10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Capital Punishment (Death Penalty)

From the Code of Hammurabi in Christianity to demolition of ahimsa in Hinduism, nearly all historical, religious and holy textures say that crime must be evicted from a country else the population gets infiltrated. Originated in 11th century, capital punishment or death penalty today a practice of the law operated in 56 countries in different forms for different crimes. Taken all together, following points sum up the advantages and disadvantages of this punishment.

Advantages (Merits)

1. The Swords Stand Ready

Capital punishment ensures that persons engaged in any act of heinous crime including, murder, war crime, sexual violence, espionage, human trafficking or treason can see the punishment above their heads and make efforts to stop it. Especially today in the time of ‘tit for tat’ scenario, this stringent punishment of death penalty holds even more significance because it cultivates fear among criminals.

2. Justice to Masses

Remember the latest example of IAS Officer Kinjal Singh. How she fought such a long battle of 31 years to get justice for his father, whose murderers were roaming free. If justice is not provisioned by the government, innocent people are left hopeless and frustrated. Therefore, for government and law of a nation, the key responsibility is to preserve the rights and freedom of its people. Possibly, capital punishment is the way to go.

3. Example to Public

Humans tend to learn by the actions of authorities and not by what is said by the authorities. Thus, if a person with long line of criminal records is addressed with a death penalty, more and more people would learn not to carry out such actions in future. This deters the path of budding criminals. This, of course will help in reducing the crime from the society.

4. Inept Liability on Government

Imagine a person who has committed atrocious crime like rape or murder. It is but obvious that he is not suitable to live amidst the general population of the country, state or region. On the same side of the medal, he can’t also be kept behind the bars for a long time. After all, the cost of his food and stay is being born by the government or by people’s taxes. Besides, there’s too much risk in this scenario. Any time, he is at the verge of breaking out of the lockup, thereby posing danger for people. So, all in all, he is a liability on the government. Thus, considering the whole picture, the best possible solution comes out to be yet capital punishment.

5. Unsafe for Fellow Prisoners

A person who has committed some violent crime like murder, you can’t trust his brains. Anything can happen to it at any moment. Plus statistics demonstrate that most of such criminals are usually extremely violent in nature. And so, not just public, the criminal is also dangerous to his fellow prisoners. For police and government, it is not a good idea to put the safety of all prisoners under danger.

Despite of the advantages it carries, the capital punishment bring with it some disadvantages too, which are by the way quite heart melting. Here are they.

Capital Punishment

Disadvantages (Demerits)

1. Wrong Judgments

More often than not, every country’s law has some flaws which can’t be denied. In this scenario, it isn’t surprising that some people have to face this harsh punishment without actually being responsible for a crime. Take for example, the case of mental illnesses or disorders. These people don’t even know what their bodies are doing. And so, to be just, this doesn’t call for a punishment. This instead calls for a medication. Another example is fake encounters. Again, see the case of Miss Kinjal’s father.

2. Not Exactly a Crime Supplanter

There is neither an evidence nor enough statistics that prove that death sentence to a criminal can reduce crime in the country. Rather, there is a strong possibility that if the sentenced person had a group of supporters, those supporters would now get even more stimulated to take revenge. The live example is many terrorist organizations.

3. Killing for Killing, Is it Justly Enough?

While the biggest reason given for a person’s execution is the crime, say the murder he has done. However, would it be justifiable for the law to do something that is considered crime to the person being sentenced? Isn’t it immoral from a humane perspective? After all ‘blood for blood’ isn’t only a punishment, it’s a sort of war in itself. Plus, the stressing effects it has on the minds of witnessing executioners. Statistics say that most of the executioners either end up doing suicide or die of drug addiction and severe depression.

4. Not Much Cost Effective than Life in Prison

It isn’t quite true that a life in prison is less costly than death penalty. In fact, considering all processes including court hearings, appeals, legal processes and death row, the cost of capital punishment is actually higher than the lifetime survival of the person in prison.

5. Violation of the ‘Fundamental Rights in India’

According to the ‘Right of Life’ in the Charter of Rights, it is not morally sane to grant death penalty to a person. According to the right, a person has full right to live with personal liberty. And so, in cases of false judgment and people with medications, the punishment is but too cruel for the so-called-criminals.

As seen above, the repercussions of capital punishment are proudly justifiable and tragically moving at the same time. Whence, if a crime has been committed, its punishment is inevitable. Probably, the onset of proper education and the birth of love are only means to get relief from this death penalty.