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Death Penalty and Human Right activist

Updated on August 31, 2018

The origin of a death penalty or capital punishment is as old as the origin of man. The reason is that although the term “Death Penalty” or “Capital punishment” must have been coined at a stage in human history the practice existed before it was officially coined and used by rulers/leaders as a means of punishment. Humanity used various methods to seek or address injustice and at various stages in human history man used war as a means of seeking justice. A death penalty has been carried out in different forms like beheading, burning, poisoning, crucifixion among others. The primary aim, no matter the means, is to take life. Therefore, it can rightly be claimed that any act of war that involves the loss of human life is a death penalty for the offence that led to the provocation.

Religion directly or indirectly plays a part in the making of law and a constitution of a country. The origin of a death penalty in some constitutions can be linked to the religious laws like “an eye for an eye” which is a Jewish law found in the Old Testament of the Bible. Human has tried to reverse some laws which include a death penalty. The reason can also be linked to the religious law of forgiveness and the New Testament teachings which intends to oppose “an Eye for an eye.”

A human right activist is trying to protect human rights which include the right to life. A death penalty is usually given when a crime committed cost the life of another. However, there are cases where that is not the case. For instance, heresy and blasphemy were punishable by death when the church had the power. Consequently, many people were killed by a death penalty when the church had the power. However, it seems that humanity wakes up at different stages in history to invoke new laws or abolish existing laws. It is said that the Catholic Church has in recent time abolished a death penalty. The abolition of a death penalty, while the concept of hellfire is still being preached, may be ridiculous. It is because man is trying to claim that he is more loving and forgiving than his creator who is alleged to send sinners to hell.

Some nations are against a death penalty but not against the act of war/conflict which tends to be inevitable in human history. Such countries make a mockery of themselves because humanity has lost many lives through war/conflict compared to any other means. The Author is not for or against a death penalty, but he thinks that all human lives must be valued. The idea to abolish a death penalty may be to prevent the killing of an innocent man who may be found guilty by law. Even when some is found guilty of murder, there is still need to find out why the murder was committed and if it was the only option available as in a case of self-defence.

A man threatened his ex-wife by saying, “I will kill you and go to jail.” That is what the world may have to face when the laws are made to be friendly to those who do not value human life. Human life should not be abused or used for charity. Therefore, anyone who takes the life of another is not fit to have his or her own life except if the victim or the victim’s family decides to pardon such a person. However, the law must be strict and not generous because some people want to make things easy for offenders. The world is already facing a series of crisis ranging from terrorism, war crimes among others. The situation in the world today seems to suggest that whenever man gains any form of freedom/privilege he, either wittingly or unwittingly, abuses it. That is why if we give a man a gun to protect himself he abuses it by shooting an innocent man. That is the reason if we give a man political power, he kills his people so he can remain in power especially in Africa, the same Africans liberated from colonialism and slavery.

What is the justice for the dead if they were sinners? It means they die to go and continue suffering in hell. People are shooting others in schools and committing other forms of crimes that take away a human life that should be treasured. We do not have to be like them and act like animals although animals are better than such humans because an animal rarely kills its kinds. However, the law has to be firm and should not respect anyone else sooner than later man will willingly take his fellow man to slaughter like a sheep. Manslaughter is the likely plight of humanity if the laws are friendly to the wicked because it is in man’s nature to abuse any privilege given to him.


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