Is Capital Punishment Helpful?

Is Capital Punishment Helpful?

The death penalty is a provision through which a person can be sentenced legally to death. This provision has its pros and cons, some claim it as a violation of human rights, it causes a painful death, and some even argue that such penalties would not stop other people to commit similar crimes. On the contrary, the supporters are coming up with benefits of the death penalty; for instance, if a person has killed someone then killing the murderer will be a tit for tat action, ensuring justice. Moreover, it will set an example for other criminals to even think before committing such heinous crimes.

Earlier this year a survey released by the Pew Research Centre, indicated that 54% of Americans supported the death penalty, and 49% did so two years ago. Also, Robert Dunham, head of the Death Penalty Information Centre, says it is related to the political discourse in Washington. In March, President Donald Trump offered to make drug dealers eligible for the death penalty, arguing that the federal government is “wasting our time” as it is not interested in performance. In the same context Amnesty international also claimed that China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore executed people for drug dealing last year.

In the past 20 years, Texas alone executed 40 people in 2000, but only seven in 2016 and 2017 each. The reason is said to be the level of drop in America’s murder rate, which rated from 10.2 per 1lac people in 1980 to 4.5 in 2014. In Texas, since the 1970s more than once innocent men got killed, including names like Carlos Deluna and Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in 1989 and 2000.

Compared to history, capital punishment is less frequent around the globe, and its methods are hastening towards a decline. Youth and ethnic minorities (in particular) tend to be more reluctant towards the death penalty. Demography is on the side of destruction. By far 19 states and the District of Columbia have discarded the death penalty. Most executions are carried out in a handful of states, such as Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma.

A Pew research center’s survey in 2016 found that support for the death penalty had fallen below 50% for the first time since 1971. The Anti-Death Penalty Campaigner Michael Hayworth claimed that punishment is cruel, degrading, inhumane, and wrong for world peace. He supported his argument by quoting that Canada’s crime rate dropped by 44% since it stopped executions. However, killing a person saves time and money than keeping in prison.

According to the death penalty information center, the Death Penalty is legal in 31 states of the US. Since 1976 Texas has gone through 548 executions, followed by Virginia with 113, and Oklahoma with 112. California has the most convicts on death row with high numbers like 746. Pew Research Center’s survey found that there are educational disparities in aspects of the death penalty. Adults who have obtained a postgraduate degree are more likely to question the death penalty in cases of murder (56%) than those individuals whose education ended with a college degree (42%) and even those who never obtained a post-secondary degree (36% some college experience; 38% high school degree or less).  Youth is somewhat less inclined than older adults to support the Death penalty. Those who are younger than 30 years are divided – 47% favor and 46% oppose it – but in older age groups majorities support the death penalty. In 2015, a study of attitudes toward capital punishment curated the data which showcased that 63% of the citizen thought that the death penalty is morally verified, but majorities said there was some risk of an innocent person who would end up getting capital punishment (71%) and that the death penalty does not prevent serious crime (61%).

Though the varied range of opinion on the issue creates complications, it will get resolved only when we decide as a nation keeping aside our prejudices.

What are your thoughts? Do you support the death penalty?

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