Should Capital Punishment Be Abolished or Retained

In: Social Issues

Jin Law
Professor Moss
ENGL 1301
April 21, 2009

Should capital punishment be abolished or retained?

Capital punishment, or the death penalty, has been using for thousands of years. In the last two centuries, as people have realized the importance of human rights, debates over capital punishment have never stopped. More and more people join the campaign against capital punishment, while the others defend it. However, either abolishing the death penalty or retaining it has inextricable problems. The writer’s opinion is that capital punishment will vanish from this planet someday in the future, but for a long span of time from now, to abolish it or not depends on the social situations of different countries.
People who are against capital punishment, and advocate replacing it with lifetime imprisonment, list five reasons why they condemn it. Right to life is the first punch. In The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3 says, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (1). Among all the human rights, right to life is the cornerstone and the carrier of all the other human rights. Deprivation of the right to life is equivalent to deprivation of all the rights, which is inhumane in modern society.
On the other hand, capital punishment is a product of the old barbaric concept “an eye for an eye, a life for a life;” and it is actually vengeance killing. Nowadays, most societies do not agree with vengeance killing. Such a brute act does nothing but more harm. Criminals should be punished, rather than being killed for vengeance. In Europe, capital punishment is simply considered savage and has vanished from this continent. Even in some developing countries, such as Mexico, capital punishment has been abolished. In the process of civilization, as the consciousness of protecting human rights is woken, more people will discard...

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