There are, roughly 100 countries currently abolished death penalty, and 55 other countries who do not.
Why there are so many countries believe that replacing capital punishment with imprisonment of life is better?
The argument against death penalty usually revolves around miscarriage of justice and somehow whether capital punishment can truly deter murders.
However, countries that still implement death penalty all seem to share common social and cultural backgrounds.
Most East Asian countries still carry out death penalty–Japan, Taiwan, China. And Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia carry out death penalty as well. Most of Southeast Asian countries also implement death penalty. India does it as well.
In North America, the US implements death penalty.
Most of the countries above share the common ground of having rich history and rich culture. And this cements people’s beliefs on life and death.
In traditional culture, an eye for an eye, a life for a life. If you have taken another person’s life, you shall be punished by sentenced to death.
However, I believe the US is a unique case in terms of death penalty.
The US has the highest gun violence in the world, and usually major violent crimes and gang wars can happen on this soil. So unlike most commonwealth nations, the States in response to these heinous crimes have to impose death penalty to the craziest criminals in the world. And on some level, the US carrying out death penalty focuses more on the practicality, unlike traditional countries who ingrain strong cultural beliefs of life and death.
Let’s focus on the two premises of anti-death penalty now:
1. Miscarriage of Justice
An innocent man’s death is wrong, but judges are not infallible. Errors are made, especially in human activities. What we can do, is try our best to lower down system’s error rate. In other words, make an even better and maturer system.
And sometimes, if killing an innocent man is wrong, what about the murderers who took other innocents’ lives so cruelly?
2. Deterrence over Murderers
There are statistics that entail death penalty being uncorrelated to murder rate. Studies are not sure whether death penalty really have an impact over murder rate.
However, if life in prison is the ultimate penalty, should a murderer scare of such punishment?
Some people argue that if death penalty is enacted, a murderer can go on and kill more people with the ultimate cost of being sentenced to death.
However, if there is no death penalty, doesn’t the murderer have even less reluctance to kill more people? Thinking about killing does not ultimately ends you, what else is there to be scared of?
A life in prison vs shot dead, if you can keep yourself alive then why not? And this gives them more comfort to perpetrate murders.
And a life in prison makes you eat, sleep and cared when you are ill. What is the right of life?
Think about this, life isn’t all that important. People that defend rights of life and believe that life is important, don’t see the truth.
Over the human history, life has never been that important. Tons of war and famine, people always die and perish.
If a murderer’s life is so important, what about the victims he dropped dead? Aren’t their lives important as well? Why did they have to die and the murderers don’t?
I think there is deterrence over murderers.