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Should Capital Punishment Be Abolished?


Achievement of justice goes hand in hand with the type of punishment that one receives, depending on the crimes committed. In addition, in common life scenarios, the majority of individuals use punishment as a deterring tool or a mechanism of making sure individuals never repeat mistakes they have committed. Although this might be the case, still one question always lacks logical and rational answers; does punishment work as an appropriate deterring measure? The same is questionable in judicial systems as concerns the use of punishment to avoid repetition of crimes, more so when it comes to capital punishment. In any judicial system, the type of punishment that one receives depends on the type of crime committed, however, another question still arises; what if courts convict individuals of crimes they never committed or maybe because they could not afford competent attorneys to represent them? Hence, because of these over the recent past, many questions have arisen on the credibility of capital punishment being one of the harshest forms of punishment, which in most cases results in loss of life either of innocent or guilt individuals (Hawkins, 2002, p.39).

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Why Countries Should Abolish Capital Punishment

Considering the little contribution by such a punishment, as concerns the reduction of crime rates, countries should abolish such a punishment, whereby they should substitute it with a longer-year sentence with no parole. It is important to note that, although most individuals take capital punishment as the best remedy for individuals who commit heinous crimes such as murder and rape, in most cases such sentences have no lessons to such individuals because they will be dead gone hence, will not feel the pinch of their crimes.

The argument that the type of penalty should be relative to the type of crime done by individuals is not wrong however, what if courts convict innocent individuals, because some little evidence links them to the crime? In addition, what if the sentence passed is a result of a discriminatory judgment? This and many other factors make this kind of sentence lose its goals and credibility. Conviction of an innocent person and the ultimate execution not only breaches individuals’ human rights but also, is an unfair method ethically of dealing with crimes. This is because, there are no compensatory mechanisms, which a judicial system or the courts that passed such a sentence can use to bring back one to the existence, after the execution of the sentence (Cassell &Bedau, 2004, pp. 117-134).

On the other hand, assume an individual is guilty of an offense, receives a capital punishment sentence, and finally the courts’ effect such like a sentence; what will such a sentence achieve in such like an individual, other crime perpetrators, or their remaining families? To some extent, to the convict such a sentence will achieve little because they will not be there to witness the aftermaths of their crimes; and in a way, such a sentence will just be a surest and easiest way of evading the guilt associated with crimes one committed. In addition, to the remaining crime perpetrators, although such a sentence may have some impacts, its significance may be little, because many factors make individuals involve themselves in deviant behaviors; factors, which passing death sentences cannot provide solutions to. The worst affected individuals when it comes to execution of such like a sentence in one’s family. The whole idea of seeing their loved one face the gallows has many varying negative impacts and a bad psychological trauma; a worse case, when it comes to individuals who the courts convicted of crimes they never committed. In this scenario, the credibility of a judicial system is at stake, because many individuals will question its ability to achieve justice for all; something that is its main mandate (Venkatesan, 2007, p.1).

Although many may argue that, criminal behavior exhibits some form of animalism, it is necessary to note that, different forces make individuals venture into the practice. In addition, it is also important to note that, although their behavior may show some form of animosity, they are too human beings hence, have feelings that any individual must respect irrespective of the prevailing conditions. This is because, in some countries crimes such as drug trafficking can cost one their life, a case that questions the ethical considerations and appropriateness of such a sentence. On the other hand, although criminal behavior may exhibit some form of animosity, chances of reformation are high, if courts give such individuals second chances of changing. For example, drug trafficking although a wrong act is a less appalling crime, which is controllable if judicial systems grant individuals second reformation chances; something that contrasts with the adverse effect that may result due to execution of capital punishment.

The argument by the National Center for Policy Analysis NCPA (2005, p.1) that, capital punishment is one of the best mitigating factors when it comes to avoiding the re-occurrence of crimes is not wrong to some extent. This is because, considering the fear associated with one facing the same sentence, many individuals will always avoid committing the same offense. Although this might be the case, still two questions lack answers namely; does this kind of punishment really work when it comes to contemplators of crimes, what if the crime perpetrators encourage themselves that, they can never be victims of the same, hence go ahead and commit the same; a scenario that is common in many unpremeditated crimes? Considering these two facts, the working of this mechanism of dealing with crimes is at stake hence, the need for countries to reformulate policies that govern the kind of sentences imposed on individuals (Goodyear, 2010, Para. 2).

In some cases, some individuals may justify the adoption of this sentence as one of the important mechanisms of reducing costs associated with maintaining prisoners. Most supporters of this argument fail to recognize that, it is impossible to evaluate someone’s life in terms of money. In addition, if such a thing happens; saving money, how much does killing save? On the other hand, many individuals fail to recognize that, majority of convicts like participating in activities that are not only of economic gain to themselves but also to the entire nation depending on economic opportunities available in their jails. Hence, compounding this fact outweighs the economic gains a government can gain from executing capital punishments hence, the necessity to abolish this sentence.

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In conclusion, countries must endeavor to abolish the passing and execution of this like a sentence primarily because; the sentence achieves little, as far as justice is concerned. In addition, considering the negative effects, which the sentence has on societies, individuals; more so the family, and the entire nation, it is important for nations to adopt different sentences that are effective in dealing with perpetrators of heinous crimes; sentences that will ensure they face the guilt of their crimes hence, minimal chances of repeating the same.

Reference List

Cassell, G. P., & Bedau, H. A. (2004). Debating the death penalty. New York: Oxford University Press. Web.

Goodyear, R. (2010). Penalty of death. Web.

Hawkins, H. S. (2002). Do we really need the death penalty? It is immoral and ineffective. The World and I, 17(9), p.39.

National Center for Policy Analysis; NCPA. (2005). Crime: the effects of capital punishment. NCPA. Web. 

Vankatesan, R. (2007). Capital punishment: should the death penalty be abolished? Marinews. Web.

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