Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is Death Penalty Still Relevant? Who Has The Right to Take Human Life ?

Is Death Penalty Still Relevant? Who Has The Right to Take Human Life ?

Capital punishment is a barbaric remnant of an uncivilized society. It is immoral in principle, and unfair and discriminatory in practice" (American Civil Liberties Union National Office). An irrational cycle of murder that can only satisfy personal vendettas of a victim's family is the basis for the barbaric principle of the death penalty. There is no doubt that these people are guilty, so the verdict of guilt is not an issue in the debate on capital punishment it is the sentencing of these criminals that incites fury into advocates and opponents of the death penalty. Because it is constitutionally illegal, biased against lower class citizens and minorities, and economically draining, capital punishment does not have a place in the current United States penal system.

The first World Day Against the Death Penalty took place in 2003. This event was launched by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, which gathers international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), bar associations, unions and local governments from all over the world.

Stating “The majority of the world’s countries have chosen to abolish the death penalty . We should follow this path”, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj has refused to sign any further orders to execute the country’s inmates. He is in full constitutional right to impose a moratorium on the measure but it will be up to the parliament in Ulaan Bator to pass a complete ban on capital punishment or rather to continue offering the punishment for their most serious crimes. This will bring us to 96 countries that have abolished the death penalty, excluding of course the four most populous nations on earth: Indonesia, the United States, India and China.

Advocates of the death penalty argue that execution is much more humane than life imprisonment because life imprisonment is cruel and causes undue suffering. They argue that execution the quickest and most efficient way to deal with criminals. However, proponents also claim that murderers and rapists do not deserve for guards to take care of them for the remainder of their lives in prison, where they are able to watch television, read and eat three meals a day. In addition, on average it takes about 9 years before the prison executes the death row inmate, so the process is neither quick nor efficient. The unreasonable statement that death by electrocution and lethal injection is the "humane" way to dispose of criminals only emphasizes the irrationality of advocates of the death penalty.

I have always been against the death penalty not on the grounds that it is barbaric or useless but on the more practical grounds that it is decided and applied by humans, flawed, error-prone and imperfect humans. And finally, this is not a discussion of ethics. I believe in democracy above all else and, indeed, four separate international polls in the last five years have confirmed that approximately 55% of those consulted were for the death penalty, so there’s that.

The Bill of Rights reserves the right of no cruel and unusual punishment. Opponents of the death penalty argue that with the current system of appeals, criminals are kept on death row for many years. They argue that it is a form of torture to keep prolonging their eminent death. The death penalty in itself is in contradiction with the eighth Amendment of the constitution. The two most popular modes of execution are lethal injection and electrocution. These forms are actually forms of torture because they are instruments to deprive someone of their right. So, how about you? Will you agree with death penalty or not…? I am not! (Michael E Sendow)


Anonymous said...

Very well writing indeed! The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice.

It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.

Anonymous said...

Yup. I don't agree with death penalty..Illinois will become the 16th state in the USA to ban capital punishment when the law signed by Governor Quinn comes into effect on 1 July 2011 !!

Anonymous said...

For I knoe, more than two-thirds of the countries of the world have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.