The Unceasing debate over capital punishment

The death penalty known as capital punishment is a broken process from initiate to end in most of the countries. It is a government-sanctioned practice where the government kills a person as a severe punishment for a crime. Capital punishment often known as the death penalty was commonly accepted and subjugated until the early 1970s when it was declared unusual and barbaric by the historic verdict of the supreme court of Georgia. Since then many renowned lawyers, justice officials and government argue about its morality and its pros and cons. Despite the huge protest and resentment, there are many countries where it is still in operation. The following blog intends to shed a light on the law of capital punishment, its origins and some historical movements witin history marked for the abolition of capital punishment.

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Historical considerations of Death Penalty

Capital punishment for treason, murder, rape and arson was a common practice throughout history, It was widely spread in Ancient Greece since the 7th century under the law of Draco. Romans also practised it for a range of offences, although people ware exempted for some time during the republic. The verse based on capital punishment can also be extracted from the world’s major religion. The followers of Christianity, Islam and Judaism have claimed to find the justification of capital punishment in their biblical verse. These verses also state the death penalty for moral crimes such as blasphemy and adultery. In the Islamic context, although the death penalty is condoned there is capital punishment mentioned for various crimes such as apostasy, adultery and robbery.

in renaissance period death was officially a penalty for many numbers of offences in England but it was often disregarded. From the old times until the 1900s, several societies administrated a cruel form of the death penalty. Ancient China Practiced out painful means, such as sawing the guilty person in half, flaying and boiling him alive. In Europe, the execution was carried out by burning at the stake, hanging, quartering and drawing, beheaded using guillotine or axe or drowning.

Pros and cons

Based on the current information, it is indicated that most of the countries have dropped the death penalty as a method of the law. Although the death penalty is associated with both pros and cons, still the abolishment of capital punishment is on rising. The arguments made in favour of capital punishment are as follows:

Not a Cost effective mean

Capital punishment is a huge burden to taxpayers financially because the total cost of carrying out the death penalty is almost 2-3 times higher than leaving the offender in prison for his life. The legal process of reaching the final verdict as to whether to assert the death penalty is too long as it requires a countless number of appeals, detailed procedures as well as lengthy legal writing. All these detailed legal processes require substantial infrastructure and funding to facilitate the legal system.

It’s violent and barbaric

The death penalty is quite barbaric and unusual and more so it violates the fundamental right to live which the only God has the last authorization. The argument that “if we can not originate life, how can we take them” raises the morality of capital punishment. Most of the methods used to punish the offender are very cruel for instance electrifying the culprit or hanging or detaining them into a hazardous gas chamber.

It’s psychological terror.

Capital punishment is associated with psychological stress and torture to the family of the culprit. The family often feel guilty because of actions the culprit took and they have to face with sociological pressure where they are also treated as a culprit. This makes double suffering for one crime for the affected family.

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Arguments in favor of capital punishment

On the counterpart, it’s also justified to point that the death penalty has its own pros which also need to be frequently analysed in order to assist substantiate why such form should be implied. One of the reasons for practising capital punishment is that help minimizes the crime rate as it sounds a huge warning to the criminal who may have the motive to create arson or assault someone.

Moreover, capital punishment ensures justice is served in a suitable and fairway when applied in the case of murderers because it’s the fair punishment which fits such crime. For instance, justice is well served in the case of former Iraq president/tyrant Saddam Hussein and his allies who were responsible for the merciless killing of innocent Iraqi citizens. It also serves as a best alternate mean of punishment for culprits facing life imprisonment as they can instigate the murder of other prisoner serving a comparatively shorter sentence.

It is also evident that capital punishment curbs the problem of solving overpopulation in cells and preventing future occurrence of crime. It’s known throughout the world that if a person gets successful in escaping jail, he is dangerous for the lives of other people especially the witness to land him in jail in the first place. Also, the resources required to keep a criminal in prison for a lifetime is much and totally rely on state or people. Some people find it outrageous to cater the criminal with food, clothing and other necessities.

Capital punishment by country

Most of the countries, including almost all of the first world around 106 countries have abolished capital punishment in practice. Some of the notable exceptions are China, United States, Japan, India, South and North Korea and almost every Islamic states. The US is the only developed country where it is still practised. Since World War 2nd, 58 countries retained the use of capital punishment and 102 countries have successfully abolished the death penalty. SIx countries have abolished capital punishment except for some barbaric offences.

According to a report by Amnesty International, twenty-three countries are known to have performed a death sentence. China and North Korea cease not to publish public information regarding the use of capital punishment.

Whole Europe is abolitionist with regard to capital punishment except for Belarus. All the retentionist countries are present in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The democratization of Latin America marked a significant event in history in favor of the abolition of death penalty. The EU regulations strictly prohibit its members to abolish the Death Penalty. The last execution which took place in the council of Europe is in 1997 in Ukraine.

The U.S military, The U.S federal government and thirty-one states carry the practice of capital punishment. Over 1400 executions were carried out in the United States since it reinstated capital punishment in 1976. Japan has an estimate of 100 inmates who are facing the death penalty which includes senior members of Aum Shinrikyo, a terror cult group responsible for Subway sarin attack. The latest country to abolish the death penalty was Burkina Faso in 2018.


There are many reasonable arguments in and against the favour of capital punishment but it is convincingly agreeable that capital punishment should be abolished. The cons of the death penalty easily outweigh the pro and moreover, it is highly immoral to take someone’s life irrespective of the fact and offences the person makes.

Death penalty is a matter of ongoing controversy in most of the countries and opinions can very within a cultural region and it seems like the debate is never going to end.

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