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Abolition is becoming the norm and those who advocate for the death penalty face important challenges in the 21st century. For example, the United Nations and the European Union (EU) recently debated the legitimacy of the death penalty and world opinion is moving towards its abolition. The European Union, through its Charter of Fundamental Rights, has led the way and successfully banned the death penalty in all of its member states. Thus, if a country wishes to become a member of the EU and has the death penalty as a punishment on the books, that will need be overruled for the death penalty to become a member. This is just an example of how the tide is turning against advocates of the death penalty in the 21st century. Seeking to explore capital punishment and ask whether or not it is a good thing, the following will explore the deterrence argument for the death penalty and persuasively argue that the death penalty is not a good thing and should be banned. Furthermore, this paper will argue that lethal injection runs contrary to the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” and because the consequences of the death penalty are irreversible, it should be abolished worldwide (The Death Penalty Information Centre 2009; Hood 3).
From an ethical standpoint, advocates of the death penalty argue that the death penalty serves to deter criminals and thus is effective in preventing crime. According to the well-respect British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the consensus among researchers in the field is that the deterrent aspect of the death penalty has yet to be proven. Furthermore, a survey on the subject was undertaken by the United Nations (UN) in an attempt to look at the relationship between the death penalty and homicide rates. According to this published analysis, the United Nations concluded that “research has failed to
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The main assertion by advocates of the death penalty is that it helps to deter prospective crimes. Another assertion is for exercise of justice. However, even the opponents deem that there is injustice in imposing capital punishment. There is much controversy since opponents indicate that death penalty does not produce deterrence in reality.
Considering the diversified nature of such punishment; some of them are deserved to be mentioned. In ancient and medieval ages crushing by elephants was considered to be one of the most practiced forms of capital punishment. Among the countries who had restored to this practice India might be the most infamous one.
Such crimes are called capital crimes or capital offences and mostly include murder, espionage, treason and sexual crimes. Capital Punishment has been widely practiced in the past where people were hanged to death or their heads chopped off often for small crimes.
As we enter the 21st century, it becomes apparent that many countries step into the new century after shedding off their old skins by discarding practices that seem cruel; Capital punishment is one such practice. Many states have abolished capital punishment as it no longer compliments their stance on certain topics for example; human rights.
Michigan, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Maine, North Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia, Iowa, and Vermont are the American states/places in which death penalty is prohibited. In all the other American states, death penalty is legal.
By examining the arguments on both sides and working to refute those arguments against it, the author is able to present a coherent and compelling set of arguments for continuing the practice; albeit with a few key adjustments. The question of whether or not a person supports or opposes the death penalty is an issue that attracts a great deal of attention currently in the United States.
These questions, and more, lead to the complexity of the death penalty debate. This paper will explore the moral reasoning for and against capital punishment, whilst taking into account two very different cases where the death penalty was used in the United States.
Only in few states such as Michigan, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Maine, North Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia, Iowa, and Vermont, it is prohibited whereas in all the other states the death penalty is legal. There are many arguments in favor and against death penalty.
There were many instances where punishments applied were successful in instilling fear in the minds of the people. But when the crime committed crossed the acceptable code of conduct according to the ruling society, punishments had to take a menacing and life snatching form. This was known as capital punishment.