In all parts of the world, you will have people who will support the death penalty, and people who will not agree with it at all. It has been already abolished in many parts of the world, and there are many more who are currently debating its merits and demerits. There are many who argue that the usage of lethal punishments is not the solution for solving crime, the reason being that it is absolute and there is no chance of a reprieve should later evidence emerge that would acquit the accused of the crime.
Still others argue that lethal punishment is very much like murder, and if the law itself starts to kill people, society would descend into anarchy. Again, some people will stand up for death penalty, with the argument that some crimes completely take the right away to live from the person who commits them. However, like everything else, there is something good and something bad about the death penalty. In this article, we will discuss both sides of the coin.
Positive aspects of death penalty 👍
The death penalty, if in practice and enforced when required, does pose a terrible threat. If you commit a truly heinous crime and get caught doing it or afterward, you might be subject to the death penalty, provided that your involvement in the crime had been sufficiently deep. And the result of the death penalty is, of course, death, the end to everything. The instinct to survive is the strongest of all instincts in every living being, and humans are no exception.
The prospect of being hanged, getting the chair, being lethally injected, or being stoned is something no person looks forward to, and thus would avoid committing the crimes that would lead to such an end. Naturally, the incidence of crimes as terrible as rape and murder would be significantly lower.
Takes care of terrible criminals
In some countries, death penalty is awarded to the rarest of rare cases. This is because these cases refer to a crime so heinous that it is positively inhuman. Rapes, murders, and child rapes are considered some of these cases. Even in countries where the death penalty is a regular part of the justice system, people who commit these crimes are awarded the death penalty. This is because these crimes are so terrible that they exempt the criminal from the basic right to live that all creatures deserve.
They are considered truly a menace to the society with nothing positive to contribute, and hence are removed from the system through the death penalty. Besides, the death penalty saves the government from spending taxpayers’ hard earned money on such hardened criminals since they are proven to be beyond rehabilitation.
It’s quick and painless
Many would argue that the death penalty is a crude step that takes life away, which is nothing but murder. However, the method of the death penalty, in all civilized countries, is a completely humane method. It is usually executed through hanging, or the lethal injection, with even methods like the electric chair having been pushed largely out of existence. It is actually safe, instant, and completely painless.
Negative aspects of death penalty 👎
All said and done, however, the death penalty does have a lot of things going against it.
First of all, it is completely absolute and irreversible. If a person is convicted and then executed by the law, and later on new evidence emerges that acquits them from committing the crime, it would be impossible to reverse the sentence. Even if the sentence is reversed, no earthly good would come out of it since the person who has been acquitted is already dead. The death penalty does not leave any scope for correcting mistakes.
It’s murder, really
Secondly, the death penalty can basically be called murder by law. The right to live is the most fundamental right of any living creature, and the death penalty takes that away from people. If a murderer is executed, the law stoops to their level by doing the exact thing the murderer did: killing. There are other ways of ensuring that a criminal never sees the free world again; for instance, the maximum security prisons house such criminals for their entire lifetime.
Also read: Positive and negative effects of alcohol
Lately, a lot of outcry and debate has been raised regarding the availability of the drugs that are used to administer the lethal injection. This has led to further discussions regarding the death penalty itself, and it is becoming quickly clear that this is an issue not to be solved any time soon. The truth is that whether it is good or bad really depends on how an individual has experienced their life, and views the crime.