Death penalty or capital punishment has been debated over since ages and still remains a reality in a number of states across the world. U.S, India, China and many other countries grant capital punishment for the most heinous crimes, even as the human rights activists continue to take the bull by its horns every time a death penalty is issued. Executions are considered to be the ultimate punishment provided the crime committed also exemplifies ruthlessness in its extreme. The article attempts to view capital punishment from a more balanced perspective by dwelling at length on both sides of the coin. Read on to know the pros and cons of death penalty.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Capital Punishment
- The cost of imprisoning a criminal, serving a life term or otherwise long term, is very expensive when compared with the costs involved in execution of the same person. Capital punishment is, therefore, considered to be cost-effective.
- There are many who offer the logic that the more severe the crime, the harsher should be the punishment. Death penalty is seen as the most extreme form of punishment, which is generally reserved for the most heinous of crimes. The penalty should fit the crime and in extreme cases, extreme measures should determine the course of justice.
- It has been argued that capital punishment sets a chilling example for potential criminals and serves as an effective deterrent. It will dissuade criminals-in-the-making by instilling fear in their minds.
- Death penalty also ensures the safety of rest of the prison inmates as statistics establish that most of the capitally punished criminals are violent and prone to be unpredictable. In a volatile situation, they may endanger the safety of other prisoners.
- Imprisonment keeps the possibility of a hardened criminal coming out on parole and becoming a threat to civil society, a possibility which is put to rest by execution. There have been many instances of prisoners, out on parole, indulging in criminal behavior taking advantage of their conditional release.
- While it is argued that capital punishment is cost-effective, most penalty cases are appealed in higher courts, which incur more expenses than execution. The additional procedures and extra appeals thus bring down the cost-effectiveness of death penalties.
- There are many who argue that capital punishment is barbaric, cruel and blatantly inhuman, no matter how heinous the crime is. The state-sanctioned executions tend to justify the murder of the criminal and defeat the whole logic of death penalty being a fitting punishment for extreme crimes, such as murder itself.
- Some human rights propagators regard death penalties as a flagrant violation of a person’s right to live. The right to live is a natural right, while the right to live with dignity is a state-granted right. How can a state trample over the natural right of a person to live?
- Capital punishment doesn’t give a criminal the opportunity to be remorseful of his deeds. Neither does it treat those, who feel guilty for their crimes, a fair opportunity to improve their behavior.
- There has also been no concrete evidence that capital punishments have been able to deter potential criminals from committing felonies. Justifying death penalties in the name of discouraging future crimes seems to be too simplistic an argument to many.