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
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