Capital punishment, denial of human rights

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  • Publicado : 1 de diciembre de 2011
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The application of the death penalty is constantly object of passionate discussions, even in countries in which it was abolished. Some people appeal to the principle of justice and affirm that it is best for the legal system of a country to implement this punishment, while others, who are entirely against it, claim that human lives must be respected.Therefore, it is pertinent to ask ourselves whether the application of the death penalty could be morally justifiable.

First of all it is important to determine precisely that an acceptable position must be supported by reasonably defendable arguments. Also, for an action to be morally justifiable it has to be in accordance with fundamental and universal values and it must entail the bestpossible consequences for everyone involved in the situation. Personally, we believe that the moral value that has to be taken into account before anything else is the respect for human beings, their lives and their integrity, even if that represents inconveniences for the society.

In our point of view, no country should consent to the death penalty. This action wrongly gives governments the powerto take human life making them no better than the criminals they execute. Life is a human right and nobody should have the power to decide the time in which another person is to die, nor choose a method for this purpose. No matter how convenient or easy it might seem to get rid of criminals simply by killing them, life is not only one of the most important aspects proclaimed in the Declaration ofHuman Rights, it is also a constitutional right stated in our country’s legal system.

There are no rational reasons to support the need to apply the death penalty. That does not mean that the society should not have to protect itself from criminals, but in a democratic context, it is most likely that the inconveniences of the capital punishment are bigger than its advantages.

Although somedefendants feel that execution is an act of kindness towards criminals because life imprisonment might be a crueler fate; the death penalty denies every possibility of rehabilitation. Even though it is not always true, there have been some cases in which people regret the things they have done wrong previously. Moreover, nobody knows how important it can be for a person to continue living, nomatter if it means spending the rest of their life behind bars.

Opponents of the death penalty affirm that this is an inequitable type of sentence, since it does not apply to everybody in the same way. The system perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people with foreign origins and people of color. It is usually the poor who are executed as they cannot afford a goodattorney. While some wealthy criminals can pay their way out of jail, innocent people are sometimes put to death as they lack the financial resources or social status that would otherwise make them worthy of a fair trial.

There are different reasons for practicing capital punishment; it depends on the country where the felony was committed. In some places when a person commits murder, espionage andtreason, they can be sentenced to death. Also, sexual crimes like rape, adultery, incest and sodomy are convincing situations where death penalty has to take place. In other cases the capital punishment is used against crimes like drug or human trafficking or corruption. During the history, for offenses such as cowardice, desertion, insubordination and mutiny militaries have imposed the deathpenalty.

Several people believe that the death penalty produces a direct deterrent effect on individuals. This means that the fear of being sentenced to death will prevent people from committing crimes. Nevertheless, there is no convincing empirical evidence supporting or refuting this view. In the case of carefully contemplated murders, such as murder for hire, it is possible that the individual...
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