Ever since the dawn of human societies, we have seen the important role of laws and punishments in keeping social order.
According to the laws, some criminals would receive a lifelong imprisonment or a monetary penalty in return for what they have done. Whereas others would be sentenced to death, also known as capital sentence, for their inhumane crimes. For decades, however, whether or not to abolish the death penalty has remained to be a controversial topic whenever there is a case. This research paper, based on a secondary data, will explore the pros and cons of capital sentence under several aspects.
Discussion of findings:Definition:The definition for the death penalty or capital sentence can be understood as, according to Kirk Bailey (cited in www.dummies.com, n.d.), the sentence of death imposed by courts as punishment for crimes such as aggravated murder or felony murder. The history of death penalty dated back to the 18th century B.C.
in Babylon when the first laws of the death penalty were codified for 25 different types of crimes, however, murder was not included. Nowadays, though varied between countries, these are the crimes which would normally warrant death penalty: murder, rape, drug trafficking, treason, etc.(reference)Along with the development of humanity, the methods of execution are also altering. According to Richard Spencer (2010), there are 3 execution methods mostly used around the world: shooting; lethal injection; hanging. Shooting is the most common methods; in this case, criminals are blindfolded and shot by one or a group of executors in the chest.
The second most common methods are hanging, criminals would be hung by a rope until death (usually with a calculated fall). The third method, also the newest method, is the lethal injection. With this method, the criminals would be injected with poison into their body.
The Pros:The Criminals:When talking about capital sentences, the first person that comes to our mind is the criminal. Though little do they know that those men/women in the prison, spending the rest of their life behind the bars or waiting for their death to come, are gaining benefits from this type of punishments. This is mainly because they realize how harsh the life in prison might be: the immediate loss of contacts with the outside world, the gradually growing uncertainty awareness of time, being treated even worse than animals, etc. Therefore, for some criminals, a death sentence seems like extrication for the suffering of this punishment is over quickly.The Families:Most advocates of the death penalty often argue that sentenced a brutal criminal with a capital punishment provides closure for the victims and their families. They are the people who directly suffered the crimes, and the pain they enduring can never be easily eased with just an imprisonment. Therefore, equal punishments should be given to the culprits and capital sentences could be the answer.
Supporters of this punishment also claim that it could stop the revenge circle. Because there have been some records of cases in which the victim family members or lovers killed the culprit of their loved one’s death after they had been released from imprisonment. These unfortunate cases could have never happened if the one caused their pain wasn’t just left hanging around in the prison, doing something to kill the time.The Society:The origin purpose of punishments and laws is to keep the society in order. But the question is can death penalty actually preclude similar crimes? As a human being, almost everyone has the fear of death and for that reason, a death sentence could work as a deterrence for the criminals (especially for those are still behind the bars). What it does is also warning who was thinking of committing crimes of their consequences, thus they would reconsider before actually act the crimes. In addition, eliminating the brutal, cruel individual that threatened the safety of citizens might lower the chances of the criminals jailbreaking and then continue their illegal actions.
There also has been a general belief which could perfectly describe the need for capital punishment: “You reap what you sow.” In other words, people believe that one would receive an equal result of what they have done. For example, a serial killer definitely should be given a death penalty and sent to hell. Moreover, The Justice System nowadays, with the involvement of DNA technology, can detect the culprits with more consistent evidence and ensure that they deserve their punishments.Apart from the two benefits mentioned above, the capital sentence simultaneously trims down a major problem at the moment: overpopulation in prison. Imprisonment prisoners will have to spend the rest of their life in prison and the population is continuously increasing every year. Sooner or later, the number of criminal will exceed the capacity of the prison, leaving a difficult problem for the government and society to overcome.
Should the government distribute more money from their treasury to expand the prison? Even for the safety purposes, no one would agree to pay more for the sake of the criminals. Thus, cutting down the number of prisoners means “less taxpayer ‘s money is spent for the maintenance of individuals that have acted against society in the most violent way.” (https://netivist.org/debate/death-penalty-pros-and-cons)The Cons:The Criminals:Everything has its good side and bad side, so is the death penalty.
Although for some, this can release them from their wretched life, for the others, a punishment like this is cruel and unusual, or even old-fashioned (Paul Goodman, 20/03/2017). No one is willing to die, or at least the majority of humanity isn’t.