Death row inmates around the world are held in appalling conditions: the cells are not suitable for a human being; the dietary regime is inadequate; and access to medical care is difficult. “Not only are inmates placed in physically cruel and unusual circumstances, but their mind is also greatly affected by their situation, with many death row inmates suffering from mental illness and mental disabilities as a result of their death sentence,” stresses the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. “The effects of murder cannot be erased by more killing, and the death system prolongs the suffering of victims’ families.
It inflicts more pain on families of those on death row, and it is inefficient as it has never shown that it deters crimes more effectively than other punishment,” says the coalition. There are several methods used to carry out the executions ranging from stoning, beheading, and executing by rope, lethal injection, electrocuting, shooting and all you can think of. However, executions, regardless of the method used, are cruel and inhumane. They can and do go wrong in many cases. Those in charge of executing also live and sleep with the guilty of seeing someone depart from the world.
The horror in the victim’s eyes and the last moments is definitely not something one would want to remember, they are forced to live with a nightmare. ? The death penalty involves cruel and inhumane punishments. ? There can never be a justification for torture or for cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. The cruelty of the death penalty is evident. Like torture, an execution constitutes an extreme physical and mental assault on a person already rendered helpless by government authorities. The physical pain caused by the action of killing a human being cannot be quantified.
Nor can the psychological suffering caused by fore-knowledge of death at the hands of the state. Whether a death sentence is carried out six minutes after a summary trial, six weeks after a mass trial or 16 years after lengthy legal proceedings, the person executed is subjected to uniquely cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment. “I do not believe any civilized society should be at the service of death. I don’t think it’s human to become an agent of the Angel of Death. ” Elie Wiesel once said that. Indeed, while claiming ourselves integral part of the new civilized society ren’t we doing injustice to our very claim by propagating the theory of execution? Reasons Against There are plenty convincing reasons against the use of capital Punishment. 1. Denial of basic right – According to Humans Right Association capital punishment overrules our most basic human right – the right to life. Human life has fundamental value. The blessedness of human life is denied by the death penalty. Live is precious. 2. The possibility of error – Later investigations revealed many convicted individuals innocent which got death penalty in the past, and have been pardoned.
Recent DNA investigation studies have shown the same thing. 3. Unfair Judgment – Generally, it is observed that Capital punishment is inflicted unduly on the poor and minorities. If you follow the data of these victims, you will find that the mentally ill, poor and people belonging to minorities form a large chunk of the total number. You can also notice a kind of racial discrimination this happens due to varied reasons. Because the poor can offer very low compensation the defense lawyers are often incompetent, resulting in losing the case.
Due to prejudice and bias, poor people, and people from minority sections become soft target for such capital punishments, as unrestricted discretion has offered to District attorney. If any one wants to appeal then it becomes a burdensome process for him often resulting in denial of justice. 4. Lack of Deterrence – The purpose of any punishment should be deterrence from repeating the same act. But, according to the statistics available, the death penalty has not been effective in controlling the homicide rate. The studies have revealed the shocking truth that executions actually increase the murder rate.
That means the capital punishment does not deter violent crime. According to a New York Times study, the last 20 years witnessed 48% homicide rate in states with the implementation of capital punishment compared to 23% in the states without capital punishment. 5. The prolonged uncertainty – The validity to the deterrence argument is annulled by the delays, endless appeals, retrials, and technicalities that keep persons predestined to capital punishment waiting for execution for years. In fact, we are not competent enough to carry out execution.
This uncertainty and incompetence offers another great injustice. It is itself cruel and a form of torture. 6. Justifying circumstances – Sometimes, persons suffering from emotional trauma, abandonment, violence, neglect or destructive social environment commit such heinous crimes. These mitigating situations can have devastating effect on their humanity. So, it is unfair to hold them fully responsible for their crimes. It is our communal responsibility to show some sympathy to some extent. 7. By giving capital punishment, the family of the victim is permanently traumatized and victimized.
They are often punished by their loved ones without their fault, even though they are innocent. 8. Effects on society – Capital Punishment is itself a premeditated murder. This is unacceptable even it is inflicted by state authority as it lowers the value of life. In fact, such act can only brutalize the society. “Revenge is essential” can become a society attitude. By witnessing such acts, our own mental makeup starts believing that violence is necessary to curb the wrongdoings. There is no doubt that the death penalty is an expensive, inhumane, and an ineffective deterrent to crime.
In 1972, the Supreme court decides that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment according to the eighth amendment of the U. S. Constitution. The Furman v. Georgia decision stopped the death penalty in America. Capital punishment in America went on a four year break. Twenty-seven states use lethal injection, twelve use the electric chair, seven use the gas chamber, four still use the classic noose-and-rope technique of hanging, and Utah still uses the firing squad (though only once). (Bedau, 1997) The people that aren’t being executed are spending more time on death row each and every year.
The average stay in 1983 was just over four years. that number has nearly tripled since then, with the average stay being 125 months. (Tushner, 1994) Many people seem to think that by killing a person we are saving the taxpayer’s money. But in reality, holding a prisoner on death row is more expensive than holding them in prison without the possibility of parole. Executions in general are cruel and inhumane. Let me take you onto the first ever electric chair broiling in the world. It took place at Auburn State Prison on August 6th, 1890. William Kemmler was the convict.
In the days before the execution, newspapers hailed the new method as euthanasia by electricity. However, it wasn’t hailed too much after the execution. Kemmler was convulsing in the chair and as his flesh burned, the witnesses noticed a purplish foam spilling from his mouth. (Jenkins, 1994) Paints a real pretty picture your mind. Richard Jenkins, Head Deputy District Attorney in Pamona, 1994 Lethal injection seems to work out well though, you don’t hear too many horror stories about that. However, there have been quite a few cases in which the most humane method hasn’t worked up to potential.
Raymond Landry was executed by lethal injection in the state of Texas on December 14th, 1988. Two minutes into the execution, the syringe came out of Landry’s vein, spraying deadly chemicals across the room toward the witnesses. The observation curtain was pulled for fourteen minutes while the execution team reinserted the needle into the vein. Robyn Lee Parks was executed by lethal injection in the state of Oklahoma on March 10th, 1992. Two minutes after the drugs were injected, the muscles in Park’s jaw, neck, and abdomen began to react spasmodically for about forty-five seconds.
Parks continued to gasp and violently gag until he died, eleven minutes after the drugs were administered. (Jenkins, 1994) Is it right for any man, no matter how insane or deranged, to die like that? Richard Jenkins, Head Deputy District Attorney in Pamona, 1994 It is way too expensive, inhumane, and it just doesn’t deter crime. So what could be done? In simplest terms, abolish the death penalty. Canada took that approach and it works fine. There is no way that capital punishment can be decent, or work because it is simply murder. The only good death penalty is a repealed one.