The death penalty is the most severe punishment available. While many advocate its use, others question whether or not it is necessary. Some case against the death penalty includes just deserts, cruel punishment, and impunity. This article will explore some of these issues.
Arguments against the death penalty
Abolitionists have argued that the death penalty causes maldistribution of punishment among innocent and guilty parties. While these arguments are often criticized as flawed, they often fail to account for the deterrent effect of capital punishment. The lack of evidence supporting capital punishment also undermines this claim. The death penalty is unjust and inhumane and should be abolished. The only way to achieve this goal is to eliminate the death penalty.
Other arguments against the death penalty focus on the punishment being unjust and inhumane. It also lacks a deterrent effect and perpetuates racial and economic biases. Another argument is that executions are ineffective because the deaths occur in a single, irreversible act. On the other hand, proponents of the death penalty say the death penalty is just retribution for crimes, protects society, and preserves moral order.
The arguments against the death penalty stem from the concept of non-comparative justice. Although the death penalty is applied similarly to other sentences, it has the disadvantage of being arbitrarily imposed. As a result, certain murderers may not deserve the death penalty, while others may deserve it and still be spared death. Thus, in a Just Deserts case against the death penalty, the arbitrary imposition of death penalties violates the principle of justice. However, it does not necessarily mean that the death penalty is unjust.
Some Just Deserts arguments against the death penalty are based on an observation of how the disproportionate outcome occurs in actual executions. These people may be thought to be mentally ill or calculating when committing murder, but their acts are still considered criminal. Therefore, this disproportionate outcome should not be viewed as a moral justification for the death penalty. Nevertheless, it does support reforms intended to alleviate this situation.
The death penalty violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment and the rights to due process and equal protection. No state should have the right to kill human beings without premeditation, ceremony, or arbitrary discrimination. A recent Supreme Court case in Georgia has argued that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment. It is still debatable whether the death penalty is cruel, but it is not unconstitutional.
Capital punishment has been practiced throughout human history. In ancient Rome, for example, prisoners have hurled off a cliff while in prison for parricide. In ancient China, prisoners were executed through forced gladiatorial combat. Other painful Chinese methods included sawing in half, flaying while alive, and boiling. In Europe, executions included crucifixion, hammering on a wheel, burning at stake, or decapitation by guillotine.
Many individuals sentenced to death have been unaware of the entire legal process. Their convictions shocked them as the balance of evidence unexpectedly weighed against them. They were also unable to afford a lawyer and had little time to prepare a defense. Their retrial for him was denied in May 1994. Innocent people are frequently convicted based on insufficient evidence. Many death penalty defendants come from communities that do not speak English as a first language.
In some instances, the accused has been executed. However, in some instances, such as in cases of political murder, the victim was not innocent. The prosecution’s case is always challenged, but a judge can grant the death penalty in certain circumstances. In the Philippines, the death penalty is only applicable for 13 “heinous crimes” – murder, infanticide, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention.
Limits of the death penalty
Throughout history, erroneous convictions have led to wrongful convictions and the death sentence for innocent people. Innocent people have been executed, and reprieves or commutations have arrived hours or even minutes before their execution. This unjust and expensive practice has also been criticized for its unequal application. In cases of capital crimes, mental illness may be a factor in the guilt or innocence of a defendant.
The death sentence, a form of capital punishment, must meet certain constitutional standards. For example, the Eighth Amendment forbids cruel punishment, the Fifth Amendment requires due process, and the 14th and Sixth Amendments guarantee a fair trial. The Supreme Court, the country’s highest appeals court, reviews these cases and decides whether the death penalty meets U.S. constitutional law.