The death penalty is a punishment of thousands

The death penalty is a punishment of
thousands of years of history. At present, there are still many countries and
regions that use the death penalty as the capital punishment, but there are
also many countries and regions have abolished the death penalty. The argument
of whether to abolish the death penalty has also appeared for a long time. This
article will discuss why we should not abolish the death penalty from the
perspectives of humanism, miscarriage, discrimination and deterrence.

When it comes to
capital punishment, people are always talking about whether they are humanized.
It seems a very cruel matter to bring death to someone, even on the basis of
legal process. Of course, this argument can always be the reason for those
abolitionists. The main point of these abolitionists is that death penalty
violates human dignity because it deprives people of their right to life. In
their view, the death penalty reflects the most basic animal instincts of
mankind: an eye for an eye, life for a life. (Grant, 2004) From the beginning
of the Renaissance, after the Enlightenment, especially in the Western world,
humanism was distributed at an astonishing speed. Today, humanism has become
the core idea of most western countries. It is not surprising that these
abolitionists use humanism as one of their arguments. However, this reason
really makes sense? When it comes to humanitarianism, they stand in the
criminal’s perspective, regardless of the victim. Criminals will never think of
human dignity when they murder. Also, the death penalty will never be the
reflection of humanity’s basest animal instincts. Actually, this is just on the
opposite side of “humanity’s basest animal instincts”: human is a kind of
creature that can take responsibility, but animals can’t. (Haag, 1985) Animals
kill for surviving, but the death penalty is set for those criminals to pay for
what they have done, stop the criminal continue to commit more severe crimes
and bring deterrence to the society.

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(Death penalty information center, 2017)

Abolitionists also take discrimination and miscarriage as arguments. It
seems that black or poor defendants were likely to be executed than equally
guilty others. (Haag, 1985) According to the statistics, “black people make up
34.3 percent of defendants executed in the past, but black people only make up
15 percent of the population in U.S.” (Death penalty information center, 2017).
It is an indisputable fact that discrimination does exist while carrying out
the death penalty. However, just like an old saying, the gun does not kill,
people do. Media, common people, and even judges may have discrimination on a
specific group. In modern democratic countries, the law doesn’t have any
discrimination against someone, but people do. Also, we can never ignore the
high crime rate of black people which also lead to the statistics above. All in
all, discrimination can never be one of the arguments, it doesn’t make sense.
The miscarriage of death sentence is also one of the main problems and can also
be the reason for those abolitionists. However, as long as it is a law, there
will definitely be the problem of miscarriage. Abolishing the death penalty
because of miscarriage is just like giving up surgery because surgeons’ misses
may cause the death of patients, which is absurd and doesn’t make sense at all.
Also, according to the statistics “Since 1973, more than 155 people have been
released from death row with evidence of their innocence. From 1973-1999, there
was an average of 3 exonerations per year. From 2000-2011, there was an average
of 5 exonerations per year”. (Death penalty information center, 2017) All in
all, miscarriage will never be one of the reasons to abolish the death penalty
too.

(Death penalty information center, 2017)

About the deterrence function of the death penalty, there was an old data
indicates that from 1933 to 1965, “an additional execution per year… may have
resulted on average in seven or eight fewer murders”. (Ehrlich, 1975) It cannot
fully prove that carrying out death penalty still has deterrence nowadays, but
in my opinion, carrying out death penalty does not have much deterrence on
crime, legalizing death penalty does. In many states of US, “there is the death
penalty in the state law, but no executions were in fact carried out for many
years”. (Wilson, 1985) According to the statistics, “the number of execution in
1998 was 295, but in 2017, it has decreased to 39” (Death penalty information
center, 2017). There are two main reasons resulted in this kind of situation.
Firstly, we are becoming more and more careful and rational while carrying out
death penalty nowadays. Secondly, there was the fewer criminal who committed
severe crimes that can be given death sentence according to the law. Even this
kind of phenomenon also has something to do with the society, it can still
surely prove that death penalty still has deterrence. However, what deters more
is the existence of the law of death penalty rather than the execution. Once
death penalty exists in the law and there is the inevitability that the death
penalty may be carried out, it deters. The original purpose of the law is not
to punish anyone, but to maintain the stability of society.

Nowadays, a huge amount of countries and areas have
abolished the death penalty, but the truth is that death penalty brings more
positive influences than negative ones. Carrying out death penalty will never
be a kind of violation of humanism. It is just on the opposite side, it
protects humanism. The purpose of the death penalty is to make the criminal pay
for what they have done, stop those criminals continue to commit more severe
crimes and bring deterrence to the whole society. Discrimination and
Miscarriage are things that only affect the execution, but have nothing to do
with the law itself. There is a lot of evidence prove that death penalty still
deters even there are fewer executions nowadays. The truth is that what deters
is not executions, but the existence of death penalty and the inevitability of
carrying out the death penalty. As long as the law is there, it deters anytime,
anywhere. Finally, here comes the answer: we should not abolish the death
penalty.