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Ethics of Capital Punishment Assignment

Question : Critical Analysis Paper-Ethics of Capital Punishment


  • Capital punishment refers to the penalty as death or a government-endorsedrepetition that involves executing someone as a chastisement for a crime after a proper lawful trial. It is generally used for offenses that are considered serious crimes such as sexual abuses, terrorism, aircraft skyjacking, treachery, sedition, drug trading,piracy, etc. It has been a matter of controversy in several states and countries for a long time. The matter of this project will be to discuss how capital punishment is an inhumane way to deal with crime. It is totally against the right to life. It has been banned in many countries, the main reason remains behind that is the unfair, and injustice it does to humanity.



  • Ever since the beginning of civilization, criminals are being executed in nearly all societies. In the pre-contemporary times, the implementation of capital punishment itself contained various painful and throbbingsystems. This involved breaking a wheel, hanging, sewing, slow slicing, etc. The execution history of the world extends to the beginning of the world and the recorded history. In most of the nations that exercise capital penalty, it has been kept for very small and selective crimes. Since the last several centuries, justice is becoming graduallyrelated with the idea of expected and permissiblehuman rights.
  • Most of the nations have banned capital penalty, countingnearly all the developed nations, eitherby practice or in law. Distinguishedexemptions are China, United States, Japan, India,and some of the Islamic states. In the United States, Michigan was the first state to ban the death sentence, after one case but was later permitted after another case. Since the Second World War, a tendency of banning capital punishment from the nations took place. According to Amnesty International, one hundred and two countries have abolished the use of death penalty as a punishment against any crimes, six have done so under special circumstances, thirty-two have abolished it in practice and not by law and twenty-three of the countries in the world have performed executions in the year 2016.


  • Being a very controversial topic for many years, capital punishment is criticized as well as favored. People, who advocate the death sentence, states that it is a decentimplement that helps in controlling the rate of crime in society. They are of the view death penalty if justified when it is used for special cases that include the murder of government officials, child homicide, and tortured assassination, multiple murders and mass assassination. They think that capital punishment is a way that can ensure that the sentencedoffenders do not offendonce more and it is just a penalty. The opponents of the capital punishment consider it inhumane. Capital punishment is irreversible in nature and once the punishment process takes place, the decision cannot be reversed and the life of the accused cannot be given back. It even lacks a deferent effect. It does encourage the culture of violence. Several international and national administrationslike Amnesty International and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has the fundamental purpose of the abolition of death penalties. (Binder et al 1141)
  • Capital punishment can be considered as the wickedestdestruction of human civil rights. The right to live is basic and every human being must get the privilege of that right. Death Sentencedisrupts it unnecessarily and torture to humanity. It is only a form of revenge and can be taken as a specimen of anexclusivepenalty for a ferocious act. The reason for this is that normally, an offender of a crime is not penalized by endangering him to a comparable act. (Donohue, John 51)
  • Immanuel Kant, an eighteenth-century philosopher, had astrong defense to capital punishment, according to which a murderer needs to die because there is no comparison of the loss of life to any term of jail and punishment. While the human rights activists condemn capital punishment saying it ‘harsh, inhumane, and degrading', Amnesty International contemplates capital punishment to be "the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights".
  • At the time of 62nd session of General Assembly in 2007, the United Nations announced a tenacity calling for a universal ban on capital punishment. The third committee of the Assembly, which deals with the issues of human rights, approved the draft. Several global agencies have completed the elimination of the demise penalty,a condition for their membership. Among those are the Council of Europe and European Union (Hochkammer, William 66).
  • Capital punishment can often lead to injustice through the unfair execution of an innocent person. There have been instances of many proclaimed victims of the death penalty being innocent. There are also chances of biases that can take place in the process of capital punishment. It can often be used against people who come from minority or other lower backgrounds than people who come from a privileged background. The results can also be influenced by the background of the victim. (Kovarsky, Lee 259)
  • In spite of the fact that many nations have eliminated capital sentenceboth in law and in exercise, several other countries still have this in use. The countries that have banned the death penalty include China, England, Roman Republic, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, etc. Capital punishment can be considered the worst violation of human rights. (Steiker, Carol and Jordan 150)
  • There are several reasons that can be used to assist the opinion that capital punishment must be banned in society. At times, people are unfairly executed and as the punishment is irreversible, it may be injustice in the part of the accused. There are numerous cases where the execution is done after conviction through an unfair trial. Similarly, in many cases, the family and friends of the victim are often not satisfied with the accused getting capital punishment. They can feel responsible for the death of the criminal by the government. Even justice is not proven. At times, the pieces of evidence that are used to justify the death penalty are tainted. Sometimes even innocents are executed without any reason. Sometimes are crimes committed out of passion, extreme anger, or impulse. Not every crime committed had a pre-determined mindset. There are some cases wherever the wrongdoer is littered with psychological state and not taking any medication. This can also lead to the commitment of crimes without any control. As the death penalty is irreversible, thus, there is no going back after the execution is held. Sometimes people are executed on the wrong basis and later after their execution, seem to be held innocent. Capital punishment does not always hold responsibility for deterring crimes. It has even been realized that an increase in the rate of capital punishment is not related to a reduction in the crime rate of the place. There is no apparent relationship between them.
  • The majorcause for banning capital sentence is that is an ultimate and complete denial of the basic human right to life. It is a very cruel, inhuman, and degrading form of punishment. Even if it leads to a decrease in the rate of crime at some point in time, it can never provide for a long-term solution to the removal of crimes from society. Thus, there needs to be a complete solution to the criminal mindset in any society. Capital punishment even adds cost to the money of the government and taxpayers. This can be due to the long, complex trials and the overall process. (Wilson, John and Nicholas 335)
  • Capital punishment can thus be referred to as an old fashioned and ignorant solution to a complicated matter of criminal mindset in society. In addition, a life spent in prison is a more difficult form of punishment than being punished through the death penalty. A lifetime prisoner has to endure their punishment for many years and gets the opportunity to remorse and reflect on the crime that they have committed. There are even stronger religious arguments that oppose the death penalty.



  • The process of capital punishment needs is a ban in every nation in the world. It is against the right to live and totally inhumane and unfair. It takes ways the chance of rehabilitation and is very cruel at times. Thus, it should be considered an inadequate way of dealing with crime. It cannot be used to reduce crime rates in society. Thus, we can conclude that capital punishment cannot always aid in deterring crime in the society. Sometimes, a deeper and more humanly approach is needed to actually reduce the rate of crime through self-understanding. Capital punishment is inhumane and should be banned from every country in the world. However, it should be kept in mind that banning this type of punishment may cause a major increase in the rate of crime. Though capital punishment is immoral from a certain point of view, it can suppress the tendency of crime. The laws for capital punishment should be more advanced to make the entire system more efficient. This could be beneficial for the society. Overall it can be said from a neutral point of view that capital punishment should be more controlled and awareness should be spread to decrease crime rate from society.


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