Capital Punishment


Against (Pro-Life Argument)


Is trying to teach criminals the lesson that killing is wrong by, in turn, killing them right? Capital punishment has now been abolished in most countries and should not be introduced into Australia. The probability of wrongfully executing a person and later finding their innocence is overwhelmingly high and the few governments who do employ the ‘death penalty’ wrongfully believe that it deters criminals from committing crimes. If a loved one is murdered and his family feels justice in having the murderer murdered, wouldn’t this then make the family murderers?


There have many countless arguments for capitol punishment. It is a deterrent. It removes killers. It is the ultimate punishment. It satisfies the public’s need for retribution. Realistically, imposing the death penalty is expensive and time consuming. Morally, it is a continuation of the cycle of violence and degrades all who are involved in its enforcement.


If a person is sentenced to the death penalty and later found innocent, the outcome is horrific for all involved. The family of the victim are left for the rest of their life to deal, knowing that their family member was innocent and still killed because of a mistake. There is then no real way justice can be done. The jury and judge who put this person to death would also have guilt hanging over their heads for the rest of their careers, I’m sure. After such occurrences it makes one question the judicial system and its safeness.


It would be impossible to rid the system of racial and social bias. Problems like prosecutorial misconduct, false experts, inadequate lawyers for poor defendants and racial bias could contribute to the wrongful execution of an innocent person. Take for example; a black man kills a white man. Would his chances of receiving the death penalty be higher than that of a white man who kills another white man? A study in Texas found of 103 appeal cases, those concerning a black citizen killing a white citizen, that in 79 percent of cases the judge never held an actual hearing. That is not justice.


A family member may feel they are betraying their relation by not wishing to kill the person who murdered them and therefore will agree to the death penalty. If anything, by forcing families to seek the death penalty, their own consciences will be burdened by the death of the killer. The killing of murderer will not bring back the victim. The violence must be stopped at some point. Organizations such as Amnesty International have it in their opinion that capital punishment is an offence to a human’s right: the right to life. They also believe that the death sentence is torture and no government has the right to torture his citizens.


Governments may believe that capital punishment is a righteous choice because of their responsibility to protect the safety of society. However, a killer can be sentenced to life without chance of parole, and society will be just as safe as if he had been executed. It is also common knowledge that two wrongs do not make a right. The murder of an innocent victim, followed by the killing of the murderer, is two wrong actions taken in a row.


Most statistics will state that the death penalty is much more expensive than keeping a murderer in prison. In fact the cost of the execution process expenses including trial court costs, post-conviction costs, and prison costs while served on death row awaiting execution exceed $2 million. The cost of a 20-year jail sentence costs around $300,000.


In the times when capital punishment was common, the value of life was a lot less, and societies were more barbaric and capital punishment was probably quite acceptable. However, in today’s society, which is becoming ever more increasingly humanitarian, the death penalty is becoming an unrealistic form of punishment.


With the ever-present possibility of mistaken execution, there will remain the question of innocence of those put to death. This essay has attempted to state that the racial and biased standings, exceeding costs and the barbaric nature simply deduct from the possibility of capital punishment ever being introduced into Australia. Man is not the divine being and having said that, no person has the power to take the life of another, no