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Evaluation Of The Justification Of The Death Penalty

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Death penalty is the judgment that will legally affect or destroy the original life of a person (Prabhakar, 2013). This means that death penalty will bring a lot of different or changes to a person from many aspects of their life. The changes that occur to that particular person maybe will make he or she cannot adapt in a short period. Besides, their family and friends also may be affected by these changes and may take quite a long time to accept this reality. For example, not only the reputation of the person who did crimes will be affected but the reputation of he or she family also will be affected. People surrounding will discuss their family because of one of the family members have made mistakes. Besides, death penalty will appear when someone violates the constitution to life and majesty (Dieter, 1998). For example, the action of death penalty will be taken when someone persists in doing something that will violate the laws although he or she knew that is wrong. Suitable and fair laws procedures are used to determine the officially approved execution of death penalty on persons to take responsibility and undertake the consequences to their wrong actions. Death penalty will only implement after going through the legal procedures. The legal procedure is the formal procedure that writes by the court to obtain justice for society. This action can avoid to tie down people that are innocent in that particular case.

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For example, if death penalty is taken without going through the appropriate legal procedures, the process to pronounce a sentence of a case will touch upon many people that are not guilty. This will make people mistrust death penalty and will not support death penalty. In contrary, if death penalty is taken by going through the legal procedures, people will not doubt the feasibility of death penalty. They will believe that death penalty will bring a lot of advantages and also equitable to society. They also will be more convincing to the decision of the court. According to Oppenheimer (as cited in Mah, 2015), “The Rationale of Punishment” 1, there are four theories which are regarding the function of death penalty. These four theories that are regarding death penalty are the theory of determent, the theory of reformation, the theory of disablement, and also Feuerbach’s theory (Oppenheimer, as cited in Mah, 2015). Thus, death penalty should be activated around the world because it can ensure justice, maintain law and order and deter crime.


The authority of citizens is protected by laws. Actually, laws can bring a lot of justice to the citizens. Laws help people to protect their authority when they made something that has affect other people. For example, Indian law still accepts the death penalty although they recognize the authority of life as a general rule (Dastur, 2016). Nowadays, although death penalty is still implemented around the world, the number of countries that are still employing death penalty is decreasing (Dieter, 1998). Fifty-two countries still have death penalty until the end of the year 2018. Besides that, the cases of death penalty also decrease when comparing the number of cases of the year 2016 and the year 2017. In the year 2016, there are a high number of cases of death penalty that showed 3117 cases. In the year 2017, the number of the death penalty is decreasing which are from 3117 cases to 2591 cases in fifty-three countries. A lot of ways that have used in death penalty, there are hanging, shooting, lethal injection, electrocution and beheading (Sam, 2018).

Different types of crimes will be punished by different ways that used in death penalty. In reality, death penalty will bring a lot of arguments from many aspects that are regarding the topic of ethics, humanitarian and philosophical (Roy, 2014). Ethics is the code of moral principles and values that governs the behaviors of a person or group concerning for what is right or wrong. Ethics set standard to the action to determine whether it is right or wrong. Humanitarian means a person who seeks to promote human welfare and philosophical means having or showing a calm attitude towards disappointments or difficulties. This will occur since the action of death penalty needs someone to implement it and the person who takes this responsibility will raise the questions from the ethics, humanitarian and also philosophical. People surrounding will doubt the meaning and the will rise a lot of questions about the topic of death penalty. There is no greater power that we can give to the state than the ability to decide who lives and who dies (Beaudoin, as cited in Beale, 2018). This brings the meaning that there is not much that we can give to the state except the ability to decide who is going to live and who are going to die through the laws and also the death penalty. The action of death penalty will make people think before doing something. So, death penalty is very important nowadays.

Pro-Argument I

First of all, death penalty should be activated around the world because it can ensure justice. Justice could be a type of activity consisting of examining and resolution the cases by the court referred to its competence like criminal offenses and civil disputes. The important part of the death penalty is the means to achieve such justice because everyone has different opinions on this issue. It is unfair to the victims if the criminal can have time when they feel joy, the time when they laugh and talk to their family while the victims do not have any opportunity available to them. Hence, the person who terminated their life ought to pay with their own for the scale of justice to achieve justice. The second punishment must be more harshly than first for repeat criminals otherwise death penalty should be the primary consideration among various types of punishment to the criminals.

According to Maule (2015), when justice is removed as the primary consideration in punishment, it means to promote good within the criminal and in a society which is unjust to the victim. The state has the responsibilities to deciding one’s life because the state is charged with ensuring justice although God established the principle of justice for murder. It is a judgment that a criminal’s sentence probably could also be increased based on the appalling nature of their act, the number of victims, the age and kind of victim, and whether or not the criminal may be a repeat offender (Brauchler, 2013). For example, assaulting a child is more serious than the same assault on an adult. Criminals that involved in assaulting a child have to give a more harshly punishment than the persons who assault on an adult because children are a group of people who were under-protected. In 1995, Duane Buck broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend, Debra Gardner, in Houston, Texas, after they broke up. He shot and killed Gardner and her friend Kenneth Butler while Gardner’s three children were in the home by two guns. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1997. Although Buck, now fifty-three, never contested his guilt, the decision to deliver a capital punishment verdict rather than a life sentence has been thrown into question after a review of the racially charged testimony of an expert witness during the sentencing trial (“United State News”, 19 Mar 2017). This evidence shows that death penalty can achieve justice. Thus, justice is an important factor to undergo death penalty because death penalty can ensure the punishment for criminals is fair to victims.

Pro-Argument II

In addition, death penalty should be activated around the world because it can maintain law and order. Death penalty law is an issue relating to the imposition of death as punishment for the commission of a crime. The law and order are important for a society because they serve as a standard to conduct citizen, protect the rights of citizens, assure their safety and look upon everyone equally without discrimination. If death penalty law is absent, the whole society will be in chaos. The government has responsibilities to prevent crime to happen and the law of the country should allow them to practice their duty. As the criminals understand the law and order stated by the government, this can prevent the criminals from repeating such society crimes because this will dispel their intention to repeat the same thing since it will bring a bad effect on them. Hence, this can decrease the murder rate. If anyone takes away that right then that person should be given death penalty as punishment (Roy, 2014). The ones who involves in heinous crime, death penalty is applied on he or she because offenders deserve the worst punishment under the system of law. The value that society places on their lives will undermine if the punishment is less serious. No one has the authority to take away someone’s life, even if that person is not innocent. Since ancient times, people against the law and order which are stated before, they will be given by a punishment.

According to Beale (2018), the punishment must correspond to the offense, with greater crimes eliciting more severe punishments. The action to punish the criminal must correspond to the crime that he or she had done. It was unfair when the punishment does not correspond to the offense. For example, someone who did the crime like murder should get the same level of punishment as death penalty. By this, people will think about the effect before doing something. China is a country with a population of over 1.4 billion and has a no-nonsense approach to those who commit a serious crime. The serious crime rate for a large population is relatively low and it is not a good idea to go against the law in China. Crimes like robbery, corruption, murder and rape are punishable by death (Nair, 2018). As a result, law and order is such an important thing that we need to maintain in every country. Death penalty can let people be more aware of their actions in their daily life.

Pro-Argument III

Apart from that, death penalty should be activated around the world since death penalty can deter further crimes. Reactivation of death penalty is done by some countries and states due to the rise of crime rates. The reactivation of death penalty shows that death penalty is needed to deter crimes around the world (Nair, 2018). People who have the intention to do crimes will hesitate when they know that the action that they take maybe will lead them to the punishment of death penalty. Mature people will always think before taking actions to avoid something bad happen to them. This will be more obvious to those who already married since they will think over their wife and their children. Death penalty not only will affect someone who is doing crimes but also will affect a whole family. Human beings are afraid of losing their lives despite anything else, thus will maximize the effectiveness of having death penalty to deter crimes in a physiological way (Mah, 2015). The cases of crimes will be decreased when the people who are trying to do crimes know that death penalty will come to them when they still trying to do so. Death penalty will have a deterrent effect since the feeling of fear of death does play on human psychology (Dastur, 2018). This will happen because many people will feel intense and also will have a feeling of phobia when something that is unknown is coming to them.

People will not be trying to do something that they already know that they will get severe punishment like death penalty (Prabhakar, 2013). With death penalty, the cases of crime for the countries will be decreased. If abolition of death penalty occurs, people will do whatever they want since they know that the maximum punishment that they will get is just life imprisonment, as long as they are still alive. They will continue to do what they like without concerning for other people. Death penalty has brought advantages to many countries. In the United States, death sentence acts as the most effective way to deter crimes for decades ago (Nagin & Pepper, 2012). Not only the United States, but countries such as Japan, Bangladesh, and China are also still having death penalty until today (“Countries with Death”, 2019). Countries that do not abolish death penalty acknowledge the importance of having death penalty to deter crimes and decrease crime rates as well. According to Pojman (2004), having death penalty to the criminals is the most effective way to deliver the message to the public, if criminals committed serious crimes to the innocence, they need to pay high prices towards their own crime. Therefore, death penalty acts as an efficient tool to decrease crime rates from a society or a country.

Counter Argument

There are reasons why death penalty becomes a controversial issue until nowadays. Some people think that death penalty should be abolished because it is counted as an inhuman and immoral act, which only violates human rights and morality, and can be said as a corrupting punishment (Roy, 2014). They think that society or even the government does not have the authority to decide a person’s life and death. Everyone has their own right to live, even if that person has committed serious crimes. If a convict was found guilty for the murder cases, it is not necessary to give that person death penalty, as that convict is a human also. Although some people believe that giving death sentence to the murderer is to follow the principle of proportionality, but there are limits to it (Beale, 2018). A rapist will not get a “rape sentence”, same goes to the murderer. The principle of proportionality does not apply to every situation if it violates human rights. Besides, having death penalty may have the chance to execute the wrong person (Dieter, 1998). If a person executed wrongly, who will take the responsibility towards the life of the wrongly executed person? The dead prisoner will not be alive again, and the compensation towards the wrongly executed person cannot be done (Dando, 1996). However, the abolition of death penalty may cause decreasing in the value and quality of life (Mah, 2015). Some people will think that it is unfair when an innocence’s life can be just taken away by inhuman convicts but still living peacefully in the prison, and some even do not feel guilty towards the victims. This will cause people to confuse the value of life, as someone’s life can be just simply taken by the murderers without any serious punishment.

According to Prabhakar (2013), if death sentence violates human rights, it can also mean that convicts can be treated like an animal without human thinking, and can be excused for their crimes. They will think that as long as they are still living, they will not feel guilty about their crimes. The death penalty cannot be abolished because the convicts will have liability to misbehave (Nair, 2018). Human life is valuable, and the value of human life is based on the quality of life. Imagine that when innocent people’s lives are taken by the murderers, how will the victims’ family members live in the sadness of losing one of their family members? This situation will cause the reduction of quality of life for the victims’ families since they will feel less motivated towards their life. Therefore, death penalty should be activated around the world so that the value and quality of life in societies will not be affected by the convicts, and also maintaining the order in the societies.


In conclusion, death penalty should be activated around the world because it can ensure justice, maintain law and order and deter crimes. Although death penalty raises many controversial issues such as violates human rights, and refers to it as an immoral or inhuman act, but death penalty can bring more advantages than disadvantages towards the society, as discussed in this paper. The disadvantages is only violates human right and immoral, but without death penalty, crime rates increase, more innocence’s life loss, and the whole society will be in chaos. There are reasons why death penalty exists for decades ago in the world, and it should not be altered or abolished in order to maintain the justice and law in the society. Abolition of death penalty will only provide opportunity to the people who have the intention to commit serious crime. They think that they will only be sentenced to prison for years, as long as they are still living.

People with this kind of mindset should not be tolerated and should give them the punishment that they deserve, for example death sentence. The reason of death penalty should be activated is to remind them to avoid to do crimes in their life. They should know the seriousness of doing crimes and this may make them to lose their life. The exist of death penalty is to make people to be more alert to their action because if they are doing something that have cross over the morality, they will get death sentence. Death penalty is a psychological approach to ensure justice in the world. Normal people will be afraid of getting “death” as punishment because everyone in this world is fear of death, and no one is willing to die, unless that person is having depression or mental illness. With this approach, this shows the effectiveness of death penalty for crime deterrence. If a murderer get death penalty, this shows that the punishment is correspond with the offense. Death penalty is also help to maintain the value and quality of life. If a murderer does not get the expected punishment, which is the death penalty, people will start to question the value of life, whether if the victim’s life is not as valuable as the murderer’s life.

Besides, not only the victim, the victim’s family will also be affected. The victim’s family members will undergo emotional change since they have already lost a family member. By executing the murderer, at least the victim’s family members will get some consolation from the loss of their family members, and they will continue to work hard with their own life. The death penalty has bring many advantages to the society, therefore it should be activated around the world, and this is the most effective way to ensure justice in the world.

07 September 2020

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