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A Review on Capital Punishment

Updated on January 8, 2016

Capital punishment is implemented by certain countries to eradicate crimes. It is a punishment for those convicted criminals who committed some belligerent crimes. Massive lynching, borderless terrorism, rape, and other heinous crimes are qualified to receive death penalty according to the legislation of a number of nations. In some countries , homosexual people receive treatment and punishment similar to terrorists and murderers (Knox & Pinch, 2014, p. 5). They are sanctioned to death in forms of hanging, public execution, and beheading because they are thought to be evildoers and immoral. Murderers and terrorists in other countries receive death penalty because of their actions.

In some rare situations, people are wrongly indicted of extremism, murder, and rape because of their appearance and economic status, while others are being forced to admit crimes they never did (Hollifield, Martin, & Orrenius, 2014, p. 3). Since death penalty is an ultimate judgment for criminals, there is still no assurance that the government utilizes an intensive procedure of commissioning such punishment. It is because the possibility of error of judging and convicting lawbreakers remains evident. As a result, death penalty should be abolished because it entails certain measures to re-evaluate the punishment.

The goals for the social movement called Abolition of Death Penalty are to create a systematized and controlled group to achieve one common resolution and to act out such purpose to bring change in people and the society as well. According to Macionis (2013), “a social movement is an organized action that is set out to inspire or dishearten social change” (p. 16). It means that the abolition of capital punishment as a social movement may be a reformative or not in nature in order to change the perspective or standpoint of the society and the government as well. The movement stands its goal to build a structured and regimented group in order to undertake one common purpose to bring a social transformation among people and the society as well.

Joining in abolition of capital punishment as a social movement group will require all members for a registration. However, this does not involve money. It only needs the members to submit some documents which contains personal information and allegiance to the group. In other words, the registration of the members is important because this community obtains a controlled and organized process (Diani, 1992, p. 15). Since it requires membership, it demands leaders to instruct and institute the rules and regulations so that the social movement will grow and ensure justice. Therefore, the abandonment of capital punishment needs to be recognized and supported because this movement supports and provides opportunities for people to change regardless of their wrong actions and misdeeds.

One considerable action why some people create a social movement and encourage others to join them is the disagreement on the implemented and imposed principles and laws. People who see the potential need to create social change must formulate a movement to seek for social justice (Goodwin & Jasper, 2014, p. 3). On the issue death penalty, the group further seeks for social and human justice. People deserve a second chance to be better persons, and they can change their lives while they are still alive on earth. In other words, individuals have the basic rights to live regardless of the crimes they committed. In the biblical or Quranic perspective, which declares that the payment for sins is death, people should reconsider the idea how complicated and inconsistent the religious narratives are. In organizational and authoritative perspective, death penalty is not the answer to the growing problems of crimes. In fact, there have been ways to resolve crimes in the society or community, and it will be ridiculous if the government cannot resolve them. For example, instead of extinguishing the lives of criminals because they are destructive and vicious, the authorities should realize the truth that these convicts have lives and that they are also victims of their environment. The personal experiences are to be used to promote or resist some social change. In other words, a reformative social movement is the one is that tries to change and advocates life. Hence, it seeks to change only specific aspects of human functions.

The abolition of death penalty as a social movement is bureaucratic, organizational, and dynamic. Its bureaucratic nature could only prosper and endure if it acquires members within the group circle. All group members are, in fact, particular with the rules in order for them to conform to the regulations imposed by its leaders. Since this is a social movement, it requires people to respond to the human injustice that dwells within the century. Death penalty as a punishment violates human rights and freedom to live. Once some groups consider death penalty as the only punishment that changes the government’s perspectives and roles in the modern world, they have to understand that life is as important as the precious gold. No one is allowed to take one’s life if it is not in the theory of self-defense. In the modern world, there have been plenty of solutions to resolve crimes. However, killing these criminals in forms of beheading, public execution, or lethal injection is unjustifiable. It is because killing people is something that it is not we are to tamper with it. People have no right to take ones’ life, but they all have the rights to take all the total freedom and liberty and abandon social tension when the social movements are formed. In doing so, the movement organizers should also increase the efficacy by improving and promoting equality and social change.


Diani, M. (1992). The concept of social movement. The sociological review, 40(1), 1-25.

Goodwin, J., & Jasper, J. M. (Eds.). (2014). The social movements reader: Cases and concepts. John Wiley & Sons, pp. 3-45.

Hollifield, J., Martin, P., & Orrenius, P. (2014). Controlling immigration: A global perspective. Stanford University Press, pp. 2 -24.

Knox, P., & Pinch, S. (2014). Urban social geography: An introduction. Routledge.

Macionis, J. J. (2013). Society: The Basics. Pearson/Prentice Hall, p. 16.


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