Should The Death Penalty Be Abolished?


Death penalty is also known as capital punishment in legal terms. Human rights activist contest that death penalty is a barbaric act carried out by the state or a country in a clinical fashion allowed by the law. At its basic level, death penalty is an act of execution that ought to be abolished since it violates human rights, and it is unethical/immoral. Critics of death penalty law contests that it serves to make two wrongs by taking away the lives of the offenders. aConversely, the social principle of “two wrongs will never make a right” is never applied in the highest institutions of social order as evidenced by the increased rates of death penalty sentencing in many countries. This paper seeks to support the argument that death penalty should be abolished because it is in violation of human rights, it is unethical and an act of murder, it fosters a culture of violence and it is not an effective crime deterrent method.


The most prominent voices calling for the abolishment of death penalty laws are the human right activists all over the world. Proponents of human rights argue that death penalty is a violation of human rights. The UN conventions stipulate all the necessary laws related to human rights, and one of them is that all human beings have an equal right to life. Countries that have enacted death penalty laws; therefore, denies the victim the right to live. In fact, deaths emanating from death penalty laws have been regarded as “pre-mature deaths” and similar to those that robs a country its productive work force.


Death penalty is unethical act of murder. In ethics, murder is regarded as an immoral act that is wrong. In addition, and from an ethical perspective, human life is valued more than anything else is in the universe. Life is considered a gift from God and no human being has power to take away life from another human being. From a religious perspective, death penalties have often been criticized by religious leaders for compromising religion beliefs. The value of life for human beings override everything else put in place by humankind including law. Therefore, death penalties are against human ethics because they constitute murder, which in its basic form is an immoral act.


In traditional societies where criminal are prosecuted by exercising death penalty laws, those offenders are prosecuted in public by handing or shooting. The public witnesses their killings, and by doing so, the members of the society create a psychological belief that “killing criminals is okay.” Evidently, this has fostered a violent culture where even offenders of small crimes like stealing chicken have ended-up being killed by the mob in public. It is therefore, critical that death penalties and the culture of prosecuting offenders in public should be abolished. In fact, killing offenders is not an effective crime deterrent method as the rates of crimes in societies where death penalties are exercised have continually increased in the last few years.


In conclusion, death penalty laws should be abolished because they foster a culture of violence, they violate human rights, they are acts of murder and unethical, and they are ineffective crime deterrence methods. By abolishing death penalty laws, the government should introduce better crime deterrence techniques such as rehabilitation. This is the only way that the society will create a right out of a wrong act.