Death penalty, also known as capital punishment is the highest form of corporal punishment wherein the person who is proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt is sentenced to death. This, however, remains a very important societal issue. There are countries which approve of death penalty, while there remain who disapprove of it. There are several reasons why the use of death penalty as the highest form of corporal punishment is torn between two sides – those who encourage it and those who do not.
Why must death penalty be encouraged when there is another, more ethical way of punishing the murderer? First, death penalty violates Human Rights; moreover, it is not the ultimate solution for the cases of heinous crimes; third, it is not the sole protection from a murderer; and last, it has an irreversible effect that the possibility of convicting the innocent can no longer be corrected. Every person has a right to life; and taking that life away because of a very serious crime still violates the most important natural right of a person.
Death penalty is contrary to the sacredness of life and only continues the cycle of violence (Green, 2005). Life imprisonment which lasts at least twenty-five (25) years without the possibility of granting a parole gives justice without taking away another life (Green, 2005). Capital punishment is not the ultimate solution for cases of heinous crimes. It does not even guarantee that others would not commit murder because of fear of being executed by capital punishment and thus, it does not completely deter the rates of such kind of crime.
On the other hand, life imprisonment without the possibility of a parole is also an effective deterrent for heinous crime because it equally incapacitates the murderer from committing more murders as in capital punishment (Green, 2005). Moreover, it can be even more effective in decreasing the cases of heinous crimes as others will have more fear of being imprisoned for a lifetime than of being executed through capital punishment. They may even think and believe that dying is way better than experiencing all the possible sufferings and loneliness inside a prison. Third, death penalty is not the sole protection from a murderer.
It is true that thru such, the murderer can no longer harm other people; but it is also true that life imprisonment without the possibility of a parole prevents a person to harm and even kill other people. The only difference of life imprisonment from death penalty is that it does not take away the life of a person. Justice is also achieved through life imprisonment. It also protects the citizens from a murderer. Life imprisonment without the possibility of a parole even speaks more of equality than death penalty for it is not chosen arbitrarily but is equally applied regardless of race and gender (Green, 2005).
Capital punishment has an irreversible effect which makes it a very crucial decision to make. Once a life is taken away, it can no longer be restored. This issue becomes very important because there can always be a possibility of executing the innocent. Although it can also be argued that the person undergone the complete judiciary process before he was convicted guilty of a heinous crime, there were already erroneous convictions dated before which only prove that there is still a possibility of executing the innocent person (Green, 2005).
Moreover, there are also recent laws that restrict appeals which may also increase the probability of executing the innocent (Green, 2005). Indeed, death penalty or capital punishment should be abolished for it violates the Human rights; for it is not the ultimate solution for heinous crimes; for it is not the sole protection from a murderer; and for it has an irreversible effect that the possibility of convicting the innocent can no longer be corrected.
Moreover, life imprisonment for at least twenty-five (25) years without the possibility of a parole which is an alternative sentence to death penalty is ethical and effective, and speaks more of justice. Works cited: Green, Melissa. “The Death Penalty: Specific Issues. ” Melissa S. Green, compiler (1998-2009), Focus on the Death Penalty. 24 Mar. 2005. Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. 31 March 2009 <http://justice. uaa. alaska. edu/death/issues. html>.