Free Essay on Against the Death Penalty
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Some crimes have a very high magnitude, which leads people to prefer the death penalty to other forms of punishment. However, in the current unjust world, it is impossible to understand the case that has such a high magnitude to deserve a death penalty. In the justice system, there are other dynamics in justice processes, rather than the prevailing features at the time of the crime. Such dynamics are race, politics, and economic class. With these factors, it is difficult to determine those crimes that really deserve capital punishment and those that can be replaced with other forms of punishment. Regardless of the form of crime, the necessity of the death penalty is questionable.
The death penalty is not effective in reducing crime.
This is because everyone has a right to life as per the provision of the human rights declaration. In addition, there is nobody, including organizations, with the right to take the life of any human. Actually, the death penalty is a question of a society killing individuals. This is a contradiction in itself. How does society commit the same evil that is punishing for? Ethically, morally, and religiously, it is wrong to execute an individual for whatever reason. Even though the death penalty is a legal matter, it is overridden by the moral and ethical part of it. For the worst crimes, life without parole is better for many reasons. The death penalty is not effective in reducing crime. Besides, it costs a lot more than life imprisonment, prolongs the anguish of families of murder victims, and, worst of all, there is a constant risk of killing innocent people.
Studies indicate that capital punishment is not effectual in lowering crimes. Actually, there are incidents, when execution acts as a catalyst for murder and heinous crimes (Katz 173). For example, the publicity that the death penalty criminals get in the last weeks of their life sometimes encourages other people with unstable minds and characters to commit similar crimes in order to get the same publicity. There are people who seek media popularity and they can do anything to achieve it. Giving the death penalty criminals space in the media encourages such people to commit crimes. In addition, execution does not serve as a lesson for potential murderers; thus, they will not stop killing people in fear of execution.
As a matter of fact, life imprisonment and unbearable work are more threatening to criminals than execution. Most murderers deserving execution are insane and do not mind dying for killing others. It is actually an achievement that they die after killing many people. In that case, the death penalty serves not to punish the murderers but to encourage others with the same idea to continue killing in order to achieve fulfillment (Weinberg 15). Thus, instead of reducing crime, the death penalty increases heinous crimes and murder.
Notably, the death penalty risks making errors that cannot be remedied, including the killing of innocent people. With the legal and judicial systems, at times it is impossible to determine whether a certain suspect is really guilty. Political, socioeconomic, and racial factors contribute to such cases. Bias in the judicial process sees to it that innocent people go in for crimes they did not commit (Leigh 253), while others roam free being the true criminals. When it is realized that an innocent man has been behind bars wrongly, it is possible to remedy through releasing and offering him possible support of the family.
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However, in case of the death penalty realizing that an innocent man died for crimes committed by others leaves unanswerable questions. There is nothing anybody can do to remedy the situation. There is no support the family can receive to cover for the loss of their relatives. Since the evidence present in court during the court process as well as legal representation does not guarantee justice, passing a death penalty sentence on a suspect is very risky. In most cases, real murderers are wealthy people who buy off lawyers and even judges to let them free or convict another individual (Leigh 257).
In such a case, innocent poor people who cannot afford to bribe their way out get executed while murderers remain free. Therefore, in order to avoid the possibility of committing this irreversible mistake, it is important to abandon the death penalty and life sentence without parole for heinous crimes and murders.
Evidently, the execution of murder criminals costs society more than it would cost to keep the criminals in prison for life. First of all, execution requires many professionals to conduct it. The presence of these personnel does not only mount to monetary cost, but to other forms of cost. For example, medical practitioners vow to protect and serve life, yet in cases of execution, they take part, which is against their vow (Weinberg 15). It may not be an execution through lethal injection, but through whatever means. A doctor must verify that an individual has died. When doctors use their stethoscope to determine whether the criminals are really dead, they help in the act of killing. This is a moral contradiction. More so, executions are premeditated killing, when society forces people to act against their conscience.
For example, during the execution of criminals, the prison wardens must prepare everything, regardless of their attitude towards killing. This costs an individual a price that cannot be accounted for in monetary terms (Katz 180). Intriguingly, when criminals are in prison, they do work that contributes to the economy of the country, labor that is lost with execution. In the modern world, some criminals are educated people with important skills, which can be utilized behind bars to make a fortune for the society. With execution, such skills are lost and such criminals do not benefit society. To sum it up, all the personnel involved in the execution process require remuneration. If such criminals are imprisoned, all these costs do not take place, thus saving the country both monetary and non-monetary costs and losses.
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Lastly, the death penalty processes delay justice for a victim, increasing agony for the family of a victim. Before a criminal is taken for execution, he or she goes through long court processes and appeals, which take many years. With every appeal, the waiting time for the victim’s family to see justice is prolonged (Weinberg 15). The prolonged time comes with prolonged pains of loss. Moreover, execution does not heal the pain of the victim’s family; instead, it adds to it to imagine that the criminal got such an easy way out. Every detail of the execution process adds more pain to the family than healing. It serves to heal the victim’s family by knowing that the murderer of their loved one is rotting somewhere in a prison doing hard work and all other punishments available in prison.
Furthermore, families of murder victims desire to see the murderers’ reform. As much as they wish them suffering, they also wish that they can change and leave their evil past behind them and move on in life. This wish and desire can never come into a reality with death penalties (Leigh 249). While serving a prison term, there is a possibility that the criminal will change and abandon his or her evils ways, bringing a sense of healing to the victim’s family. Hence, execution does not serve justice and healing for the victim’s family, but life without parole can.
With the magnitude of murder crimes, there are propositions that the death penalty is the best fit. This is because there are many victims of a single murder. Even if the criminal gets caught, tried, and convicted, and it is understood that the punishment will be severe, the victim no longer has a part to play in this. Unfortunately, the murderer has deprived the victim’s family and friends of a loved one (Katz 187). Their sorrow begins with the crime. It may not expire with the murderer’s killing, yet the death penalty does stimulate a feeling of respite since they do not have to think about the ordeal, a feeling which often fails to arise while the murderer lives. Justice system cannot grant justice for surviving victims, except with the execution of the murderer.
Finally, murders are crimes of very high magnitude, and the idea that the criminal is alive and can hurt again is traumatizing, creating the desirability of death penalties for murderers. However, the death penalty is not a solution for murders in any way. Executions can lead to the deaths of innocent people leaving real murderers free and continuing with their crimes. In addition, the cost involved in execution is not worthwhile. Furthermore, execution does not reduce the number of murders, but in some way acts as an ignition for more murders. Apparently, the victims’ families do not get healing or justice from execution; rather they get prolonged pain and memory of their loss. Murderers deserve severe punishment to serve as lessons for potential criminals. Life without parole can serve in place of death penalties.
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