Death Penalty Cons

Death Penalty Cons

Political sciences and legal studies have matured from primitiveness to sophistication regarding death penalty. Cons or disadvantages of capital punishments have led to many in the society to question the very existence of a legal system and its ability to sentence a person to death.
Death penalty or death sentence, which in some cases is also known as capital punishment is an integral part of the study of political and legal sciences. Scholars, right from the times of ancient Greece till the founding fathers of the United States have made several remarks and interpretations of the death penalties and their disadvantages.

Though there are some pros of the death penalty, in an era where the world has started accepting modernized, liberal and scientific legal systems, there are equal number of reasons against capital punishment that have been pointed out by philosophers, writers and several common men. Democracy, which has become the most widely accepted form of government, has started its progress towards a more sophisticated society and the disadvantages of death penalty have been considered in order to rationalize the legal systems even further.

About Death Penalty

In the year 2007, the state of New Jersey banned death penalties. Why? The simple explanation is that we have evolved even further in the last decade. In the earlier times, beheading and brutal killing of an opponent by another tribal leader was one of the historical methods of capital punishment. As monarchy came into being, death penalties were handed out by monarchs according to their own will. After the introduction of legal systems in monarchies, the judges started handing out penalties again on their own accord, but with the help of certain laws. In the modern era, where the law of the lands are dictated by the people, death penalties are slowly being abolished and new cases are becoming rare. To put it in simple words, let me quote a famous writer:

"how can we kill something that has been created by God and Nature"


Indeed many laws that have been passed are centered around keeping a criminal alive than executing him. There are a few cons about death penalty and hence 15 states in the USA have abolished execution. However, even today - about 3,200 prisoners are on a death row in United States, this is an important fact about capital punishment. Furthermore, US ranks fourth in the number of executions every year!

Death Penalty Cons

There is a long list of cons as modern society has come to conclusion that a death penalty is not a final solution to brutal crime. The laws have become less stringent in the past 50 years, due to the following cons of death penalty.
  • One wide-spread notion of masses is that it is not fair and is unethical to execute a prisoner as he/she is also a human being. A death penalty is not a good solution. This notion is supported by a popular statement, 'why kill a criminal because he has killed somebody, what is the difference between us and them?'. Thus the eye for an eye temperament is slowly becoming unpopular in many communities.
  • From the psychological point of view, death penalty is not a good option as a death penalty is considered to be a 'way out' in a matter of few minutes for most of the criminals. A criminal is not scared of death. Instead meting out life sentence might create more fear in the minds of criminals.
  • A bit of philosophy here, according to some scholars and philosophers, a human being - 'criminal or not' is a creation of God and it is highly inappropriate to award a death penalty.
  • Terror outfits, are quite fearless in carrying out their plots due to the fact that dying is their objective, hence passing death sentences makes them even more fearless. In such a scenario, rigorous life imprisonment is a much better option, to create fear in the minds of terrorists.
  • There is also a high probability of innocent people being hanged due to human judgment error.
  • The appeals, and re-appeals also tend to cost a lot to the government and state. As such appeals require a lot of hard work from the judges and lawyers, the appeal tends to be lengthy and clogs the system.
  • Logically an entire life in prison is a better punishment than a death penalty.
Every person may have different views opinions and arguments on death penalty. So, should death penalty be allowed or should death penalty be abolished. That's for you to read and opine. However, let me conclude by saying, 'the objective of any society is to live peacefully, let live and help to live.' If we are meting out death penalties which are, of course violent and take away life, then we are violating the fundamental principle of society.'