The practice of capital punishment in society attracts extensive controversies in the public’s perception and attitudes towards its practice. The death penalty is one of the oldest forms of crime punishment throughout history. There are different arguments both for and against its execution in society.
The arguments for are based on the importance of the use of the death penalty as a form of retribution in which ascertain that those who violate the rights of others are accorded a punishment that is of equal seriousness to their crime (Chapter 11). The death penalty provides closure and vindication for the victims or those who suffered in the hands of the criminal. Also, it brings certainty that there will be no re-offending as the individuals mark their end. As well, it brings equity and restitution as the offenders pay back their victims for their loss. Furthermore, the death penalty paves the way for the restoration of victims as they are afraid of the offenders no more and can begin to restore the eroded reputation (Chapter 11).
The arguments against indicate profound and extensive views. The death penalty is viewed as immoral and lacks any basis to determine the end of another person’s life. The execution of the death penalty is impeded by the possibility of error whereby the offender may have wrongly been accused and convicted of a crime. Research shows that there have been over 350 wrongful convictions since 1900, leading to 23 executions (Chapter 11). The certainty of death denies the individual an opportunity to hope to be rehabilitated (Chapter 12). The prevalence of bias erodes the value and integrity of capital punishment. Also, despite its brutal nature, capital punishment does not induce the reduction of crime. On the contrary, it is associated with an increase in crime. Furthermore, it is an expensive approach to implement.
Therefore, arguments against capital punishment are stronger than those in favor. The reconsideration of the death penalty is necessary, and a change of policy should be adopted. The emotional and public attitudes towards death penalty practices are in disfavor.
Chapter 11. (n.d.). Punishment and Sentencing.
Chapter 12. (n.d.). Community Sentences: Probation, Intermediate Sanctions, and Restorative Justice.