“If we execute a person, what is the difference between us and the criminal who has committed the horrifying crime of killing another individual?” (10 Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment). Sharp (1997) mentioned that “approximately 5900 persons have been sentenced to death and 358 executed (from 1973-96) in Untied States” (See appendix for more details). He also pointed out that a record number of 56 murderers were executed in 1995 alone, and many of the people in America and the Supreme Court believe that executions are appropriate punishment for certain criminals committing specific crimes (Sharp). Capital punishment is a controversial topic all over the world because of the immense value associated with human life. No science or technology has so far succeeded in creating an artificial life form in a laboratory setup. We have already succeeded in gathering useful information about even the distant planets in and out of the solar system; but still our knowledge about the origin of life, architecture of the life, life before birth and life after death etc are very limited. Proponents of capital punishment argue that instead of giving capital punishment, keeping the hardcore criminals in prison for a lifelong period is highly expensive and meaningless. In my opinion, considering the value and mysteries surrounding human life, capital punishment is unethical or immoral.
Against Death penalty
The essence of American criminal justice system is that “partisan advocacy of both sides on a case will promote the ultimate objective that the guilty be convicted and the innocent go free” (Ferdic et al, p.37). Criminal justice systems in most of the countries believe that even if thousands of criminals escaped, no innocent people should be punished under any circumstances. We have lot of examples in which innocent people forced to accept punishments because of the circumstantial evidences collected against them by the law enforcement agencies. We should remember the story of one of the greatest philosophers of all time, Socrates, who forced to accept capital punishment since he tried to teach the word, the truth. In other words, the existing criminal justice laws are not perfect and the loopholes may take the life of even innocent people. Life is the most precious thing in this world and once it is finished, no science or technology can regain it. In short, considering the possibility of human error in judgements, capital punishment should be avoided under all circumstances. Judiciary always declare a person as innocent or criminal based on evidences collected by the law enforcement agencies. But it is quite possible that the law enforcement agency may fabricate evidences against the culprit in their thirst to prove their credentials and achieve fame. Many people believe that most of the evidences collected against the former Iraqi president Saddam Husain were fabricated ones and the criminal judicial system executed him because of the immense pressure exerted by America.
One of the major arguments in favor of capital punishment is that in order to keep the criminal in prison for a longer period is highly expensive and spending the tax payer’s money for preserving the unwanted life is illegal and unethical. But, one of the studies has shown that capital punishment is around 70% expensive compared to non death penalty cases or life imprisonment cases (Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty (Capital Punishment)). Extensive and comprehensive trails are required before giving capital punishment to a person. These trial processes are lengthy, time consuming and expensive compared to other cases. Evidences from eye witnesses, forensic testing, and the services of expert advocates etc are necessary before the court taking their ultimate decisions against the criminal. In short, the expenses required to give a person capital punishment is more than the expenses needed to keep him in jail for his life term.
In a civilized society like ours capital punishment is a barbarian act. Only the creator has the right to take or modify life of his creations. Since we are unable to create a life, we have no moral right to take a life. This world is not belonging to us. Even the strongest, powerful, influential or the wealthy person will leave this world one day, taking nothing in his hand. In other what we have in this world are only some illusions. We are only the temporary custodians of our properties. The properties in this world belong to the creator and only he has the authority to do whatever he wants with his property. Human life belongs to the property of the creator and we have no authority over it.
Capital punishment means taking the life of a person before the time of his natural death. Even though science has answer to the question about the life before birth and after death, religions have. Laws of science believe that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. At the same time it can be transformed from one form to another. It is logical to believe that our soul or spirit is the energy form which drives our body and mind. Without soul, spirit or life, body is dysfunctional or dead. If that is true, it is impossible for us to destroy the soul since it is an energy form, even if we would be able to destroy the body. In other words, as long as science is unable to unveil the mysteries surrounding life and death, it is better to accept the religious beliefs and principles about life and death. No religion advocates the capital punishment under any circumstances and hence it should be avoided. The creator has certain plans about our lives in this word and it is ethical to allow the creator to execute his plans.
Most of the criminals forced to commit crimes only because of the momentary lapse in controlling their emotions. It is unethical to take their lives for such a momentary emotional outburst. As we have not many ideas about the life before birth or after death, it is unwise to take the life of a person in the name of capital punishment. Life is so precious and science has no clue at all about the life architecture. There is no point in taking the life of a person for saving life of others when options are available save the life of all.
“10 Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment”.2010. 09 October 2010.
Ferdico, John N, Fradella Henry F & Totten, Christofer D. 2008. “Criminal Procedure
for the Criminal Justice Professional”. Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Tenth Edition
“History of the Death Penalty & Recent Developments”. 2009. University of Alaska Anchorage, Justice Centre. 09 October 2010.
“Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty (Capital Punishment)”. 2009. 09 October 2010.
Sharp D.1997. DEATH PENALTY AND SENTENCING INFORMATION. 09 October 2010. Appendix (History of the Death Penalty & Recent Developments)