Autism Education Project

Death Penalty

The death penalty or capital punishment happens to be the consequence of committing a capital offence. Through the legal process of the country, the capital offender stands to face execution. The punishment dates back to historical times where such a sentence would be preceded by torture. The spread of this practice amongst present day nations has greatly declined to approximately fifty-eight nations that still practice it. In most countries, it is reserved for punishment of crimes such as treason, espionage or murder.

In the United States of America, thirty-two states in total use capital punishment. The federal, legal and military systems support this penalty especially for grievous offences. There are various methods used to execute those that face this form of penalty, such as lethal injection. Other methods like death by firing squad also take place, the first of which got recorded in 1608 in America. Death by hanging is another method used to carry out the death sentence. Historically, this form of punishment was common especially during the American Revolutionary War.

Although the use of the death penalty is widespread, the practice faces great opposition from Human rights activists who are against its practice. It has become fairly common to see protestors outside the buildings of an execution chamber hours before the execution is to occur. It is a common sight in America, although the demonstrations have no power over the legal systems of the land. The supporters of this penalty argue that it puts off potential murderers from committing crimes. However, factors such as the prevailing culture of the community, policing and the economic conditions in the country also contribute to the statistics.

Notably, over the years there has been a reduction in the number of death sentences issued out by the legal systems in the United States. Factors that contribute to the decline include a reduction in the number of homicides and first-degree murders and the possibilities of the jury passing life sentences without the possibility of parole.

In conclusion, the death penalty is perceived differently by various communities with those in support more concerned about reducing rates of crime and those in opposition fighting for human rights. It is, therefore, necessary for the legal systems of the country to be effective to ensure justice is realized especially in such sentences as the death penalty.