Death penalty is a punishment given by the state to criminals who are involved in capital or serious crimes such as rape and homicide. It has been used in many nations over time but has since been abolished by some. Some of the countries that still use this method include Asian countries and the United States of America. There are different techniques used in execution namely; use of electric chair, hanging, lethal injection, firing and use of a gas chamber (Lowenstein, 2001). There have been varying opinions among different people on this subject.
Some people feel that it is a necessary method for the culprits while others think of it as being unethical and suppresses the rights of the individuals. This paper explores the pros and cons of this practice with reasons why it should be abolished or allowed to continue. In Steiker’s article “No, Capital Punishment Is Not Morally Required: Deterrence, Deontology, and the Death Penalty” in Stanford Law Review Journal, she gives the reasons why death penalty should not be allowed. On the other hand, Ramsey differs and tries to justify the importance of death penalty in his article in American Criminal Law Review.
Cons of Death Penalty It’s a costly process which is a burden to the tax payers. It is much cheaper to keep someone in prison for life compared to sentencing them to a death penalty. The costs incurred are more than if the criminal was sentenced for imprisonment. There are many legal tussles which slow down this process for a long time of up to even 20 years. In a country where the resources are few, this process is not the best (Steiker, 2005). Every human being has a right to live. Therefore, it is against the rights of a person to take his or her life.
It is morally wrong, unacceptable and cruel to kill another person no matter the reasons that may be used to justify such an action. It is a traumatizing process to allow the state to kill a person when the citizens are watching. This procedure violates the provision in the 8th Amendment of the constitution which is against the application of any unusual form of punishment (Steiker, 2005). It is a lengthy process which involves several procedures before such an action is carried out. These procedures slow the courts hence leading to an inefficient system. It needs a lot of appeals before a person is put on a death penalty.
The court system should be moving but these processes drags it down. It is also time wasting and needless since once the victim is gone, his or her life can never be brought back (Steiker, 2005). Death penalty ideology is a set back to advancement of civilization in the U. S. It is a form of revenge which the society is striving to move away from. It is not the best solution available and only leads to more violence such as gang violence. There are better ways of punishing the culprits. Death penalty is not the best way to prove that murder is not acceptable.
If you kill a person because he or she murdered someone else, what message are you passing across? It means killing is justified in certain instances (Steiker, 2005). Some people have argued that the life inside the prison is the worst punishment that the criminals can go through. This is because life imprisonment never ends and the criminal will feel the pain as compared to sentencing them to a death penalty. Death penalty is a one minute process hence the criminal never feels any serious pain. It is also important to give the person a second chance in life.
Some of the culprits usually change from their criminal ways and become better people in the society (Steiker, 2005). Countries that practice capital punishment usually have a bad image among other nations that are against it. It’s a crime against humanity and the rights of a person. Most countries are against America due to the fact that death penalty is still being applied. It has also been argued that innocent lives have been taken through this process. It is a possibility that can not be ruled out. There are instances in which DNA tests have proved this after a person has been killed (Steiker, 2005).