Trending: Call for Papers Volume 4 | Issue 3: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]

Argument For And Against The Use Of Capital Punishment.


This research will address arguments for and against the use of the Death Penalty. This study will be a library and internet-based using both primary and secondary evidence that it will give a clear understanding. 

Some of the arguments against capital punishment are a miscarriage of justice and its cost. Capital punishment has been used as any other normal punishment in countries that are still using it. They have adopted it to be part of their own culture or their traditional way of punishing criminals. Capital Punishment has been long debated for a long period and they are International conventions that have been protesting against the use of Capital Punishment such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International etc. Some scholars who have done this research before argued that the use of capital punishment since BC till the present day was being influenced by religion, political interests and culture. 

Capital Punishment is questioned as an immoral act but on the other hand, some scholars argued that execution of one murderer is better than risking lives of many people in the society who will end up being his victims. This study also be looking on when Capital Punishment was introduced in the. The research study will also be looking into the rarest of rare cases a principle based on Capital Punishment criteria which Indian Courts used to distinguish crimes that deserve Capital Punishment.

In Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab (1980) (2 SCC 684) the Constitution hence of Supreme Court of India propounded that Capital Punishment can be imposed only on the rarest of rare cases. This principle is not applicable in other countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE and USA. They have certain cases that they give death penalty for. Back in the day in USA, there were conflicting questions on which crimes were deemed suitable for the death penalty.

Even though the Americans put crimes in the same category as the British, such as murder there was roughly any argument that execution was the right punishment for them (Banner 2002). This study will add to existing information on death penalty and help us understand arguments raised for and against the use of death penalty. All doubts will be cleared without bias after we reach a balanced conclusion on this research work.

As we all know, Capital Punishment has been a debatable question for a long time and it has been in use since 18th century B.C. However, this practice has been seen a total evil as humans have the right to live and this act has been seen as a violation of (Article 21 of the India Constitution) whereas, other countries have been seeing Capital Punishment as an effective way of reducing serious crimes like murder etc in the country by instilling fear in people through the use of this method.


1. Value for human life 

We all know that human life is rated as the most valuable and l support that statement to a greater extent. Even those that are against the death penalty supports the point too. They acknowledge the fact that human life is so precious that even wickedest criminals like murderers’ rights to live should not be violated.

According to scholarly views on the value of life when it comes to Capital Punishment, a criminal’s life cannot be destroyed by the criminal’s wretched behaviour, even if they commit murder or capital crimes. However, others who are against Capital Punishment don’t stretch their points that far because they only go against Capital punishment when people are being executed for crimes like adultery that are not so serious like murder. They believe that life should be conserved except for crimes that cannot be given an exception to. Those in support of Capital Punishment should give an explanation for their actions.

2. Right to live

A protestation is that a human can deprive human rights and that murderers deprive their right to live and life. Article 28 of the UAE Constitution procures the guilty shall be assumed innocent until substantiated innocent in a lawful and decent trial[1] This article safeguards the people so that the innocent doesn’t get to be executed for crimes they did not commit.

A protestation is that a human can deprive human rights and that murderers deprive their right to live and life. Article 28 of the UAE Constitution furnishes that an offender shall be assumed virtuous until substantiated guilty in a legal and decent trial.[2]
This article safeguards the people so that the innocent doesn’t get to be executed for crimes they did not commit this. In other words, it preserves the right to live to the innocent since a fair trial is done equally without bias. For Saudi Arabia, the state protects human rights in accordance with Shariah according to articles l have read.
Aristotle illiterates that an evil man is way more dangerous and harmful than any other scariest animal on the planet. In the same line of point of view, Thomas Aquinas propounded that Capital Punishment and its laws made killing which is a wrong deed into something that is right as a way of paying back the evil deed done by the criminal who would have committed murder or a capital crime. 

3. Execution of the innocent

The utmost conventional and biggest potent disputation against the death penalty is that eventually, innocent people will become victims and yet they will be on the death row because of misjudgements and blunders that are in the justice system. People make mistakes, even lawyers and jurors they not always right.

A witness can end up pointing at the wrong person and that person will end up being executed for a crime he did not commit. When this is fastened with the deformities in the justice system it becomes unavoidable that innocent people will be convicted and executed for capital crimes they didn’t commit. Where the death penalty is practised such blunders will never be made right and the family of the victim will have the justice system to blame. Capital Punishment adopted an irrevocable action by the state and it will take more lives of innocent people.

Presuming the human rights system remains flawed the danger of executing innocent victims will not the least bit be removed.[3] According to Amnesty statistics approximately 130 people sentenced by death penalty from 1973 in the USA have been said to be innocent and they have been released from death row after their innocence was proven to the courts of law.

This problem and the debate on the ground is not against capital punishment per se, but its merely disregarding the way it is applied. Some of the nations, for example, the USA and Saudi Arabia have executed people who were verified to be mentally ill. It’s predominantly acknowledged that people should not be sentenced for their conduct except if they have a guilty mind, which stipulates them to b aware of what they are doing and knowing that it’s not right.

Hence people who are mentally ill should not be imprisoned, not to mention being executed. This does not defend against mentally ill people who have committed atrocities or felonies from being restricted in safe mental hospitals or organisations. It is an act to safeguard to public and citizens or the nation for safety reasons and not to sentence the deranged person to a punishment.

Moreover, it is not right to enforce the death penalty on those who have at best low capacity for doing things with their own will and for principled influence. An argumentative debate which is more difficult for moral dilemma arises in the situation whereby the criminal who was mentally stable at the time they committed a crime and during the trial but later on develops signs of being mentally ill before the execution.

4. Retribution and the innocent

The subject matter of the execution of people who are not guilty is a hindrance for the retribution controversy. if there is an introspective stern of executing victims who are not guilty then one of the main objectives of retribution that people should get what they deserve like if you kill you deserve to be killed too is defiled by the contemporary imposition of the death penalty in all nations where flaws have taken its vicinity.

Some intellectuals argue that the death penalty is not certainly inherited as retribution for murder, as well as incessantly for a peculiar type of murder. They propounded that, in America as a conservative estimate, solitarily a few of murderers are verily executed, and that impeachment of the death penalty on a haphazardly nominated indeterminate a few of criminals do not sum up to an embodiment of coordination of retribution. In as much as the death penalty is not used retributively, it is not right to use retribution to simplify the death penalty.

This assertion would have no practicality or utility in a community that implemented Capital Punishment frequently for differs kinds of murder.

Scholars who support the concept of retribution oppose the use of the death penalty because they have a belief that capital punishment fends for inadequate retribution. They debate that life imprisonment devoid of the feasibility of bail or discharge or release conditionally inflict too much pain and agony to the criminal than an ache-less death subsequent to a short jail term he would have saved.

An addition example, for a terrorist who plans a suicide bombing death penalty, will end up making that person a martyr, this will be inferior retribution than being sentenced to life in imprisonment without any hope to be exonerated.

It is contemplated that retribution is implied in a specific way in the case of Capital Punishment. Offences besides murder are not awarded punishments that illustrates the crime. Taking, for instance, rapists are not disciplined by sexual assault and guilty criminals of assault are not publicly beaten up.

According to Camus and Dostoevsky[4], they pinpointed that the retribution in the scenario of the death penalty was not equal because the preemptive pain and agony of the offender before execution would possibly override the preemptive agony of the offender of the crime.

However, some scholars illustrated that the retribution debate is mistaken because Capital punishment inflicts multiple punishments. This, the execution and the preceding are put on hold and this is an incompatibility to the crime.
Several criminals are held awaiting on death row for a very extended long time. American the standard time waiting approximately around 10 years.[5]

In countries like Japan, the criminals are only filled in information about their execution instants beforehand it is planned. The upshot of this is that every single day of their life is survived as if it’s their last.

5. Brutalising the law, state and individuals

Statistical data shows that Capital punishment leads to atrocities in society and an increment in the murder rate cases. In America, a lot of murder takes place in States where the death penalty is still being practised there. Around 2010, the murder rate in the states where capital punishment has been banned was approximately 4.01% per 100,000 residents. In states wherein Capital Punishment is still in action, the rate was 5.00%.

These estimates are in relation to the statistics from the FBI. The void between Capital punishment in the states that are still using it and states that have abolished it rose extensively from 4%[6] Violent people may be infuriated and consequently more prone to commit murder or capital crimes. The death penalty is implied to generate a distasteful connection between the law and chaos.

Nevertheless, in numerous ways the statute is necessarily correlated with violence, it redresses violent crimes by using punishments that deprive and restrict humans of their freedom. Profoundly the law always pertains with commotion in that its purpose includes protecting a systematic society from tragic incidents. Regardless, an intense case can be formulated that lawful uproar is totally incompatible from the unlawful commotion and that when it is utilised, it is employed in a manner that everyone can catch a glimpse of its reasonable and practical way.

Death Penalty may corrupt the community in an unusual and actual crucial way, one that has significances for the commonwealth’s liaison with all residents.

6. People are not responsible for their acts

This is not a contention against the death penalty itself, but against correlating it inaccurately. It’s naturally acknowledged that humans should not be castigated for their own acts otherwise if they carry a guilty mind which compels them to recognise what they are committing and that it’s heinous.

Hence people who are not mentally stable should not be sentenced, not to mention being executed. This doesn’t preclude absurd people who harbour horrible things being constrained in protected mental organisations. This is achieved for community insurance, not to chastise the insane criminals.

Furthermore, it is wrong to inflict the death penalty on those who have at adequately a frontier ability for consideration and for ethical implement. An additional complicated ethical dilemma occurs in the lawsuit of criminals who occurred sane at the period of their offence and prosecution but who formulate indications of lunacy before undergoing execution.

7. Death penalty unnecessary

This is certainly more of a political assertion than a moral one. It is established on the political precept that a nation should fulfil its responsibilities in the shortest flight, detrimental and restrictive manner feasible.
· The government executes a deficit to redress crime, as a norm to conserve a methodical and complacent society. It should accomplish that in the limited destructive manner conceivable.
· The death penalty is the extensively detrimental retribution unrestricted, so the government should merely employ it if no less fatal penalty if applicable.
· Other penalties will invariably facilitate the government to fulfil its purpose of redressing offence suitably.
· Hence, the state should not use capital punishment

One manner of resolving the matter is to discern whether states that don’t employ death penalty have been competent to discover additional penalties that facilitate the state to penalise killers in such a way as to conserve a standardised and complacent society. If such governments subsist, therefore, the death penalty is unfair and should be withdrawn as extremely destructive to the nation as a whole.


Retribution argument: – 

· all evil remorseful criminals deserve to be sentenced
· solely immoral people earn to be penalised
· evil people earn to be redressed in probability to the harshness of their transgression

This assertion acknowledges that genuine righteousness compels people to agonise for their crime and to endure in a manner applicable to the violation. Every culprit should obtain what their infringement deserves and in the lawsuit of a murderer what their offence merits are death.

Some people discover that this assertion suits with their intrinsic feeling of justice. It is frequently substantiated with the statement “An eye for an eye”.[7] However, to affirm like that illustrates a comprehensive misconception of what that Old Testament idiom precisely implies. Moreover, the Old Testament connotation of “an eye for an eye” is that simply the immoral should be castigated, and they should be penalised neither lightly nor harshly.

It is unquestionable that those who are killed cannot commit more offences. Some of the people don’t believe that this is enough defence for killing a person and insist that there exist additional systems to assure the criminals do not repeat the same crime exceptionally life imprisonment without the probability of parole.

Moreover, there have existed cases of individuals breaking out from jail to manslaughter again furthermore, these cases occur remarkably in unusual scenarios. Nevertheless, many people don’t acknowledge that life confinement without parole protects the nation sufficiently. The culprit may stop to be a threat to the public, but he continues to be a threat to jail crew and other inhabitants. The execution would eliminate that threat and fear.[8]

There is an argument called the Japanese argument and it is merely a short debate. Japan utilises capital punishment killing roughly 3 criminals in a year. A remarkable motive for conserving death penalty has taken forward by some of the Japanese psychologists who contend that it has a significant amount of psychological aspect to exploit in the vitality of the Japanese who subsist under serious tension and pressure at the workplace.

The statement takes off that capital punishment enhances the notion that horrible things happen to those who merit it. This enhances the unfavourable assumption that nice things will transpire to those who are authentic. The validity of capital punishment gives a psychological clearance from accordance by strengthening the possibility that there will exist a compensation in scheduled duration.

This statement appears to be certified by Japanese general belief. Those who stand in favour presently embody 81% of the population which is the authorised statistic. However, there is yet a slight but increasingly clamorous abolitionists activity in Japan. From a moral sense of view, this is an extremely debatable argument that if lawfully killing a few people will lead to an embodiment amount increase in satisfaction therefore, that is a sensible thing.

To sum up the study, it is undeniable to say capital punishment will remain to be the most debatable question as both sides carry more weight. According to the research study and analysis, the writer believes that capital punishment should be reinstated only for crimes like murder, terrorism and rape that amounts to death or not because they are the most unethical brutal crimes a human being could ever commit against a fellow human being. However, on the other hand, capital punishment should be banned because it takes a lot of risk innocent people might end up losing their lives whilst the guilty walks freely. Thus, it is valid to say Capital punishment will remain a difficult question to address as it is surrounded with many theories each state or nation feels right to follow.

[1] UAE Enewsletter, https://u.ae/en/about-the-uae/the-constitution-of-the-uae
[2] UAE Enewsletter, https://u.ae/en/about-the-uae/the-constitution-of-the-uae
[3] Amnesty international org, https://amnesty.org.in/
[4] Capital Letter’s page 135. Title: Hugo, Baudelaire, Camus and death penalty.
[5] Death Penalty Information Centre, https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/
[6] FBI Uniform Crime Report, from Death Penalty Information Centre
[7] Bible verse Old Testament, Leviticus 24:19-21
[8] The death penalty, https://deathpenaltycurriculum.org/student/c/about/arguments/arguments.PDF
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Author: Charleen Makaha, Parul University, Vadodara, Gujarat

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