The death penalty is a punishment administered to an offender by way of execution. It was introduced as a means of punishing people who had committed capital offences. The death penalty is mostly accorded to a person who has committed murder (Hank, 1997). There have been some campaigns against the death penalty. The opponents of the death penalty argue that it is inhumane to kill another human being. Those advocating for the abolishment of the death penalty also prove that it is wrong for another human being to play God. There are some individuals, however, who are for the idea of the death penalty. Those that advocate for the death penalty argue that the punishment is necessary to fight evil within the society. However, I believe that the death penalty is wrong and it should be abolished since it does more harm than good.
For many years, the death penalty has been opposed solely on moral ground. However, advocates who sought to abolish it had limited funds and a very narrow perspective to advocate for the abolishment of the practice. The execution process is usually expensive and ineffective for the state as a whole (McLaughlin, 2014). The money spent on the tools used to execute the offenders could be used for another purpose. The cost of implementing the death penalty can at times be too expensive depending on the means to be employed. The tools used to carry out the execution are rather rare, and for this reason, they tend to be costly considering that they are rarely used.
The aspect of the ineffectiveness of the death penalty is apparent because some of the executioners lack the required skills to carry out the executions. For example, in the execution of Jesse Tafero, the sponge on the chair’s headpiece had to be replaced because it was already worn out (Latson, 2015). The man sent to pick the sponge from the store bought the wrong sponge, which could not handle the electric current without burning. The sponge purchased caught fire, and this led to a horrific scene. It was a basic lack of skills that could have been avoided through training by the government. The executioners have to be well trained in such a way that they understand the most effective means possible to carry out the executions. They also have to be trained on how the various types of executions have to be carried out. For the executioners to be trained, the government has to finance their training, which is an extra cost to the state. The aspect of cost also becomes important when to consider that the executioners have to be paid for their services. The eventual cost of the death sentence to the state is usually immense. The state should abolish the death penalty in its bid to avoid incurring extra costs.
Another reason as to why the death penalty should be abolished is that some of the innocent people suffer from it. The criminal justice system is usually not free from faults, and for this reason, the wrong person may be imprisoned with the majority of evidence pointing towards them (Hank, 1997). When all the evidence point to the accused party, the most likely result will be that the accused is sentenced. When the death penalty is administered, the wrong person will be charged, and the offender will be set free. Once the death penalty is administered, it cannot be undone, and for this reason, the innocent people sometimes appear to die for nothing.
In the execution of Jesse Tafero, the key witness later admitted that he had pulled the trigger during a gun fight with the police (Latson, 2015). In this case, Tafero suffered for a crime he had not committed; he could not do anything because all of the evidence was pointing towards him. Even though a large percentage of the criminals arrested are guilty of their crimes, the death penalty should be abolished due to the small percentage of people that may lose their lives while they are still innocent. In the case of Tafero, had the death penalty not been administered, Tafero would have been finally acquitted due to the confession of the real culprit and would now be living his life.
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One more reason why the death penalty should be abolished is that some offenders are mentally ill or retarded (Hank, 1997). In this case, the criminals may not know how to function well in the society. These criminals may feel distanced from the rest of the society and therefore, may crack under the pressure. Most of these individuals with retardation may not understand fully their actions. Sometimes, the criminals may lack even the basic knowledge of the principles of life and death. In this case, the implementation of the death penalty may lack the intended results because such people may not understand the consequences of their actions. It would be wrong to sentence a mentally ill person to the death penalty because he or she might already be suffering enough from the mental illness (Garland, Meranze, & McGowen, 2011). The main reason for the death penalty is to punish a culprit for the offences that they commit knowingly. The individuals who are mentally ill at times do not know that they are going to be executed for their deeds or even may not know the reason for their execution.
However, some people say that the death penalty at times can be a good resolve. It appears to be hard on crime in such a way that the people are discouraged from committing a similar crime (Drehle, 2008). According to Donohue and Wolfers (2005), most people argue that if the price of murder is raised, cases of murder will reduce. The death penalty also creates a balance between good and evil within the society. When a person kills another person, he or she reduces the world population of the good by one.