Rethinking the idea of a death penalty

Debate on the merits (or lack thereof) of death is probably as old as the institution of this punishment itself. While many argue that it is completely necessary, others advocate the need to abolish it. Let’s take a look from both sides to understand which stance would be better for our country and why.

Why capital punishment aka the death penalty should remain

Hands of the prisoner

Those who support the death penalty claim that it is neither an act of cruelty nor discrimination. They believe that capital punishment acts as a deterrent to potential criminals. It is argued that the society has the moral right to punish individuals for the most violent of crimes like murder. Proponents of the punishment believe that executing criminals helps save costs for the prison and the government, which would then need to spend for them for the rest of their lives.

Why Capital Punishment aka the Death Penalty should be abolished


Those against the death penalty put out the following points to support their stance on the subject.

Many say that executing criminals does not allow them to realize the extent of their misdeed. Life imprisonment without parole would be a far worse punishment for the individual who would need to remain behind bars, cut off from the rest of the world for his/her entire life.

There have been instances when innocent people have been wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit. Killing an innocent person in the name of the law is a morally reprehensible act that cannot be reversed if the person is found innocent.

Many studies claim that capital punishment does not reduce crime rates. In fact, countries without the death penalty have far less crime rates than those with death penalty; according to these studies.


Almost every religion goes against death penalty or capital punishment. While a few isolate passages from religious books may point out to the support extended to this system, most of the religions around the world consider capital punishment an immoral act.

One of the greatest misgivings about the death penalty is how it leads to the execution of even mentally ill individuals who commit crimes without even realizing it. Mentally ill individuals remain withdrawn and aloof in court. And unless someone takes up their case and manages to diagnose them properly, the court would consider their aloofness as disregard and sentence them for capital punishment. It is estimated that one out of every ten individuals who have been executed in the US so far have been found to be mentally ill at the time of sentencing.


While many people around the world support the death penalty as being the only way to deter violent crimes, others advocate against it by indicating that it has many disadvantages and there are other, more civilized ways to punish these criminals.

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