Sparking many debates, Capital Punishment or death penalty seems to remain an evergreen controversial topic. With the steep increase in crime, many seem to advocate it, while a few oppose it. Every coin has two sides; similarly this issue of Capital punishment has dual sides to it. A few vouch for it in a hope that it brings an end to the crime that is on a constant rise and their counterparts condemn it on humanitarian grounds. Although the torment and horror undergone by the victim cannot be undone, but does a death sentence to the criminal offer any solace to him/her? For that matter, do capital punishments make a difference in the big picture? Following are a set pros and cons, five each about the consequences arising due to capital punishments.
5. Against Human Rights
Although there is no exact definition of Human Rights, but many who defy capital punishment say it is inhumane to sentence a criminal to death. Another aspect that the human rights activists argue is about the State not having any power to either give life or take away somebody’s life. As human beings, the basic right of every individual is to live. But with death penalty in practice, that particular country is accused of depriving its citizen of a basic right. Criminal or otherwise, at the end of the day it is the question of a person’s life.
4. The criminal does not suffer alone
Once proven guilty and sentenced to death, it is not just the criminal who suffers. His family too goes through a whole lot of lows when he is given capital punishment. It is not just the defamation and media hounding that takes a toll on the family members, but also the misery of losing their loved one that engulfs them. A futile hope to save the member of their pack stresses them mentally and emotionally. It is horribly unjustified on all levels for the family to suffer for no fault of theirs.
3. Fails to address the problems at the grassroots level.
Capital punishment does not seem to be the solution for this problem. This is because death penalty does not guarantee to slash crime rates. Addressing the problem at a superficial level does not solve the problem. Hence getting to the root cause will help in complete eradication of crime. It is only education that can bring a stay on the increasing number of crimes. Also there is every possibility that the end of one criminal may give birth to a hundred offenders. Capital punishments may curb crimes but in the reality it is only suppressing them, and what is suppressed always results in an outburst.
2. Irrevocable consequences
Sometimes, in a few exceptional cases, a person who in reality might not be guilty gets sentenced to death. This might happen due to lack of proper evidence, false witnesses, blackmail, etc. It then becomes a matter of shame and regret because an innocent person was deprived of his right to live, nothing can be done to bring that person to life. No amount of discussions on various news channels, candle light marches and compensation, is enough to bring that person back to life. It is any day better for a bunch of criminals to live, than an innocent person to die.
1.‘Eye for an eye’, but why?!
Our moral text books dissuade us from this saying, yet the world acts in a hypocritical manner by carrying out death sentences. Just because a person has killed somebody does not mean that he too must meet his end. If that happens, then it would be really difficult to distinguish between a criminal and the rules of law. Several other methods could be used to punish the ones who are guilty. By endorsing death sentences we are only tarnishing the name of law and that is by bringing it down to the level of a murderer.
5. It is economical
In today’s world of economic fluctuations, it is obviously wise to divert funds towards flourishing purposes than using it for the upkeep of criminals. It is no secret that an enormous amount of money is spent on criminals for their security and maintenance. In spite of committing heinous crimes, criminals tend to live in a safeguarded atmosphere. In the nation’s interest, it is best to carry out capital punishments to the ones who are found guilty of heinous and barbarous crimes. No criminal deserves to live at the cost of innocent people’s hard earned money.
4. Instills a sense of fear among people
People learn a lot by seeing and hearing. When a country’s laws are stringent, they act as a severe reminder of consequences of committing a crime, especially among potential criminals. The citizens of the country will not just fear the law and order of a country, but will also learn to respect it. Once the people are convinced with the consequences of committing a crime, then they would not even dare to think of doing so, leave alone doing it.
3. Better to die that languish in prison
Instead of being subjected to mental and physical torture, it is best to die and be done with it. It is better to die than live trapped all your life or worse to get tortured. There is no dearth of reports which tell us how criminals and suspects are tortured and humiliated in a merciless manner. Rather than living in unhygienic and uncivilized conditions along with several other dangerous criminals, it is best to be sentenced to death. It would be a curse to the criminal to live and be a burden to the society and in turn to the country.
2. A measure to prevent crime
Once the lesson is deeply embedded in the minds of the citizens, no sane person would dare to commit a crime. Due to strict discipline measure against crime, the people become aware of what exactly is right and wrong, what is legal and illegal. Once a proper understanding of the measure begins to exist, there would be a downfall in the crime rates. Despite the fact that capital punishments are a stringent measure, it ensures the citizens’ safety and assures that they co-exist harmoniously.
1. Victims’ and probable fellow inmates’ safety is guaranteed
Even after the offenders are imprisoned, victims seem to be reluctant to breathe free. There’s always a constant sense of fear among victims that the criminals will get out of prison on parole and will vent out their vengeance on them. Also, if the criminal is a psychopathic murderer and is imprisoned while he is tried in the court, then the safety of other prisoners becomes a serious cause of concern. Thus such a criminal deserves to adorn the noose around his neck.
Whether it is right or wrong, capital punishments are still carried out across the world. Here’s to the hope that there will come a time when there would be no need to sentence somebody to death and it becomes a thing of the past.