Death penalty is an irrevocable crime which many people argue its effectiveness in deterring future crimes. It became a very important issue for the human rights associations such as, “Amnesty International”, which is working worldwide to protect human rights and abolishing death penalty. According the facts of “Amnesty International”, today 111 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. That leaves 84 other countries which retain or use death penalty (Amnesty International). There are also “victim’s rights” organizations, which support the use death penalty. It became an important debate lately. Therefore, we should know the consequences of abolishing death penalty such as its benefits and threats to the society, its effectiveness and its role in the international arena.
Individuals and organizations who oppose the death penalty claim that it violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also claim that it is an inhuman punishment which is ineffective in deterring future crimes.
Those, who support the death penalty, claim that death penalty is effective in deterring future crimes and keep the society a better place to live in. They also believe that there should be alternative punishments for different crimes and death penalty is a kind of punishment some criminals deserve.
While opponents claim there is no solid evidence of deterrence, people who support the death penalty argue that our society is not able to see the results of what is not happening. This is like hearing the news of the shipwrecks, but not hearing any news on the ones that arrived safely to the harbor.
Practice of death penalty always carries the risk of taking innocent lives. Cooper shows proof of this risk when she says, “75 people were released from death row after courts reversed their convictions” (Cooper). Those, who support the death penalty, believe that it is extremely a small risk and it is decreasing as forensic science improves. They also believe that execution of an innocent inmate is a even smaller chance than the releasing a criminal. This is credited to the careful observations made before the execution. The Jogger case is an example of false convictions. “…the faulty convictions of five teenagers in 1989 would have never come to light” (Halpern).
Organizations such as the “Amnesty International” show the fact that, “death penalty punishes the poor” as a reason to abolish it. Good judicial representation often results in less or no penalty, but it costs too much to be represented by a good lawyer. This situation might result in changing a death row sentence to a life long imprisonment for a wealthy criminal. According to Mary H. Cooper, “poor inmates often do not receive adequate legal counsel” (Cooper).
Victim’s rights organizations argue that the death penalty, in fact, does not discriminate the poor. This accusation can not be an argument against death penalty because it is an argument against all types of punishment. The only way to solve this issue is to improve the justice system, …