Is it violation of human rights?
Mohammad Towhidul Islam
Though the modern world is very sympathetic to the concept of human rights issues, death penalty as a form of capital punishment has still been in practice in the world. During 2001, at least 3048 people were executed in 31 countries as well as at least 5265 people were sentenced to death in 68 countries. It is very interesting to see that some advanced countries, which are pioneer to the protection and promotion of human rights and also very vocal to the human rights situation in the developing world, do impose death penalty, even on children.
Death penalty and human rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 has incorporated most of the human rights. It has specially enshrined the protection of the right to life in Article 3. However, Article 29 recognises that human rights and fundamental freedoms are subject to limits. Though it didn't specify clearly, it is presumed that by imposing death penalty, right to life may be curtailed in certain circumstances. The death penalty is the only exception that is mentioned in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1976.
All rights of man stem from one right, his right to life. Man's right is the first cause of all other rights. It is not axiomatic (self-evident) but it's absolute. The right to life, thus rooted in natural and ethical principles and usually inscribed in a country's constitutional and legal framework. In Criminology the word punishment is used to denote compensation and the offenders have to suffer different punishments depending on the aggravating form of offences. Though right to life is ensured and protected by the way of giving punishment to the wrongdoers, the right to life is curtailed when someone's life is executed under death penalty.
Origin of death penalty
Death penalty as a form of punishment has been used throughout history by different societies. The first death penalty laws came as far as the Eighteen Century BC's in the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteen Century BC's Hittite Code, the Seventh Century BC's Draconian Code of Athens, which made death penalty for all crimes, and the Fifth Century BC's Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets. Death sent...
... middle of paper ...
...ence. Once an inmate is executed, nothing can be done to make amends if a mistake has been done. Many of the innocent releases from death row came about as a result of factors outside of the justice system. In other cases, DNA testing has exonerated death row inmates. Here, too, the justice system had concluded that these defendants were guilty and deserving of the death penalty. So it can be said that society takes many risks in which innocent lives are lost.
Though we are very far from achieving a worldwide ban on capital punishment, there are certain situations in which the death penalty should be looked upon as a violation of universally accepted international norms. Where the death sentence is imposed on minors, pregnant woman or persons with psychiatric disorder, at odds with internationally recognised norms, it constitutes a human rights violation. Even where a death sentence is carried out in circumstances that are not compatible with internationally accepted procedural norms constitutes a human rights violation. Again, the conditions of detention and the time spent awaiting execution; the death penalty may constitute a violation of human rights.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The death penalty continues to be an issue of controversy and is an issue that will be debated in the United States for many years to come. According to Hugo A. Bedau, the writer of “The Death Penalty in America”, capital punishment is the lawful infliction of the death penalty. The death penalty has been used since ancient times for a variety of offenses. The Bible says that death should be done to anyone who commits murder, larceny, rapes, and burglary. It appears that public debate on the death penalty has changed over the years and is still changing, but there are still some out there who are for the death penalty and will continue to believe that it’s a good punishment.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- Almost all nations in the world either have the death sentence or have had it at one time. It was used in most cases to punish those who broke the laws or standards that were expected of them. Since the death penalty wastes tax money, is inhumane, and is largely unnecessary it should be abolished in every state across the United States. The use of the death penalty puts the United States in the same category as countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia which are two of the world’s worst human rights violators (Friedman 34).... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
1561 words (4.5 pages)
- As of January 1, 2010, 3,261 people live on death row (“Death”). Fewer than 3,261 people live in my small town of Belle Plaine, so to me this number is outrageous. Inmates that wait on the death penalty jail create a problem for everyone in the country. If we would put these inmates through the death penalty quickly, we could take the problem away from the country. Why do we keep murderers and criminals on death row around. People argue the controversial topic of the death penalty very thoroughly, and address all sides.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
908 words (2.6 pages)
- Is the death penalty really a rational and effective way to respond to the crimes of certain prisoners. Thirty one percent of society believes we should not keep the death penalty, while others believe that the death penalty doesn’t really keep crime from happening. Of the thirty one percent, many believe that executing offenders of the law only runs away from the issue at hand. Also, if society thinks about it, ending the penalty would cost less both physically and mentally. Lastly, abolishment of the penalty would help rid any of the negative and humane issues at hand: this involves the biblical verse; thou shalt not kill, and the national human rights law; article 3, and 5 of the Declarat... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
885 words (2.5 pages)
- Today, many criminals are getting away with very little or no punishment for the crimes they are committing. One of these thugs could be walking down the street in your neighborhood hunting for their next victim. These criminals have no remorse concerning what they have done; they are just looking for an opportunity to strike again. However, if someone asked what your thought is on the death penalty, most would probably say that they are against it that is until a family member or someone you love is walking down the street and that man who was looking for their next victim found them.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
2294 words (6.6 pages)
- The death penalty is currently used by 34 states and is used by the federal government for punishing federal crimes. And in most cases the death penalty is used when the criminal has been convicted of murder. However, two people have been sentenced to death for the rape of a minor. The definition of the death penalty is: execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense. This begs the question does the government have the right to take away someone’s life.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
1258 words (3.6 pages)
- The most severe of all sentences: that of death. Also known as the death penalty, capital punishment is the most severe form of corporal punishment as it is requires law enforcement officers to kill the offender. It has been banned in many countries. In the United States, an earlier move to eliminate capital punishment has now been reversed and more and more states are resorting to capital punishment for serious offenses such as murder. In this essay, I will elaborate on capital punishment and on the cases of Joe Guy, Tommy Zeigler, Leroy Orange, and Charles Munsey.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
1768 words (5.1 pages)
- "More than 4,500 people have been executed in the United States since 1930. There is no way of knowing how many have been executed in U.S. history because executions were often local affairs, with no central agency keeping track of them (Maloney, 1999)." Over 4,500 people were executed and this doesn't even include the unreported deaths. Decades ago, death penalty cases were not even to be reported in many times. For many years, people have been rationalize themselves for death penalty as " an eye for an eye"(2010).This "eye for an eye" statement is no longer giving any excuses for killing humans.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
972 words (2.8 pages)
- A number 1263 men and women have been executed in the United States in the twenty five years ever since the Supreme Court has reintroduced the death penalty in 1976. Executions have been carried in the 34 states with the death penalty, with more than 80% taking place in the south. Texas and Virginia being the two top death penalty states with a shared number of 580 people executed. The death penalty is a controversial issue that has been debated for years. Proponents of the death penalty say it is justice better served, away of retribution or “an eye for an eye,” to bring closure to the families of murder victims.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
925 words (2.6 pages)
- The question regarding whether the United States should implement the death penalty as a form of punishment is a heated issue in American politics. The topic is so divisive because it deals with death, which is permanent. Life is valued in every society, and when life is taken away, emotions rise. Most human beings maintain a strong underlying fear of dying, so they wish to prevent their own death, especially their murder, at any cost. Furthermore, since crime is a prevalent problem in the U.S., Americans yearn for a successful way to reduce the homicide rate.... [tags: the anti-death penalty position]
4240 words (12.1 pages)