Capital punishment: Pros and cons When and why it can be justified

Capital Punishment
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Introduction
The religious communities of the world are divided because of death penalty. Despite a continuous commitment to non-violence in both Hinduism and Buddhism, scholars as part of the tradition continue to debate the acceptability of death sentence. The Old Testament allows people to take “eye for an eye.” While the New Testament exhorts people to “turn the other cheek.” In the same way, there are other religions as well that are against the idea of death penalty (Sarat 2018). In the present paper, capital punishment is discussed in detail and along with the explanation situations that make the punishment justified is also be explained.

Many European countries have forced to include the idea of rehabilitation in their present justice system. Many jurisdictions in the United States stand totally in favour of capital punishment for heinous crimes. The federal jury at Massachusetts recently passed a judgement of death penalty for the perpetrators at the Boston Marathon bombing. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has completely abandoned the idea of death penalty in the year 1964 (Vaughn 2015). The debate on capital punishment cannot make much recovery until it was realized that death penalty is the only one element that is much higher in terms of controversy (Bandes 2016).

Retribution
All guilty people deserve to be punished and guilty people that are deserved to be punished should be in proportion to the seriousness of the crime they have committed. This argument clearly states that real justice requites people to be suffered for the wrong done by them for every crime. Every criminal should get what their crime deserves and in case of murder, their crime deserves a death (Blomberg 2017).

It is a very common saying, “bad guys deserve to suffer.” This is very straight forward slogan but it focuses on the very essence of capital punishment. People who commit culpable wrongs deserve their lives to go very bad resultantly. The reason why capital punishment is given to the wrong doers is because of the wrong they have committed and taken away the lives of other people who are innocent. Punishment equals the situation and makes the perpetrator go through the same situation that the innocent underwent. People who believe in retribution argue that punishment of criminals is very valuable as it gives positive outcome and spreads a positive message to the society. However, the same did not influence the murderers and thieves on reducing the overall crime (Garrett 2017). As per the retributivists, the severity of punishment should match the level of crime committed by the wrong doers. Thus, this means that a person should not be over punished for the wrong he or she has not committed. A retributivists supports death penalty for crimes such as murders as they think that the criminals should be punished for the wrong they have done by taking away people’s lives. On the other hand, there are some who might oppose death penalty on the grounds that it is inappropriate to take away a person’s life for the wrong he or she has done as it would make the condition even worse. Retribution in capital punishment is revenge rather than retribution and is thus considered as a dubious concept (Rosenfeld and Kraus 2016).

Many European countries have forced to include the idea of rehabilitation in their present justice system. Many jurisdictions in the United States stand totally in favour of capital punishment for heinous crimes. The federal jury at Massachusetts recently passed a judgement of death penalty for the perpetrators at the Boston Marathon bombing. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has completely abandoned the idea of death penalty in the year 1964 (Sarat 2017). The debate on capital punishment cannot make much recovery until it was realized that death penalty is the only one element that is much higher in terms of controversy.

Deterrence
Criminals should be punished so that other criminals shall be less likely to repeat or commit the crime in the future. This shall make the lives of many people safer. Inflicting pain and suffering on human beings can never be justified morally and the same should have a forward-looking purpose. However, it can be said that retribution is not punishment but only deterrence (Sarat 2018). The idea here is very simple that people face temptations to break the laws however, the demands of human morality and self-interest seem to diverge. A person who supports deterrence should be able to answer the following two questions before proceeding with their judgement on capital punishment. Firstly, does the threat actually restrain the person from committing the crime largely than the threat of life imprisonment? Secondly, does the fear of capital punishment, even when announced, be justified morally? If execution for all crimes were given then the world would become such a barbaric place to live in. Having said that it can be stated that capital punishment is justified for certain crimes such as murder and rapes (Vaughn 2015.). In the case of murders, the judges can use their due diligence and decide the case thereon. There is no statistical data proving that deterrence works but there is no data against it too.

All guilty people deserve to be punished, guilty people deserve to be punished and guilty people that are deserved to be punished should be in proportion to the seriousness of the crime they have committed. This argument clearly states that real justice requites people to be suffered for the wrong done by them for every crime (Bandes 2016.). Every criminal should get what their crime deserves and in case of murder, their crime deserves a death.
Some people who have been executed in the past may not have been deterred because of mental illness or some other physical defect. Some capital crimes that are committed in an emotional state of mind or that the perpetrator did not think about the possible consequences, Thus, in reality no one knows whether death penalty deters more life than just imprisonment. Deterrence is most effective when punishment takes place right after the crime is committed to create an analogy it can be said that the child learns not to put their hand in fire because they are aware of the pain involved in it (Blomberg 2017).

Reform
Punishment communicates to criminals more than what they have done wrong and this gives them an opportunity to reform and apologise for the same. There are many different viewpoints for this such as communicative, educative and rehabilitative. However, the basic idea is that punishment should make the wrong doer understand what they have done rather than inspiring her to repent the reform. Capital punishment does not allow the person to rehabilitate unlike the prisoner and return to society. There have been many examples of people in the past who have been condemned to death taking time before execution to express remorse and repent and many times, they find spiritual rehabilitation (Garrett 2017). It is undeniable that those who are executed cannot commit crimes in the future. Many people do not regard this as sufficient justification by taking away human life and present an argument that there are other ways to make sure that offenders do not re offend such as life imprisonment or parole. Conversely, there have been many cases in the past of people escaping from prison and killing again but the same is very rare. Some people are of the opinion that life imprisonment without any kind of punishment does not protect the society. The offender no longer does to the public but somehow he remains danger to the people at large. Thus, execution would remove any such kind of danger (Rosenfeld and Kraus 2016).

Nonetheless, it can be said that sometimes capital punishment stands justified and it should be presented in a manner that it seems justifiable for not just the perpetrator but also to the society at large. In short, it should be impactful and the society should learn a lesson from it rather than simply presenting the same as a matter of revenge or vengeance. For small and petty crimes in which punishment is enough, the criminals are often not subjected to capital punishment and they often come out as clean individuals from the imprisonment (Sarat 2017).

Conclusion
Conclusively, it can be said that whatever version of the viewpoint is presented it is important to understand the implication for the purpose of death penalty is very clear. To be very sure, many people often mix and match the varying elements of the above-mentioned categories and as such mixed theories are often not helpful and can present a conflicting guidance. Nonetheless, it can be said that sometimes capital punishment stands justified and it should be presented in a manner that it seems justifiable for not just the perpetrator but also to the society. In short, it should be impactful and the society should learn a lesson from it rather than simply presenting the same as a matter of revenge or vengeance. For small and petty crimes in which punishment is enough, the criminals are often not subjected to capital punishment and they often come out as clean individuals from the imprisonment.

References
Bandes, S.A., 2016. What Executioners Can—and Cannot—Teach Us About the Death Penalty. Criminal Justice Ethics, 35(3), pp.183-200.
Blomberg, T.G., 2017. American penology: A history of control. Routledge.
Garrett, B.L., 2017. End of Its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice. Harvard University Press.
Rosenfeld, A. and Kraus, S., 2016. Providing arguments in discussions on the basis of the prediction of human argumentative behavior. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems (TiiS), 6(4), p.30.
Sarat, A., 2017. Speaking of death: Narratives of violence in capital trials. In Trials (pp. 189-228). Routledge.
Sarat, A., 2018. When the state kills: Capital punishment and the American condition. Princeton University Press.
Vaughn, L., 2015. Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company.