Capital Punishment





Capital Punishment


Capital punishment refers to the practice by a state of executing and individual for having committed a particular crime as form of sentence. It is legal as jurisdiction by a court of law sets the reprimand. The common punishment forms result from crimes of serious murder cases. In other countries, capital crimes may include serious fraud offences, rape, and adultery. The common methods of execution include electrocution, gas chambers, hanging, fire squad, and lethal injection. Capital punishment had been widely used in several countries around the world with the last decade witnessing a change. The system of punishment has been abolished in 141 countries in law and practice. China leads the world according to statistics of executions carried out every year. Over the years, there have been mixed views and calls of abolishment of the practice. The United Nations spearheaded calls on countries to freeze the executions with a logical view of abolition eventually. Capital punishment is wrong on a humanitarian level.


Proponents for the capital punishment claim that the practice is a form of retribution or justice according to the victim’s predicament. In most cases, the reprimand is often handed to an individual found guilty of murder or inhumane acts of the worst degree (Lambert 11). It has been stated that the offenders have a pre-meditated plan, thought and conspire to carry out the committed crime. The victims are portrayed as innocent and dealt with cruelty of the offender. The considerations made to the offender determine several factors like, criminal history prior to the act, background, and mental capacity. However, this should not be the ideal case of exacted revenge for such crimes. The value of human life cannot be equated by the loss of another. The severity of the offence should be undertaken as an opportunity to rehabilitate the offender’s character.

            Capital punishment has long been viewed as a form of deterrence and prevention of re-offending. Once the offender has been undertaken through the legal process of crime determination and sentencing, it is expected to serve as an ominous warning to others who have the same intentions of repeating the crime. The methods used to punish crimes act as strong indicators of the resolve and means to end crimes in the society. The disadvantage in the mechanism of such punishment lies in the exacting of revenge. The believe held in killing of a human due to the crime committed of killing another, shows that it is immoral. It does help in preventing and deterring the would-be offenders from carrying out the same but it does little to negate the crime (Connors 12). The reprimand does not help in bringing back the deceased.

            The cost associated with imprisoning a guilty offender is high. In comparison with the execution, imprisonment requires unspecified funding from the state over a lengthened period (Lambert 12). At times, the chances of the state facing appeals from the convicted prisoner, re-hearings and maintenance of the processes require regular financial input. Similarly, in the prison, it is not cost effective to run the facilities with individuals facing life imprisonment over unspecified lengths of time. A sharp contrast is witnessed in the cost associated with capital punishment. For example, the procedures used in lethal injection require expertise and sophisticated equipment as well as professional personnel. Financing the processes therefore leads to high financial costs as opposed to the standard prison demands. It is particularly higher in terms of amounts if more offenders of the crime are convicted.

            Execution of guilty offenders is always seen as a means of providing closure for the affected victim’s family. The family members are left in pain and agony because of the inhumane act and no form of compensation can be attributed to the departure of a loved one (Connors 14). The justification of closure and vindication does not reinforce the essence of punishment. Not all the families are same, as some do not view death attributed to a fellow human as means of obtaining closure. In most cases, the image presented to the society is of a weak nature. Vindication can be leveled like the use of police tool in the form of incentives. Instead, alternative channels of directing the pain and agony encountered by the victim’s family should be sought and delivered with the necessity required.

            Consequences of the executions established point to the nature of the unlawful acts. Proponents of the practice justify the above claim that even if the convicted criminals of capital crimes can be contained in prison walls, there is no guarantee that they cannot increase their tendencies. They have a chance to commit the same offences to their fellow inmates, or guards even without the provision of parole. Thus, supporters of the practice maintain that the advantage with capital punishment is that it ensures there is absolutely no chance of recurrence (Connors 14). Through morality, the practice defies the value of the prison facilities and their establishment. Solitary confinement offers a practical solution to the chances of recurrence by the offenders. In addition, with the use of technology and sophisticated equipment, this can be worked to effectiveness.

            Religion offers contrasting views to the execution criteria. Different religions interpret the concerns of the punishment in sharp divides. Some of them claim that the bible justifies and authenticates execution. In others, murder and its forms are not allowed at all. The latter is supported through the foundations of salvations and principles governing the believers’ faiths. For example, the abolitionists find treatment of adulterers in the scriptures as a form to support them while Christians differ on the same. Due to the incomprehensible dimension of the church views, the government should separate both institutions (Lambert 14). The role of religion is based on an individual and cannot be used as the yardstick to determine the effectiveness of the reprimand. Not all people belong to the same religion in order to follow similar principles on executions.   


The topic on capital punishment has always presented mixed views in equal measure. It is a practice by a state of executing and individual for having committed a particular crime as form of sentence. It is legal as jurisdiction by a court of law sets the reprimand on cases of serious murder and other capital crimes like serious fraud offences, rape, and adultery depending on a country to another. Proponents of the practice point at the retribution, justice, and vindictive nature in reference to the victim’s family. In addition, they state that it helps in deterrence of crime. However, the practice is an inhumane form of punishment that should be abolished since the forms taken are cruel like crucifixion, burning to death, impalement, drowning, stoning, and being fed to savage beasts.

Works Cited

Connors, Paul G. Capital Punishment. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Print.

Lambert, Eggers. “Reasons for Supporting and Opposing Capital Punishment.” International Journal on Criminology. Vol. 2. (2007): 11-26. Print.

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