Capital Punishment


Capital punishment is a government punished a guilty person for a particular offense. Capital punishment is also known as death penalty that is imposed on an individual after committing a severe state offense. Capital punishment is not imposed for any offence committed by a person but significant and state offenses that require execution of the guilty individual. For instance, an individual may be sentenced to death after committing state or capital offenses like murder, treason, war crimes and crimes against humanity, just but to name a few. Such crimes are regarded as major thus giving the court no option but to sentence the individual to murder. A court will convict an individual for death, and the sitting president of the country must sign the execution papers allowing the state to execute the criminal. The fact that the court will sentence an individual to death, it is the sitting president who will only sign for the execution to proceed, it means that if the president does not sign the papers, then the individual may not be executed.

There has been a debate all over the world condemning capital punishment. The motion was to facilitate the extraction of capital punishment from the sentences in most of the court punishments all over the globe. All this is because people believe that capital punishment is not effective at all. It is believed that killing an individual is just but an elimination process but not a penalty that will make other people desist from the same mistake committed by the person who has been executed (Tersman, 2006). However, other scholars tend to believe that capital punishment is a useful tool as it gets to eliminate the crooked elements in the society. The argument is that when an individual is sentenced to death, it is because nature has removed him or her based on their behaviors. With this reason, they tend to believe that capital punishment is an effective punishment tool. From the two sides that are in support and against capital punishment, we get a mixed reaction that is not able to certify the claims of either side. However, each side will be reviewed so that to be absolute with the thought of the majority on whether Capital punishment is either valid or not.

Is Capital Punishment Effective?

It is a double sided sword question that needs to be critically evaluated so that to come to a sound solution. Studies have shown that some countries in the world still have capital punishment on their punishment list while others have taken a step and extracted it from their lists. There is a reason as to why a country will come to an agreement and decide to eliminate capital punishment. The main reason as to why is because they believe the punishment is not sufficient. However, when a nation chooses to maintain the punishment method on their lists, it is because they believe that it is an effective mode of punishment to capital offenses according to the primary definition of the country.

Reasons as to why Capital Punishment is not effective and should be abolished

             Violation of Human Rights 

Human rights are privileges that humans are given to other living organisms on the planet. When coming up with human rights, some rights were negotiable on whether to make them privileges or not while others were not debatable. Some of the controversial rights were the once that were not necessarily essential as people may have lived without them at any point. However, there are some that were not debatable at any point as they are essential and get to affect the well being of humans. For instance, the Right to live was not a debatable privilege as no one had the mandate to decide who gets to live and who gets to die. The right to live is an essential aspect that gets to protect and uphold the life of an individual. It also shows the kind of respect people have towards life. When it comes to punishment for law-breaking, an individual is supposed to be punished the right way in a manner that will not lead to termination of his or her life. Capital punishment is not sufficient as it is said because it involves ending of an individual’s life, which is against the Human rights (Sarat, 2001). Capital punishment violates the human right to live thus making it ineffective. It is ineffective in the sense that it gets to make some people decide who is to live and who is to die. It also imparts a sense of inhumane in some people thus may make them come to the point that they will never have the chance to think before killing.

             Risk of Executing Innocent People 

The fact that an individual will be charged guilty of an offense, it does not prove that the person was responsible for breaking the law. Seeking justice may at times come to the point that may make an individual being charged with offenses that they did not commit. It has happened that most of the people who fall, victims of false accusations, are the poor people or the marginalized individuals who are not able to adequately defend themselves over the unjust being sanctioned to them (Mandery, 2011). It is at this point where an innocent person may be fixed and found guilty of an offense that they did not do. Since the evidence was well planned on the individual, a judge ends up sentencing the innocent individual to death without knowing. An innocent person gets to be executed because he or she was not able to defend himself and at the same time so that to bury the truth. It shows that capital punishment is not effective as it gets to kill innocent individuals without being in the position to have to listen on the other side of the story. Also, killing an innocent individual where it is seen that the person was innocent makes things worse as many people will now get to involve themselves in crime just to revenge. Involvement will also be done so that when the people are convicted, they get to have made a mistake instead of being sentenced as guilty but in the real sense they are innocent.

            Death Penalty does not Deter Crime Completely

The reason as to why the court gets to impose a penalty on guilty individuals is because they are aiming to reduce the rate of crime in the country. The court believes that sentencing an individual to death after committing a state offense is one way that will help in reducing criminal activities in the country. However, what the court fails to understand is that eliminating an individual does not make any change on the positive but makes the situation worse than it was before. By killing an individual because of a capital offense does not reduce the criminal activities but hastens the activities as the people involved get angry with the fact that one of their partners has been killed by the government. With such an allegation, there will be increased state offenses with a reason that the people are revenging for their comrade that was killed. Such activities are seen to be hastened by the death penalty on an individual who was found guilty of committing a state offense. Instead of sentencing an individual to death, the court should come up with a proper mode of punishment that does not involve killing the guilty individual as killing the individual makes the situation worse than it was before. Capital punishment is not effective at reducing the rate of criminal activities as it only increases the rate of crime in a nation.

             Increase in Racial discrimination  

Racial discrimination is the point where people are discriminated according to the color of their skin. It has been seen that most of the black people who are found to be guilty of a particular offense have a higher chance of being sentenced to death compared to the white people. For instance, African-Americans in the United States will be sentenced to death when found guilty of a state offense without any appeal or account compared to a white man who is found with the same mistake. By doing all this, the court is seen to practice racial discrimination thus making it a habit for most judges, who will all the time not give any chance for the black people to appeal. The court will sentence an individual to death because he or she is black and it is believed that black people are dangerous. The verdict will be based on color thus making it unjust, which will later make the black people revolt. By the fact that the black people will be revolting, protesting for justice, there will be some people with ill motives of committing crime because they were discriminated in court and one of their people sentenced to death. The fact that the court thinks that it is killing the black person so that to reduce the criminal activities and act as a lesson, it just makes the situation worse as the black people will rise against the white people. With such an action, it shows that the death penalty gets to increase racial discrimination and at the same time it increases criminal activities, thus making it an ineffective form of punishment.

             Leads to Separation of Families who later turn to be Rogue

The fact that an individual is convicted of a state offense and sentenced to murder; he or she is separated from his family and friends. When an individual is killed because of a particular mistake, he or she is entirely separated from family and friends. The gap left is not natural as the individual was forcefully killed thus creating a grudge among the family members. Even if that person was the only crooked individual in the family, his execution raises hostility in the family. With time, some of the family members will raise up for the reason that they want to revenge the death of one of their member who was sentenced to death. The family later turns out to be lethal in a manner that they get to involve in criminal activities. They get to terrorize people and government with the reason that they are revenging on the death of their family member that was sentenced to death (Williams, 2005). The death sentence turned a calm family into a ruthless and dangerous family that gets to terrorize and initiate criminal activities in the country. It automatically shows that the actions were sanctioned by the sentencing of one of their own to death thinking that they were helping reduce or eliminate a spoilt individual in the family. It shows that capital punishment is not valid as it gets to arouse mix4ed reactions that get to make the situation worse than it was before.

Reasons as to why Capital Punishment is seen to be useful and should be implemented

            Reduces the Pain of Suffering 

Capital punishment has been regarded as the best punishment mode that can be imposed on a guilty criminal. The fact that an individual is found guilty of an offense and he or she is sentenced to a life imprisonment as punishment, it means that they will spend the rest of their lives in prison facing the torture and suffering. Spending a whole lifetime in prison does not make an individual pay for his or her mistakes as he will one day be pardoned and he or she will continue with the same mistakes they were involved with. It also does not show or pose an example to people outside who may have the same mind of involving in the same criminal activities. When an individual is sentenced for murder, he or she has reduced a load of suffering and pain that they would exhibit in jail. Also when he or she is executed, it acts as a lesson to people who are also involved in the same criminal activities. Execution acts as a torture to people who may try to engage themselves in illegal activities. The whole ordeal is left in the minds of people who tend to try and involve themselves with state offenses. They will keep remembering the incident thus making them desist from all the activities that may make them engaged in any criminal activities (Jacobs, Siegel & Quiram, 2012). The fact that an individual will have a picture of what happened to a person that was executed because of involving in crime, they will automatically desist from such activities as they will not be ready to face the same ordeal. With the psychological disturbance of the ordeal, it helps in reducing criminal activities thus making Capital punishment efficient in dealing with a crime.

             Promote Happiness and Peace

The death penalty is imposed on people who are found guilty of state offenses that are a threat to the people in general. However, the argument may seem in a way vague because no one is ever happy when an individual is murdered, but in this situation, happiness counts (Hodgkinson & Rutherford, 2005). When an individual is a criminal who has been killing people or being a humanizer, it means that he or she has been causing tension among the people. The kind of pressure caused at this point is that no one is not sure when he or she will be murdered by the psychopath. It makes each day and night of people in a particular town to be a nightmare because of the actions of killing. However, when such an individual is caught and sentenced to death, it brings peace of mind and joy in the lives of the people because the threat of their lives has been eliminated with no possibility of coming back. When such an individual is executed, there will be no more reports of killings or terrorization of people in the city (Gottfried, 2010). It shows that the crime has been dealt with thoroughly without leaving any traces of an impending action to reoccur. It also means that the execution order was used in handling the situation because if such an individual is left to interact with others in jail, he or she may end up killing them too.

             Rational and Moral Response to Crime 

Several methods have been used by the court in punishing criminal offenders without the success of reducing criminal activities. Despite the fact that the government has come up with different methods of trying to correct and impart some moral attributes to the convicts, it has not proved to be successful as they have proved to get back to the same mistakes they have involved with. Additionally, the individuals have been seen to recruit and teach more people on criminal activities. To avoid all these actions to take place, the government has imposed capital punishment that gets to eliminate all the criminals convicted of capital offenses. The method is regarded as an ethical response to crime as it gets to reduce crime by eliminating the people involved and at the same time preventing the skills from being taught to other people (Fridell, 2004). Criminal activities are reduced drastically in a manner that there will be no continuity of the activities as the masterminds of the whole processes are no longer existing thus making the whole actions and processes to crumble. When a leader of a particular crime is executed alongside some of his or her members, it makes the remaining people to get scared thus making abandoning the activities with fear that the same actions will befall them too. It helps in making sure that all criminal activities are dismantled with no trace of regenerating (Chandler, 2000). Such an act proves that capital punishment is an active form of punishment that gets to ensure that all illegal activities are curbed.


In conclusion, it has been seen that capital punishment is a double sided sword that has both positive and negative effects. Despite the fact that death penalty gets to execute an individual, it has been seen that it is useful in a manner that it gets to reduce the pain and suffering of the victims, brings a smile to the faces of victims of crime and also gets to ensure that crime is curbed completely. On the other hand, it is seen that the same punishment is not effective as it does not promote crime reduction instead increases the chances of criminal activities. Capital punishment gets to increase racial discrimination in the society; it increases the rate at which people turn against the government, and it also has the force and action that changes an individual to become lethal. For this reasons, it is clear that capital punishment is ineffective when it comes to dealing with criminal activities. Instead of being in the position to correct the faults, it worsens the situation. Therefore, capital punishment is not an efficient mode of punishment.










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