Death is not only an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality and in its enormity, but it serves no penal purpose more effectively than a less severe punishment; therefore the principle inherent in the clause that prohibits pointless infliction of excessive punishment when less severe punishment can adequately achieve the same purposes invalidates the punishment. ~ WILLIAM J. BRENNAN (American Jurist)
The term death penalty or capital punishment has come under lot of debate in recent times. People support it but they don't understand the hidden facts behind this controversial agenda. People think that capital punishment ensures that the wrong are getting punished and justice is being served. However, most of us forget that in this obsession of serving justice many innocent people are also executed. There are various reasons why legal execution is wrong and this piece of information sheds light on all those various reasons.
Death penalty has been in practice since centuries and continues to remain so. Although there are many countries who have abolished this practice, there are at least 20 countries who still practice the concept of capital punishment on a large basis. There are at least 8 different ways of killing a person after he/she has been awarded the death penalty; firing squad, lethal injection, gas chamber, electrocution, hanging, stoning to death and shooting. All of these methods whether they serve justice or not are inhuman and should be stopped.
Reasons to be Against Death Penalty
Is death penalty a cruel and unusual punishment? I would say yes. Don't think that I am ignoring the practical side and trying to be sensitive. If you'll have a close look at the reasons why legalized killing is wrong, you will start understanding this topic with a different perspective.
Most people all around the world think that the capital punishment is a way of minimizing the number of minorities in a particular country. For instance; African-Americans constitute 13% of the US population but more than 42% of them are waiting to be executed. With over 18,000 executions having taken place in the country only 42 were of white people. Plus almost every jury that convicts a black person are full of white people.
Killing is Expensive
Yes, killing a person is more expensive than keeping him alive his entire life in a cell. One of the biggest disadvantages of capital punishment is the long and complex process involved for such cases. If the death sentence is replaced with permanent life imprisonment, states can save more than a billion dollars every year and all this saved money can be used for the betterment of minorities.
Punishment for the Poor
Hiring a capable attorney in the United States is a luxury and most of them who are accused cannot hire the services of an attorney to defend themselves. There's no chance that an innocent individual will get free until and unless an experienced lawyer fights his case. As the accused comes from a poor or a middle class background even the jury go against him as poverty and lack of money is one of the biggest reasons why a man becomes a criminal.
Unfair to the Innocent
Since 1973, more than 123 people on death row have been freed after they were proved innocent with evidence. The poor and the unlucky always suffer from the hands of law, it is quite natural that sometimes even the innocent are wrongly accused and convicted. Often cops or lawyers plant evidence to accuse an innocent, in order to get promotions and medals. They make false arrests and take the entire situation in a totally different direction.
People will have their own views and sides on the reasons to give up execution, so it's advised not to pass a judgment before understanding the complete case history.