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Justice systems have been put in place in order to ensure that citizens follow the rules and regulations that have been set up. Proponents of the death penalty have spoken of it as a tool for preventing crime and other related social effects that come with it. Heated debate has taken place all over the world as to whether it should be continued or abolished. Proponents have argued that countries or states that enforce the death penalty are compelled to do so as the rate of crime and murder is high and that no form of punishment can justify the intensity of the crimes that have been committed. Research on death penalty has continuously shown that crime tends to be minimal where the death penalty is enforced (Hood, 2005). Criminals have been shown to fear the consequences of the crime that they are about to commit, they therefore think twice before acting. Criminals are human beings and are not immune to fear and in trying to solve the decade long question of how to reduce crime, we should look at how we can influence and discourage criminals from committing crime.
Capital Punishment in Crime Prevention
The judicial system has by large used the threat of the death penalty as way of coercing criminals to give up their colleagues hence a good tool in crime prevention. It has been used many times as a plea bargain for criminals. It further ensures that offenders do not repeat the crime and so a reduction from crime in societies. Opponents of death penalty have argued that the death penalty discriminates against the minority in the society including the poor. The question that should be raised here is why the poor are liable to commit crime. In doing so, we will be able to answer rather than condemning the whole process of the death penalty. The process of retribution is emphasized and that life imprisonment is not the best deterrent to crime (Hood, 2005). Death penalty has been argued as 100% effective because crime offender will not be able to commit the crime again once executed. Research has shown that people who have committed vicious crimes tend to re-do the act again once they have been pardoned. A case study carried out in the United States showed that out of 164 paroled Georgians, who had committed the crime of murder, eight of them repeated the same crime once released. Those who were not released were shown to have committed the same crime again even when serving life sentence in prison. In a society where nobody is killed then no death penalties will take place, it is this simple.
The death penalty has been in existence as a form or way of punishing offenders for a long time since the creation of justice system. It has long been viewed that Justice could only be enforced through the death penalty justice. Many opponents have stated that many innocent people are being executed. Many times the number of innocent person has been exaggerated as no conclusive count or study has been done to this effect. Opponents have used the number of people being released out of prison as an estimate as to the number of people being executed. An example of this is how it was purported that forty eight inmates had been released from death row with the view that they were charged on flawed counts. Proponents of the death penalty have rubbished claims that the innocent people have been executed. According to the United States law, there has been distinction between the innocent natures of any accused person. In the court of law, there are two categories, namely, the legally innocent person and the actual innocent person (Bodenhamer, 2004). A person can be judged to be innocent besides all the facts showing that he/she is guilty of murder. Cases such as this continue to be displayed all around, where murderers are known to be walking away scot free. There is the actual innocent person where the facts show very correctly that the person is not responsible for any crime. Acquittal of suspects in a court of law does not justify that a person is innocent but rather that the court lacked sufficient evidence that would lead to convictions. In courts around the World murderers have been acquitted because of bogus reasons. Some cases have been blamed on inconsistencies of the police yet the same policemen and women came under direct attack from the murderers. An acquittal simply means that the court could not establish the truth and does not directly men that an individual is innocent. It is worth mentioning that out of the few supposedly innocent people that have been executed cannot in any way be quantified by the number of the free person that have been paroled and let free back to the same environment that they committed the crime (Bodenhamer, 2004).
Perceived execution of the Innocent
The court system is today coming up with reasonable outcomes. The justice system is continuously becoming more and more effective due to the technology being used today. A fact that was stated before said that since the use of DNA , there have been only 174 suspects who have been exonerated and 90% of these cases were not even related to murder at any one point. This is a drop in the ocean when compared to the number of innocent lives that are taken away through acts of murder. Many nations have taken a backseat in upholding the right of its citizens by ignoring the moral duty of defending the rights of its citizens who abide by the law. The nations don’t see this as a priority of defending a human right (Bodenhamer, 2003).
In conclusion, I would like to add that it can be conclusively said that handling criminal offenses is crucial in ensuring justice. The process of punishment should be done swiftly in order to ensure that such crimes are not repeated. It has also been shown that murder rates would have even been higher in countries that enforce the death penalty, if they had neglected this mode of punishment in the first place. Death penalty plays a pivotal role in ensuring that such crimes are mitigated or completely eliminated. A life free of such crimes is the aim of all countries in the world.
- Bodenhamer, D. (2004). The Bill of Rights in modern America: after 200 years, New York: Indiana University Press
- Hood, R. (2005). The death penalty: a world-wide perspective, San Diego, CA: Clarendon Press.