Do you think killing a person because of a serious crime they committed is acceptable? There are several opinions about this subject in particular: capital punishment. It’s the execution of an individual, authorized by the government, as punishment of a crime they carried out. Capital punishment has had a long history of different methods being included throughout the years, and advantages and disadvantages that the practice of this has. To make an informed decision about death penalty or capital punishment, it’s important to know what it implies and how it can benefit or damage our society as a whole because it’s a major problem nowadays.
Capital punishment isn’t something that has just appeared, it’s something that has existed for many years It goes all the way back to the Babylonian Empire with King Hammurabi, who supported this method of execution through a written document called The Code of Hammurabi. One well-known phrase of his is: “eye for an eye”, which could be interpreted like a way of supporting capital punishment and all of its methods. Hammurabi wasn’t the only one to support this way of punishment. Throughout the years, different written documents have shown their support to death penalty. From the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament to even writings going all the way back to Ancient Greece, with the Draconian Code of Athens. The first methods that have been recorded are recognized as being cruel; like stoning, crucifixion, burning and even being buried alive. A method used during the 17th and 18th centuries was the guillotine in France, which was largely applied during the French Revolution. Afterwards, with modern times, came more modern methods of capital punishment. In Nazi Germany, death by shooting started being employed and in the United States, the electric chair was created and utilized in some high security prisons. Later on, its use was replaced by the lethal injection, because it was deemed as a more humane form of execution. Nowadays, death penalty is considered a debatable topic. It has been abolished in most nations, although some of them still practice it.
When considering capital punishment, it’s necessary to know what its advantages and disadvantages are. On one hand, murdering a person who committed a crime can cause efficiency in preventing future crimes. First of all, if this type of individual is killed, he/she will not be able to do this anymore, so it is like a way of protecting the population. Second, it is way cheaper to kill a person than to keep him/her in jail. Lastly, it discourages people from committing those types of crimes, since obviously most people (to not say all) would not want to die. On the other hand, executing someone breaks the laws stated by human rights. Execution is incorrigible, and there are some cases where people have been judged for a crime they did not do. It is also said that it is not necessary to kill someone to protect the population of a place, because prison can reform the offender. Finally, in some instances, the practice of capital punishment brings glorification towards the offender, and it tends to be applied in a discriminatory way, too. Judges may be more likely to apply a death sentence to black people or people from a certain religion.
In conclusion, capital punishment is an action that can be applied to criminals as a way of execution. Throughout history, it has been applied with different methods during different time periods: starting from ancient history and going all the way to contemporary times. It can be beneficial as well as damaging. It may lower crime rates by scaring people from performing these types of actions. However, it can affect by disobeying the rights that each person as a human has. Deciding whether capital punishment should be applied or not, depends on each person’s point of view, and coming to a unified decision about this is almost impossible.