is a suitable deterrence factor. They claimed that in most cases, criminals are usually not in their senses when committing a crime (Amnesty International USA, n.d.).
The eighth amendment (Amendment VIII) to the bill of rights abolished any form of cruel or unusual punishment (Legal Information Institute, n.d.). Consequently, the death sentence is a cruel and brutal form of punishment that is a direct contravention to this amendment. It should thus be abolished, and another humane form of punishment put in its place. The US should follow in the footsteps of European countries and ultimately abolish capital punishment. When a person takes the life of another, the balance of justice is disrupted, and the only way to restore it is to execute – this argument is archaic and should thus be discouraged.
Additionally, capital punishment should be abolished since it fails to rehabilitate. Siegel and Bartollas (2014) observe that the essence of punishment under the judicial system is to offer corrective help to offenders, and as such, killing them does not achieve this. Instead of killing capital offenders, they should be sentenced to life in jail. Life in prison creates an opportunity for the offenders to get rehabilitation, and even if they fail to get out of prison, they can act as role models to other people, and be used to teach and influence positive behavior. Most capital crimes such as homicides are committed on moments of impulsive thinking, for instance when people are angry or when under drug influence (Siegel & Bartollas, 2014). Killing capital offenders does not help in any way. It does not bring back the dead, yet it takes away another life. It also causes suffering to the families of the offender who were not a party to the crime.
The possibility of ending innocent lives also justifies the abolition of capital punishment. There is a risk that an innocent person may be sentenced to execution by error, and since they cannot be brought back death after execution, the penalty is unfair. The erroneous execution of an innocent person by mistake is a form of miscarriage of justice. Siegel and Bartollas (2014) confirm that such miscarriage of justice pushed Rhode Island and Maine to abolish the death penalty.
Capital punishment is the state-imposed execution of capital offenders. Some states practice it, and others have abolished it. The practice should be abolished for it is brutal, unusual, and generally ineffective. The possibility of conviction of innocent people to execution also justifies its abolition.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Amnesty International USA. (n.d.). The death penalty and deterrence.
Death Penalty Information Center. (n.d.). Deterrence: States without the death penalty have had consistently lower murder rates.
Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). U.S. Constitution: Eighth Amendment.
Siegel, L. & Bartollas, C. (2014). Corrections today (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.