The practice of awarding death by a state authority or an independent group to an alleged offender and the execution of such award is called the death penalty. Traversing through the history of crime regulations and prosecution, the death penalty has remained an essential part of empires. With the introduction of democracy, calls for ending the practice of death sentences started to emerge. In recent decades, a considerable number of governments in the world have made remarkable amendments to laws to eliminate capital punishment. Following is an analysis to deliberate upon the need for punishment, its consequences, and alternatives.
There are many approaches to implementing the death penalty. Hanging to death is the most widely used procedure. Venomous injection, firing squad, pushing from heights, stoning till death, and beheading are other variations.
The individuals backing capital punishment argue that the practice is necessary to stem major offenses. Almost every country has its own set of rules that define an offense as major or minor. However, the countries where the death sentence is exercised have, mostly, remained unable to contain the principal crimes. Six countries including China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have executed over 90% of the total death penalties awarded in the past ten years in the entire world. Unfortunately, only Iran has shown a slight improvement in the said period. While some of these states have remained successful in cutting the overall crime rate but there is no apparent clue that the reduction was a result of the death penalty.
Another argument put forward to endorse the death penalty is to relieve the relatives of the murder victim. Some prosecutors who recommend the penalty fear that halting the death sentence can stir vindictive feelings in victims. However, studies from renowned psychologists show that the families of victims exhibit no improvement even after the execution of murderers. Further research claims that healing from trauma does not undergo an event rather it is a gradual process achieved with the passage of time.
An individual may drift toward crime because of a lack of an ethical environment. For instance, a boy in a war-torn region full of illiterate drug dealers would most likely the path of the people around him. Instead, if he were provided with an appropriate atmosphere, the probability of his becoming a responsible citizen would have been much higher. In fact, a significant number of offenders show considerable improvement after undergoing mental therapy.
According to the laws of some of these countries, the death penalty is also awarded in the cases where the offender played a part in the offense but was not directly involved. There is no way to compensate the alleged offender in case the subject was proved not guilty after the execution of the penalty. Human Rights Watch and other globally recognized bodies have suggested not to implement capital punishment and advised further to search for feasible alternatives.
Thus, there are several viable alternatives out of which life without parole has produced the most significant results. The countries where the life sentence is an alternative to the death penalty make the offenders work inside jail without parole. By such a practice, offenders can be made to contribute to the state. Every few years after a prefixed period, violators should be put to psychological tests. Upon exhibiting the improvement up to certain standards, they should be given another chance under careful watch. This practice has produced desirable results for both criminals and authorities.
To conclude, the world needs to provide workable alternatives to the death penalty since it did not produce any substantial results despite being under practice for centuries. Substitute punishments can be suitable for offenders as well as the authorities.