Human civilizations have used capital punishment in their set of laws for over 4000 years. There have been many times in history when only a few crimes receive such punishment. While on the other hand, societies like the seventeen century B.C. Code of Athens required capital punishment for all the crimes to be death.
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Death Penalty in the United States:
In the U.S., the death penalty came about because of the impacts of the colonial era. The first recorded execution in the colonies happened in 1608 in Jamestown. Captain George Kendall was first executed for being a Spy for Spain.
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Moreover, it took only four years for Virginia tech institute the death penalty even for fewer offences such as trading with Native Americans or stealing grapes, etc. Capital punishment is defined as the legal and authorized killing of an individual as punishment for a crime that was first committed.
Common crimes that are eligible for a sentence of capital punishment include murder, reason, and espionage. According to recent studies, 56 countries have retained capital punishment as an option for their system of criminal justice.
103 Countries have been completely abolished for all the crimes, six are abolished for ordinary crimes, and the remaining 30 is abolitionist in this practice. Apart from this fact, about 60 per cent of the world still lives in a country where capital punishment has been retained.
Here are the most cited pros and cons of capital punishment.
Pros of Capital Punishment:
It’s time to talk about the advantages of capital punishment one by one:
Eliminates Sympathy for the Criminal:
Criminal justice should constitute the addressing facts of the situation. Far often, there is an emotional response to people attached to a capital crime. While sympathy is directed towards the individuals or family of the accused person.
When someone is going through the trial period or from the consequences of their actions, then the law should be able to address the actions in a way that discourages others from doing a similar task.
Provides Deterrent Against Violent Crime:
The primary goal of a law is to provide someone with a deterrent against a crime they envy to commit. As a society, violent crime is something that needs to be abandoned at all costs. To make this reality, a strong deterrent is required.
That is why capital punishment usually applies to cases of first-order murder. The thing is to make people convict that they will die for serious crimes. In this way, we can stop the crime from happening in the first place.
Allows Deserved Punishment for Horrific Crimes:
There comes the point when someone who commits a horrific crime reaches such a point where rehabilitation is not possible. Thus capital punishment not only allows deserved punishment for committed crimes, but it also saves the lives of the remaining people. A sentence of death also forbids the person from doing more horrific crimes.
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It also lessens the influence or impact that person would have on prison populations. However, it also affects the behaviour and choices of nonviolent offenders upon their release.
Zero Chance of Escape:
When the death penalty is finally implemented, there is no chance for an individual to run away from the consequences of their actions. It also eradicates the possibility of an illegal escape. Even if an individual manages to survive their execution attempt, then the law permits for another attempt to be made.
On the other hand, if we fail to execute murders that might have deterred others from committing such a crime, then definitely we would have allowed the killing of innocent victims. There is zero chance that the accused can flee himself from the punishment.
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Provides Respectful Outcome to a Convicted Individual:
Modern capital punishment in the United States as evolved into a process that is intended to be effective and painless. Injections of medication may stop a person from breathing and even heart to cease beating.
The shortage of drugs from manufacturing companies has created many issues in this regard. This process is getting complicated by every passing day.
Cons of Capital Punishment:
Now we must look at some cons of capital punishment:
Eliminates the Chance of Rehabilitation:
Some criminals don’t prefer to follow the rules set by society. These individuals don’t have the chance of being rehabilitated. Capital punishment eliminates this possibility from the equation.
Instead of allowing individuals to make changes in it, it automatically assumes that nothing can be done with that person who has committed the crime. It further suggests the people follow the rules based on their willingness, especially in nations where nonviolent offences also got qualified for capital punishment.
Does Not Discuss the Problem of Criminality in Society:
It has been observed that there will always be criminals who did crimes for their pleasure. More than 20 per cent of the U.S. population has been locked because of a drug offence.
Spirits who are in the penitentiary are related statistically as the usual violent assault from their faith It groups murderers with those who did not even perform a crime, engaging in a robbery where someone may die, but that does not pull the trigger.
Put the Lives of Innocent People at Risk:
Since the 1970s, over 160 people have risked their lives once the capital punishment is announced for the criminals. We have many recent examples of potential innocence.
The case of Carlos DeLuna even brought a rebuke by Justice John Paul Stevens against the use of the death penalty because of the risks involved in killing an innocent soul.
Does Not Deter Crime As It Should:
Data collected in the United States show that some states have capital punishment while others do not. It indicates a clear discrepancy in the rates of violent crimes.
It should be in states with the death penalty, but unfortunately, it is opposite the case. The states which have more execution of capital punishments also have higher murder rates. In recent years New York and Mexico abolished capital punishment and experienced a decrease in their murder rates.
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The pros and cons of capital punishment are based on information. Although some societies may get only temporary benefits from its implementation, this will be helpful in the coming years.
At least its execution kills innocent people while at worst it impetus more violent crime in society.