Each year, 250 people are added to death row and 35 are executed. Capital punishment is the harshest form of condemnation. It is a highly controversial issue and is therefore not practiced in all parts of the world. Putting an end to someone’s life is a cruel and unusual form of punishment. One can clearly see the barbaric ritual as a violation of human dignity. The fear of death has proven not to deter criminals from committing crimes. When executing the alleged, there is always a slight chance that he/she is innocent. That alone should be reason enough to discontinue the practice. Capital punishment is morally wrong and allows humans to play God. This Barbaric ritual should be banned in all parts of the world. Capital punishment is a relic of barbarism. The act is morally wrong.
The methods through which executions are made involve physical, emotional, and mental torture. Who was it that gave humans the authority to play God? If the state in which the punishment is being condemned claims that taking a life is wrong, how can the state in effect do the same thing? To punish the taking of a life, should the state not also be punished for the same thing? Capital punishment does something almost worse than lowering the government to the moral level of the criminal. The government should have a better sense of morality than the criminal. For the believers of Lex Talionis (a life for a life), – one question. If you take a criminal’s life for taking someone else’s life, should your life not be taken away also because you have taken the life of someone? We as a society should attempt to set examples for the criminals, not battle them. Can society place an unequal weight on the tragically lost lives of murder victims and the criminal? Where do we go off giving ourselves the authority of God?
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Contrary to popular belief, Capital Punishment does not act as a deterrent to crime. A study performed on the effect of capital punishment by Isaac Ehrlich shows that in the United States in 1957, there were 8,060 murders committed and 65 executions. In 1982, there were 2,520 murders committed and only 1 execution. The absence of deterrence is clearly shown. Countries such as Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland do not practice Capital Punishment but they still show that they have not experienced an increase in crime rates. Capital Punishment is not an effective method of deterrence. People who are in the “business” killing will do everything they can to make sure they do not get caught; they skillfully concoct to make sure they are not suspected of criminal activity. Someone who gets caught killing is usually someone who didn’t plan to kill in the first place. These people act out of rage or anger, drunkenness, or a short-term loss of logical thinking. To think about the consequences before one commits a serious crime is ideal but not reality.
The problem with the death penalty is that most murderers are unplanned and are not a result of logic. With the practice of capital punishment, there is always a slight chance of the convicted, to be innocent. The death penalty is irrevocable. In case of error, the innocently executed cannot be given another chance to live. In the last century, 75 cases of wrongful convictions were documented, 8 of these were killed by the practice of capital punishment. If 75 cases were documented, surely there were many other cases, which went undocumented. A prisoner discovered to be innocent can be freed, but neither release nor compensation is possible for an innocent death. Professor James S. Leibman of the Columbia Law School examined every capital conviction and appeal between 1973 and 1995 and showed that courts found serious, reversible error in nearly 7 out of every 10 capital sentences, and it took an average of 9 years to catch the error.
These errors were a result of incompetent defense lawyers, police, or prosecutors who suppress evidence and faulty instruction to jurors. If the death penalty was practiced in these places then many innocent people would have been wrongfully executed. If out of every 50 executions, 1 person is innocent, that’s 1 person too much. Capital Punishment is a bloodthirsty judicial homicide that benefits no one, it is immoral, inhuman, and degrading. There is proof that it doesn’t deter crime; it can be inflicted upon people who are innocent. Capital Punishment is not a good form of criminal punishment; it has neither deterred the wicked nor protected the innocent. Countries such as Canada should take measures in an attempt to make the Canadian government pressure countries that practice capital punishment to stop this barbaric ritual.