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Death Penalty – Essay Example

Death Penalty – Essay Example

The death penalty is the most severe denial of the right to life. It is an extreme form of violation of human rights. It is extremely cruel and degrading punishment, regardless of the form which it takes – whether it is electrocution, hanging, execution in the gas chamber, pile stones, shooting or lethal injection. The death penalty violates the right for a life, which is proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by UN General Assembly in December 1948, and recognizes everyone’s right for a life.

The death penalty violates human rights; therefore, it should be opposed in all cases regardless of the severity of the crime. Also, it is discriminatory in nature as it is used often disproportionately against the poor, the minorities and small racial, ethnic and religious communities.
In today’s world, human-justice system does not guarantee the absence of errors, and it is impossible to eliminate the risk of convicting an innocent person. Some essential arguments against the death penalty are the following:

  • The death penalty excludes the possibility of reconciliation and rehabilitation;
  • Initiates primitive solutions to complex social problems, rather than facilitates understanding of their causes and find constructive approaches;
  • Requires resources and energy, which should be directed to the fight against crime, and help those, who are affected by it;
  • It represents the violence itself, not the way to avoid it.

Capital punishment is supposed to take the life of a prisoner to prevent hypothetical future crimes many of which would not have been committed until the person is in prison. As long as the imprisoned person is alive, he/she can hope for rehabilitation or release. Capital punishment eliminates the possibility of judicial error correction or rehabilitation of the offender. The death penalty can be applied only to a prisoner who is already behind bars, and thus is already excluded from society. Since the prisoner can no longer commit a crime against other people, such severe punishment is useless as a mean of protection.
For many years, the UN discusses and implements measures to support the call for the universal abolition of the death penalty.

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