58 of the 195 countries in the
world allow and have the death penalty as legal. One of them is the United
States, an English-speaking country with 23 executions in 2017. However, 19
states in the US have chosen to abolish it while 31 states still have it as
legal. Because of this, it exists organizations that are working to prohibit
the death penalty both in the US and in other countries as well. The three most
famous organizations working on this mission are Amnesty International,
National Coalition and The Death Penalty Project. According to Amnesty, this
method is “cruel, inhumane and degrading” (Amnesty, 2018). As a result, the
polls from Gallup present that the support for the death penalty in 2017 was
the lowest since 1972 (Gallup, 2016). The citizens change their mind about the
situation and think of it is as a problem instead is a reason why the support
is reducing. However, why is the death penalty a problem in the American
First of all, a death penalty case
is more expensive than an imprisonment case in the US society. According to The
Death Penalty Information Center, the price for each case is different in each
city where death penalty is the most expensive while trial is the cheapest (The
Death Penalty Information Center 2017). The reason why the death penalty case
is more expensive is because before the execution there are investigations and
hearings where it consists of lawyers and judges. However, those who are for
the death penalty states that the culprit deserves it and the execution will
make the victim’s family feel better, so the fund is not important.
Do not deter crime
Secondly, the death penalty does
not deter crime in the US society. The crime rate in the US is still high compared
with other countries for example Norway that does not have the death penalty.
However, supporters of the death penalty states that it is also used to terror
others from committing a crime.
Against human rights
Last but not least, it proceeds contrary
against the two human rights: the right to live and the right to live free from
torture according to Amnesty. These rights were adopted by UN, an organization
that protects the human rights in 1948 (Amnesty 2018). However, the right to
live is abolished when an individual is put to death and the method to execute
a person abolishes the right to live free from torture. This is a statement
that are used by those who are against the death penalty to highlight their
opinion about the problem. On the other hand, those who are for the death
penalty state that those who attained the death penalty have already abolished
their human rights by their own action.
The first supporting argument on
that it proceeds contrary against the human rights is that a person may also be
put to death without committing the crime. It will be unfair for them that they
lose their human rights without breaking the laws. However, the court usually does
not claim the defendant is innocent, but in some cases where the defendant
could be innocent were followed with strong evidence. An example is the case of
Robert Pruett that was executed in 2017 (The Death Penalty Information Center 2018).
On the other hand, those who are for the death penalty declare that the chance
for an accused is innocent is limited, because the trial is ensured to be fair.
The second supporting argument is
that according to Death Penalty Information
Center, 3% of executions in the United Sates went wrong in the progress. If
the execution proceeds wrongly, the person tends to have a more painful death. Furthermore,
the method that tend to procced wrongly the most is lethal injection and the
reason is that it is difficult to find a suitable vein. As a result, in some
cases they decide to choose another worse method instead for example gas chamber.
Therefore, those who are against the death penalty consider this as unhuman. However,
supporters of the death penalty assume that the culprit deserves it and the new
methods used are humane.
The Death Row
A convict that has received the
death penalty tends to wait for their execution in the Death row. In the
waiting time, they are refused to meet others and are held alone for more than
23 hours a day. In addition, they do not know when it is and can be waiting for
over 20 years for their execution. This can be seen as a physically torture
method that goes contrary against the right to live free from torture. In
contrary, the supporters state that the culprit deserves this.
List of sources
Punishment digital photography. Located 20.01.18 on
the Internet: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2005/12/capital-punishment-1598×900.jpg
Costs of the Death
Penalty (2018). The Death Penalty Information Center.
Located 25.01.18 on the Internet: https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty
Death Penalty (2018). Amnesty. Located 25.01.18 on the Internet: https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/death-penalty/
Executed but Possibly Innocent (2018). The Death Penalty
Information Center. Located 25.01.18 on the Internet: https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/executed-possibly-innocent
U.S. Death Penalty
Support Lowest Since 1972 (2017). Gallup. Located 25.01.18
on the Internet: http://news.gallup.com/poll/221030/death-penalty-support-lowest-1972.aspx