Death punishment, is a sanction by the authorities, where the states terminates person ‘s life as

punishment for a crime. Death penalty also known as capital punishment have been used to solve

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capital crimes, in the traditional and modern society. According to working group on the death penalty

on Africa’s report; the death penalty in Africa (24th October-07 November 2011). the penalty has been

used since time immemorial until the rise of retention activism in 19th century. reasons for the

arguments for and against the death penalty have been basically due to knowledge about the human

rights-right to live, common laws and instinct, mainly based on religions and cultures   and the agenda of

co-existence amongst the human race. One can therefore base his argument against the death penalty

on the following elements of law; losing the right to live, contradiction on agenda of common law and

others as explained here below

loosing right to live-death penalty is against this basic human right, that is advocated for by

every human right commission active today. right to live should not be based on any conditionality

whatsoever. William schabas, on his book worldwide abolition of capital punishment (2009), strongly

argues against termination of life and proposes other forms of punishment that can equally solve the

matter. retentionists and abolitionists have engaged in this debate with passion based on

complexities and may be controversies but any way this trickles down to social justice and civilization as

a characteristic to any ‘improving’ society. Everybody deserves a second chance.

A second chance comes with a room for rehabilitation, changed mindset as a result of

correction. Measures in penitentiary, however this may need time away from the society and in


facilities. this imprisonment can change the convict to be not only better person but also resourceful

after release. This is where capital punishment fails in in its attempt to solve the societal

problem. Louisiana state penitentiary report, (J.M Taylor 1861) In its finding explains how many who

came in as very hard criminals came out of prison reformed, productive and better

the law is established to allow for conducive coexistence of humanity, but when the punishment

is by death this leads to contradiction to this prime agenda of the law. The sentence can be wrongly

decided and in case there is need for appeal. There will be no room for reversed justice. This means the justice will not have prevailed

the other reason for being against this is based on the societal rule of law. Nobody is above the

law and therefore no one can execute the termination of life, execution of the order is not only against

the law of land but also against the society’s fabricating values. Law is basically based on this reasoning

‘’what if everybody commits it in the world’’ (schabas 2009) ‘’then everybody suffers the consequence-

death’’. From his reasoning one can see how ineffective and its inability to correct the order

however, those who advocate for this penalty argue with some pros, argues that more are

being concentrated in jails, most of this criminals don’t change anyway, that is wasted of taxpayer’s


given that they won’t change no matter the amount of time they spend in penitentiary.

Religions such as Jews, Islam advocates death as a punishment to some capital crime and even civil

crimes such as prostitution-the problem with this is that its biased to gender, for example.

high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay is quoted in the report moving away from the

 death penalty, lessons from national experiences (3 July 2012) ‘’a death sentence is usually imposed on less

privileged individuals who do not have sufficient access to effective legal representation’’.

Despite all the above pros, I strongly oppose death penalty on the basis of upholding

human dignity and advocacy for human rights.





the death penalty in Africa (24th October-07 November 2011).

William Schabas, worldwide abolition of capital punishment (2009),

Louisiana state penitentiary report, (J.M Taylor 1861)

Moving away from the death penalty Lessons,

from national experiences, united nation human rights report





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