Death Penalty Research Paper

Death penalty refers to punishment by death to the crime committed by a country’s citizen. A total of 58 countries still practice the capital punishment-death penalty.

The following among others are the countries that still practice the capital punishment known as the death penalty, Belarus and Kazakhstan in Europe, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Oman, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Thailand etc.

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Death penalty in china is a subject to the serious as well as violent offenders. It is administered to those who are involved in the violent crimes such as senseless murder also known as aggravated murder. Of the classical five punishments of China’s drastic period, capital punishment is one of them. Statistics has it that China has the highest number of annual executions. The executions in china involve all classes of society with no exceptions. Foreigners have also been victims of executions in China.

The people’s court of China first notifies the people’s procuratorate to send personnel to actually supervise the execution; the execution is announced in public but is not held in public.  The sentence is administered by the use of lethal injections or shooting (use of firing squad). This is done in the designated places of custody or the execution ground. The personnel directing the execution verifies the identity of the offender, asks the offender of his/her last words before carrying out the actual execution.

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In Iran, the methods of administering this kind of punishment are: use of firing squad- this method is legal for the military and political crimes only but is seldom used in Iran today, hanging- the most commonly used method carried out in the prisons,  stoning- this was however abolished in 1981, it is however legal in sex crimes. Iran practices public execution for capital crimes unlike China. This is done for crimes such as gang rape, murder during an armed robbery, massive child murder and drug trafficking. Public execution became common after the Islamic revolution.

The major method of the capital punishment is through the use of firing squad. Hanging is also practiced for specific crimes under the Islamic law in Afghanistan. The crimes that calls for this kind of penalty include mass murder, apostasy, homosexuality, rape, terrorism, drug trafficking, adultery among others. Crimes in this country present in various forms, they include the contract killings or assassinations as the major ones seconded by the major drug trafficking.

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Studying the human rights, death penalty is not appropriate for various reasons. In countries like China, death penalty is applied even to the less violent offenses. The questioning subjected to the offenders before the penalty involve the use of torture to extract confessions. The excess torture might and quite often lead to false confessions punishable by death in these countries especially in China. This has always led to wrongful executions of the innocent people especially in China, Wei Qingan; a 23year old Chinese citizen was wrongfully executed for rape of Lui. The act was committed by Tian Yuxiu who was arrested a month later and admitted of committing the crime. Others like Teng Xingshan, Nie Shubin and Huugjit were also victims of wrongful execution. Since 1973, statistics has it that over 140 executions have been released from death rows in 26 states because of innocence and more than 500 people have been victims of false executions.

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The punishment is an intolerable and inappropriate denial of civil liberties. It is indeed inconsistent with the basic and major values of the democratic systems. In the Europe, the penalty violates their constitutional ban against unusual and cruel punishment. This cruel penalty also violates the constitutional law of equal protection under law. The state has no right of killing its citizen, not only its citizen but any human beings especially when this is done with ceremony and premeditation in the name of the constitution or the law. The execution of people in Europe is also one in unjust and unfair manner favoring the skin color, financial background etc.

Death punishment denies the victims their rights of a second chance. There is therefore no room of doing things right once you’ve done them wrongly. In countries like China and Belarus, the legal proceedings employed do not meet the international standards. The government also refuses to publish the statistics on the death penalties.

However, capital punishment might have my support in countries like Afghanistan and Iran where the capital crimes include the mass murder, terrorist activities that leads to loss of property and lots of lives etc.  The victims in these crimes have no regards to their own personal lives; some are victims of suicidal bombing. In this scenario, the other administering other legal punishments like serving jail terms will have no impact to them apart from just delaying their plans to carry out the attacks.

Death punishment has most demerits that critics its justifications. From the creation theories, God is the sole giver of life and therefore none has the mandate whatsoever to take it away in ceremony. Just like the other countries, these countries should also abolish the death penalty.

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