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Death Penalty. Reasons why the death penalty should be abolished

Updated on April 12, 2017

Death Penalty- There are many reasons why the Death Penalty should be abolished- First and foremost let me start out by saying that the Death Penalty or Capital Punishment is an act of Murder. A barbaric act of Murder carried out in a supposedly clinical fashion at the time of the State Governors choosing.

We teach our children very early on that two wrongs do not make a right. Why then does this not apply to the highest institutions of social order?

The crime of Murder carries our harshest of sentences such is our disdain for the crime. Yet the Death Penalty is nothing more nothing less than murder carried out in a cruel and calculated manner by the state.

The Death Penalty is contrary and in violation of Human rights norms. This-is not a new phenomenon with China having previously abolished the death penalty between 1747 and 1759. The modem abolition movement was inspired by Italian César Beccaria in his work Dei Delitti e Delle Pene. On Crimes and Punishments published in 1764.

César argued that not only was the Death Penalty an injustice of itself but a futile exercise.

Cesar’s work inspired a Movement based on Human-Rights that led to the first nations abolishing the Death Penalty in modern times. They were the Roman Republic in 1849, Venezuela in 1863 and Portugal in 1867. Even earlier in 1786 then independent Tuscany abolished the death penalty and the date 30th November marks an annual holiday to-celebrate the event.

Following the Second World War a new era of Human Rights and International Law sought first to lay down the foundations of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948), to move towards country by country to introduce moratorium's and later in 1966 (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and 1990 (Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) to abolish the Death Penalty universally.

The mere fact that the death penalty is by nature irreversible also raises a number of other issues. These serious flaw issues have with the [Death Penalty] again recently been highlighted in a report by the American Law Institute.

Firstly that judges and juries do make mistakes. For instance did "Texas execute an Innocent Man?" Studies around the globe have shown that the error rate is unacceptably high and indeed this was one of the crucial factors that led Governor Ryan of Illinois in 2003 to mandate the end of all executions in his state. After a lengthy commission into the practice Gov Ryan inquiry found not only error in the state's system that saw innocent men sent to death row, but also other factors of Race, Geographic, and Socio-economic factors playing a role in who did and didn't receive the Death Penalty. The error rate right across the USA has' been called into question with more and more death row inmates being released up to 20 years after their conviction with DNA evidence proving their innocence.

The fact that many of these detainees had had little to no legal representation including: Lawyers who slept through their trial. Lawyers who were using drugs or alcohol to excess during the trial. Lawyers who had been disbarred, police and expert witnesses who had latter admitted to 'lying under Oath', Forced and falsified confessions, and a host of other errors that bring the entire system of trying capital cases into disrepute.

It is often wrongly stated that the death penalty is a deterrent and is required in order that this phenomenon occurs. This argument has been dis-proven many times.

The recidivism rate of Murderer or Manslaughter is the lowest of all crimes and misdemeanors. Suggesting as is now well known in police and justice circles that most Murders are Crimes of Passion. That is they are carried out by members of the same family or someone known to them.

Comprehensive studies across the USA about the recidivism rate shown just how ludicrous that capital punishment has a deterrent effect on murder rates.

States that do not have the death penalty have much lower rates of violent crime, particularly rape and murder as Compared to those states that maintain and utilize the death penalty such as Texas. In fact no definitive study has ever proven that the death penalty has any deterrent effect.

As many nation's reintroduced or recommenced Executions to curb climbing crime-rates those Crime-Rates, particularly Drug Offences continued to climb.

The Death Penalty is also even less effective at protecting society as its proponents claim it to be. Life imprisonment is just if not more as effective at preventing the offender from committing a crime again. Punishment does not require a nation to sanction its acts of immoral and inhumane behavior by murdering the criminal.

The upholding of a moral code and human rights even in cases of-brutal crimes shows an unwavering support for human rights by the state that reinforces that states commitment to end ALL crimes against humanity. That is to prevent crimes committed against the state and its people as well as crime's it itself may commit.

Make no mistake, the Death Penalty is very rarely swift and even on rare occasions is it clean.

From hangings that result in decapitation, to firing squads forced to reload the weapons with ammunition. And try again after a poor shot, to lethal injections that take more than 40 minutes to finally stop the trashing victim and end their life.

There is absolutely no moral high ground in torturing a human being to death, even if it is dressed up in a thin veil of justice.

Finally so many including myself oppose the Death Penalty because we believe all killing of human beings is wrong. Just as I oppose all acts of violence whether they are murders carried out by an individual, to acts of war by states and terrorist organizations. I am opposed to the killing of a criminal. When the crime is one not involving murder such as the trafficking of drugs not even the vengeful code of an "eye for an eye" can justify the ultimate penalty.

When the death penalty is administered by systems and Governments that are sometimes corrupt and/ or contain racism, discriminate against the poor, the mentally ill, religious minorities, women and even children it cannot be allowed to continue and must be abolished.

Cases spanning thousands of years show the injustice of the Death Penalty and the crime of Execution.

From the death sentence and subsequent execution of Socrates, the founder of western thought, for the crime of inspiring others to think.To 2004 case of Atefah Sahaaleh who was executed at the age of 16 in Neka, Iran. Her crime was being raped by a 51 year old man and her confession to this "crime" was extracted under duress.

Any system that publicly hangs, and Murders a young girl for being raped in an attempt to bring justice to Society is a system I oppose!

But all is not as stated earlier the Abolition Movement is not new and it has swept the majority of the World.

The notable exceptions being United States and the majority of South East Asia.

The last ten years has seen a renewal of the commitment by nations who themselves oppose the Death Penalty to push nation's who still utilise the death penalty to end the punishment. Indeed this is exactly what many International Agreements and Conventions have called for. Across the majority of Africa most Countries have moved into a position of Abolitionist de-facto. While states such as South Korea, the Philippines and Kyrgyzstan have extended their moratoriums.


t is up to nation's like Australia and its people to work with all the nation's of the world to end the practise once and for all. Country by country this is possible and the above has highlighted just some of reason's why nation's must take this stance. Here in Australia we must push our own government to do more on the International stage to speak out against the Death Penalty and work particularly hard in our own region for abolition. Further more Australian law enforcement officials must never be allowed to participate in cases that will see potential execution's

It is simply not good enough for our own Government to oppose the Death Penalty here and maintain an Abolitionist stance. They should as Representatives of free people work to end a human rights abuse that doesn't recognise borders. However nothing will remind us more of our success or failure as a nation in this regard if six young Australian's are allowed to be murdered by one of our nearest neighbours with.a single gun shot that May or may not kill instantly a young human life, full of potential...

Three-fourths of the country’s executions in America in 2011 took place in the South, with Texas and Alabama topping the list. Capital punishment is legal in thirty-four states and forbidden in sixteen. This year saw Illinois abolish the death penalty, becoming the fourth state in recent years to halt executions. And Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) recently declared a moratorium on the practice while he is in office.

Other Reading

California's death penalty law: It simply does not work

By Ron Briggs, Los Angeles Times

February 12, 2012


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    • profile image

      mind 4 years ago

      to get rid of the fruits one must just cut the tree from its roots. we can't kill criminals but we have to stop them.

    • profile image

      diana gomez 4 years ago

      i think it will be abolished because innocent is people is dying

    • profile image

      arjun sunar 4 years ago

      hmmm well said. i m impressed..

    • christalluna1124 profile image

      christalluna1124 5 years ago from Dallas Texas


    • profile image

      no death 5 years ago

      I think death is basically murder too. I mean when we as a people kill killers doesent that make us killers too? And then their murderer friends murder people for their memory.

    • profile image

      Mariu 5 years ago

      I opposed death penalty, because it violates human rights

    • profile image

      Linda Yeo 5 years ago

      People i.e. "murderers and the like" should learn a lesson, so you want the death sentence abolished; clearly you have not lived through an awful enough experience where someone you love/d is raped, shot and ends up in a wheelchair, or is murdered in some cruel fashion and then after that murderer being in prison for 5 years is released for good behavour - so he's free again to go and harm another human being. So you're saying it's ok for this ugly person to live and to go on hurting others. I disagree...

    • profile image

      CricvShacer 5 years ago

      I’m impressed, I need to say. Really not often do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the problem is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very joyful that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

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    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Today, Connecticut abolished the death penalty.

    • profile image

      Not Sure 6 years ago


    • profile image

      GABRIEL ADDAI 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Shree 6 years ago

      an eye for an eye is sometimes required

    • profile image

      Aida 6 years ago

      I oppose the death penalty...

    • profile image

      kavita sinha 6 years ago

      thanxxxxx reallly ,death penalty shud b abolished,coz everyone is having d right to live.

    • profile image

      jacob 6 years ago

      there should just be one

    • profile image

      JOHNNA 6 years ago

      I saw on the news that a seven year old little girl was abducted, molested, had her throat slit with a razor blade, and beat with her own roller skate before being dumped like trash. I hope that bastard is raped in prison and burns in the chair. If that happened to my child I'd try my best to kidnap and torture the person as long as possible before making sure they died a slow and miserable death. I do not want to breath the same air as an animal capable of hurting a child.

    • profile image

      Elizabeth Carson 6 years ago

      I totally agree with Barry's article.Death penalty should be abolished because it is revenge taken upon a criminal,even if it is wrong.THANKS

    • profile image

      Willy Wonka 6 years ago

      I think capital punishment should be abolished. Isn't it Barry Ruther Ford?

    • profile image

      bob john 6 years ago

      nice 1

    • profile image

      canaan 6 years ago

      nice hub barry i agree with everything you said

    • profile image

      Choo 6 years ago

      Thank for your post!!!help me in my presentation

    • profile image

      mangoberrry 6 years ago

      this was really useful....thanx hub.

    • vjh profile image

      vjh 6 years ago from Erie, pa

      Anyone who does not condone state sanctioned violence good in my book.

    • profile image

      placebo 6 years ago

      I think its crazy that people call themselves civilised when they execute people. Anyways nice hub im doin a debate soon at school on this topic good thing i chose the side against the ultimate sentence ths again

      The placebo grade 7

      shoutout to ninja!

    • profile image

      april 6 years ago

      useful article!!thank you Barry

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Studies underscore the huge cost of killing convicted criminals as appeals and legal challenges draw out the process, sending bills skyrocketing. And new anxieties about getting the verdict absolutely right are adding further to the expense by pushing the average time that condemned prisoners spend on death row to 13 years, compared with half that in the 1980s: so long, in fact, that since 1983 more than 400 death row inmates have died of natural causes while waiting to be executed.

      A Maryland study suggested that a death sentence - with all the trials, appeals and incarceration that it entailed - cost the state $US3 million, and more if the prisoner failed to be executed, whereas a life sentence cost $US1 million. An Indiana study put the cost differential as high as 10 times, while an investigation by New Jersey, which abolished the death penalty in 2007, revealed the cumulative effect: it found that death sentences had cost taxpayers an extra $US253 million since 1983.

    • profile image

      ilovemoms 7 years ago

      helped me a lot! great job. and people CAN give their opinions.

    • profile image

      ilovemoms 7 years ago

      helped me a lot. but other people should be able to GIVE THEIR OPINIONS. i don't care what they think. they're all about themselves.

    • profile image

      dpospis1 7 years ago

      Interesting statistics for death penalty...

      Interesting how states with no death penalty status generally have lower numbers of murders. It seems like the death penalty is not an effective deterrent.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 7 years ago from Southern California

      Very interesting article. However I feel it is best that I keep my true feelings to myself.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Sierra Greer I will have a look at that case thankyou.

    • profile image

      Sierra Greer 7 years ago

      Excellent researched blog on on the death penalty. I, particularly, liked what you had to say about the socio-economic condition of a perpetrator influencing whether or not he gets the death penalty. Recently, I was involved in watching a local case and wrote a hub on it. Please check it out. Google: Sierra Greer + hub.

    • profile image

      student 8 years ago

      This is a great article! People need to realize how bad the death penalty is, and you brought up some excellent points.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      glad it was of help !

    • profile image

      nokubonga sithole 8 years ago

      great article in deed as it has also helped me through this university assignment that i had to complete on death penalty

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      thanks tonymac04

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Great Hub and I totally agree with you. Will link this one to mine on the death penalty.

      Love and peace


    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      thanks for your comments I appreciate your finer points...

      The latest research shows that those who have had loved ones killed by person who have been given the death penalty feel no sense of closure because the perpetrator has been exicuted.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      What a great Hub Barry, a touchy subject done well. If I may add my 2 cents;

      I oppose the death penalty because it will never be dealt fairly between Black and White, Male and Female, Rich and Poor.

      I should say that if anyone were to harm my loved ones, yes I would gladly kill them but let's be clear, that would be revenge not Justice. Personal emotions cannot play a part in law, that is why Justice is blind. We need to be mature enough to know the difference between revenge and Justice and frame our laws accordingly.

    • lisadpreston profile image

      lisadpreston 8 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      An excellent hub. Good for you for thinking like an intelligent evolved human being instead of a vengeful, barbaric hypocrit. Yay for the Aussies!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes I am pro-choice & I know that it is a very difficult choice for any mother under the most difficult of personal circumstances it what must feel like a terrible loss to them.

    • profile image

      Question 8 years ago

      I'll bet you're pro-choice (i.e. pro abortion)

      Are you?

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Hubbers for recent comments. Her is an interesting opinion piece on a Death Penalty Ruling this week.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I hope that the US will eventually come to the same conclusion the Aussies have.. but I think that's going to be some time yet. Great post.

    • Miss Belgravia profile image

      Kathleen 8 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Excellent hub. Thanks for your support on the forum about executing pedophiles! I live in Texas, and my views are sometimes unpopular among my fellow citizens, as you might imagine.

    • christalluna1124 profile image

      christalluna1124 8 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Barry, Excellent article!!! I totally agree with you. I am also familiar with "Cesare." I am a former corrections officer in Texas 25 years and believe me it is full of injustice. Our Gov. Is death penalty happy. Are you familiar with the execution of "Cameron Todd Willingham" here. The Gov. knew he was innocent and refused a 30 day repreive. It would have cost the state feeding him for 30 more days but it cost "Cameron" his life. Your article was passionate, heartfelt, and a variety of reasons the death penalty should be abolished. The commandment "Thou shall not kill" does not differentiate between murder by an individual or the state. Murder is Murder. Period.

      Warmest regards and looking forward to your next article.


    • acanderson24 profile image

      acanderson24 8 years ago

      First let me say thanks for visiting my hub...The Death Penalty is a very touchy subject. One of the comments here said if you kill them and they are innocent, they will at least be in a much better place than prison. Wow!! Human error is the reason that the death penalty should be abolished. Personal feelings and natural emotions of sympathy, and the fact we have to find someone in a "horrible" crime opens up too much room for mistakes.

    • Texas Outlaw profile image

      Texas Outlaw 9 years ago from Huntsville TExas

      I enjoyed!!!!

    • profile image

      Richard 9 years ago

      The death penalty is for those of us who believe that some people are so evil that they should not be allowed to waste space on this planet. We allow people to abort an innocent baby, but allow an evil worthless animal to live. What sense does that make. Just more brain dead liberal babble. Send them to God so he can judge them, if they are innocent they will centainly be in a better place than prison.

    • profile image

      John 9 years ago

      Death penalty is for those of us in society who have no respect for human life. If you are willing to Kill somebody why should you live. Why should you have the right to breath who knows the state might even save some lives in prison by keeping some murders of the streets and out of prison. YOU are born with the right to live if anybody takes this right from you they have showed us that they have no respect for any RULES/LAWS. No offence prison is not as bad as being dead. People who kill deserve the same punishment. Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. True we teach our children this basic concept but we are not dealing with children we are dealing with adults. If an Adult can't grasp the concept that killing is bad then he is past the point where he is able to learn. The concept works to teach our youth that fighting is bad and forgive and forget. We are not dealing with a petty issue we are dealing with something that is impos. to get back the Human life of an innocent person. Killing somebody does not bring that person back but it insures that a person that is willing to kill stays out of prison and off the streets where there are security gaurds/other inmates who's lives could be at risk due to being exposed to people who have proven them selfes

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Alexis, Unfortunately I dont think my words will give you a satifactory answer to your loss. The loss of a very close relative is always painful, more so when you know deep down it was avoidable...I suspect 'he' will be grieving the dreadful actions that he took. I doubt that his death would give you any solace going on the experiences of other victims where the perpetrator has been executed...

      kind regards


    • profile image

      Alexis Myres 9 years ago

      Just a question. But has this ever personally effected you? My mother was killed 7 years ago, I just don't understand why he should get to breathe when she doesn't.

    • profile image

      jamancoleman 9 years ago

      this is the best info site on the web 4 DeathPenalty!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Interesting that today President George W. Bush sanctioned the Execution of asolider for the first time in 35 years I think !

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank's for your comments !

    • Marian Swift profile image

      Marian Swift 9 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      This hubber does! Thank you, Barry.

    • CJStone profile image

      CJStone 9 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      Well said, Barry, a well-written and impassioned hub, written with clarity and conviction. I hope other hubbers agree with you.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Over to you hubbers for your comments !


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