According to great author and noble prize winner writer George Bernard Shaw, says that Capital Punishment is a vague term. He illustrates the victims as mad dogs, cobras or adders which causes ill to our society. Either we should kill them or educate them to become eligible for remaining in the society. The real problem is the criminal you cannot reform: the human mad dog or cobra. The answer is, kill him kindly and apologetically, if possible without consciousness on his part. Let him go comfortably to bed expecting to wake up in the morning as usual, and not wake up. His general consciousness that this may happen to him should be shared by every citizen as part of his moral civic responsibility.
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“There is a considerable class of persons who become criminals because they cannot fend for themselves, but who under tutelage, superintendence, and provided sustenance are self-supporting and even profitable citizens. They make good infantry soldiers and well-behaved prisoners. But throw them out into the street and they are presently in the dock. They also present no problem. Reorganize their lives for them; and do not prate foolishly about their liberty.”
Capital punishment is the death penalty given by the government of a country, to people who have committed hideous crimes like homicide, rape, etc. Capital punishment has been a way of punishing people since ages. Although there are some countries that have abolished death penalty from their law, there are still many which still practice the act of killing a person for crime. Capital punishment is prevalent in the US, Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Some of the ways of executing criminals are hanging, shooting, electrocution and giving lethal injections.
People have different opinions on the issue of capital punishment given to a convict. While some think that death penalty is necessary for those who have committed a terrible crime, there are others who consider it as an immoral act that goes against the values of humanity.
Pros of Capital Punishment ( Taken from a website and edited in a very small amount because all statements are self-explanatory)
A person who has committed a crime like killing or raping another person should be given death penalty, which is as severe punishment as the act. It is said that when a criminal is given a capital punishment, it dissuades others in the society from committing such serious crimes. They would refrain from such crimes due to fear of losing their lives. This would definitely help in reducing crime rate in society.
If a criminal is jailed, he may again commit the same crime after being released from prison. Giving him capital punishment would make sure that the society is safe from being attacked by criminals. It seems to be an appropriate punishment for serial killers and for those who continue to commit crimes even after serving imprisonment.
Some believe that instead of announcing life imprisonment for the convicts, where they would have to live a futile life behind closed bars, it is better to kill them. It is said that imprisoning someone is more expensive than executing him. Rather than spending on a person who may again commit terrifying crime, it is better to put him to death.
Capital punishment is equated as revenge for pain and suffering that the criminal inflicted on the victim. Some people strongly believe that a person who has taken the life of another person does not have a right to live. Sentencing such a criminal can give relief to the family members of the victim that their loved one has obtained justice.
It is also important for the safety of fellow prison inmates and guards, as people who commit horrifying crimes like murder are believed to have a violent personality and may, in future, attack someone during imprisonment. These reasons emphasize the importance of capital punishment for the betterment of human society. However, there is another section of people who believe that it is an immoral and unethical act of violence.
Cons of Capital Punishment
If we execute a person, what is the difference between us and the criminal who has committed the horrifying crime of killing another individual.
Capital punishment is not always just and appropriate. Usually, it has been seen that poor people have to succumb to death penalty as they cannot afford good lawyers to defend their stance. There are very rare cases of rich people being pronounced capital punishment. Also, an individual from minority communities are more likely to be given death penalty.
Every human being is entitled to receive a second chance in life. Putting a convict behind bars is always a logical option than killing him, as there is a chance that he may improve. People who have served life sentences are reported to have bettered their earlier ways of living and have made worthwhile contribution to the society.
There is also a chance that an individual is innocent and is wrongly charged for a crime he has never committed. There have been cases where individuals were released after being given death sentence, because they were proved innocent. There are also cases where a person’s innocence was proved after he was put to death. Hence, it is best to avoid executing a person.
It is reported that there is no relation between capital punishment and crime rate i.e giving death penalty does not decrease crime rate in the society. Crimes are prevalent in countries where capital punishment exists and also where it has been abolished.
Bangladesh Perspective and My Opinion:
Bangladesh is a country where there is no right to life. By the various way this right has been violating there. The causes of violation to this right are death penalty, extra judicial killings etc. Here is a common practice of death penalty and killings without justice. Every year many peoples are killed by death penalty and by the extra judicial killings. How many people have killed since independence to till today we don’t have this statistics. It is no doubt that, death penalty is one kind of killing.
Recently five persons were killed in death penalty within a day in Bangladesh. On 28th January, 2010 Bangladesh was executed this death penalty which decision was made by the Bangladesh Supreme Court. The killed persons were self declared killers of Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangabondhu is the father of the nation of Bangladesh. Though, question has arisen on the execution procedure of this death penalty.
I want to inform some statistics on Bangladesh to the national and international community. Especially it for the human rights organization and bodies which are working national and international level for the human rights. We have been seeing and reading the news on death penalty almost every week from Bangladesh which was declared by several courts for various charges.
Only by extra judicially at least 1,600 people were killed in Bangladesh since 2004. 58 persons were killed during the ‘Operation clean heart’ in 2002 led by army. We couldn’t remember the horrible mass killings in so-called mutiny at BDR headquarters on 25-26 February, 2009. By that mutiny at least 74 were killed inhumanly including 57 meritorious army officers. After that mutiny at least 71 BDR members was died (Source: the daily Bhorer Kagoj, 25 February, 2010). Most of the died BDR were tortured before death, it was alleged.
Anyhow, execution of death penalty is very inhuman, degrading and cruel. And no where it approved. Especially it is prohibited by the Constitution and the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. But, Bangladesh has executing the death penalty as normal.
According to the Spinney Press, The UN reaffirmed and strengthened its position against the death penalty in December 2007 when the General Assembly passed a resolution calling upon member states to establish a moratorium on executions “with a view to abolishing the death penalty.” Evidence from around the world has shown that the death penalty has no unique deterrent effect on crime. Many people have argued that abolishing the death penalty leads to higher crime rates, but studies in the USA and Canada, for instance, do not back this up. In November 2009 the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 was introduced before the House of Representatives. The legislation fulfils Australia’s obligations under the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – which requires Australia to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty. As a consequence, the death penalty will not be able to be re-introduced anywhere in Australia. Although the world is gradually moving towards abolition of capital punishment, in 2008 an estimated 1,718 people were executed in 25 countries and at least 8,864 people were sentenced to death in 52 countries. Three quarters of those executions took place in Asia, with China carrying out more executions than the rest of the world’s nations put together. Since 1967 when the last Australian (Ronald Ryan) was hanged, the Australia has maintained a policy of opposition to the death penalty. (It was written in the book-‘The death penalty’).
According to this book, most of the executions in 2008 were carried out in Asia, where 11 countries continue to practise the death penalty: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Viet Nam. China alone accounted for at least 1,718 executions – although the figure is believed to be much higher as statistics on death sentences and executions remain state secrets. The Middle East and North Africa was the region with the second highest number of executions (508). In Iran, stoning and hanging were among the cruel and inhumane methods used, with at least 346 people put to death, including eight juvenile offenders. In Saudi Arabia, where execution is usually by public beheading, at least 102 people were executed. In the Americas, only the USA consistently executes people, with 37 executions carried out in 2008 including more in Texas than in any other state. The release of four men from death row in the USA on grounds of innocence brings to more than 120 the number of such cases released since 1975. The only other country in the Americas to execute in 2008 was St Kitts and Nevis, the first Caribbean state to carry out an execution since 2003.
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According to the Amnesty International, 93 percents of the world death penalty has executed in China including other four countries. DW-Bengali online section writes (25-2-2010), the European Union was published a declaration on an anti-death penalty. Europe is the first place which is a death penalty free. A proposal of European on anti-death penalty in the Human Rights Commission of Geneva and general assembly of UNO in 1998, was spoiled by the contradictory of USA, China, Africa and some countries of Asia. Though, in 2007 that proposal was passed in general assembly of UNO. And the 58 percents people of China are support to death penalty. In the mean time 93 countries have already abolished to death penalty by making the law. At least 141 country haven’t giving death penalty, now.
We know the Italy has a historical background on anti-death penalty movement. So, we want to thanks and salute to the Italy as well as the countries of European Union for their dedications to the right to life and for the human rights.
Our hope, Bangladesh should obey to national and international treaties and declaration for human rights. And Bangladesh government should abolish the death penalty system immediately. If they have believe a little bit on human rights.
“…If anyone kills a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all people. And if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people” (Qur’an 5:32).
Life is sacred, according to Islam and most other world faiths. But how can one hold life sacred, yet still support capital punishment? The Qur’an answers, “…Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He command you, so that you may learn wisdom” (6:151).
The key point is that one may take life only “by way of justice and law.” In Islam, therefore, the death penalty can be applied by a court as punishment for the most serious of crimes. Ultimately, one’s eternal punishment is in God’s hands, but there is a place for punishment in this life as well. The spirit of the Islamic penal code is to save lives, promote justice, and prevent corruption and tyranny.
Islamic philosophy holds that a harsh punishment serves as a deterrent to serious crimes that harm individual victims, or threaten to destabilize the foundation of society. According to Islamic law (in the first verse quoted above), the following two crimes can be punishable by death:
Fasad fil-ardh (“spreading mischief in the land”)
The Qur’an legislates the death penalty for murder, although forgiveness and compassion are strongly encouraged. The murder victim’s family is given a choice to either insist on the death penalty, or to pardon the perpetrator and accept monetary compensation for their loss (2:178).
Fasaad fi al-ardh
The second crime for which capital punishment can be applied is a bit more open to interpretation. “Spreading mischief in the land” can mean many different things, but is generally interpreted to mean those crimes that affect the community as a whole, and destabilize the society. Crimes that have fallen under this description have included:
Treason / Apostacy (when one leaves the faith and joins the enemy in fighting against the Muslim community)
Land, sea, or air piracy
Actual methods of capital punishment vary from place to place. In some Muslim countries, methods have included beheading, hanging, stoning, and firing squad. Executions are held publicly, to serve as warnings to would-be criminals.
It is important to note that there is no place for vigilantism in Islam — one must be properly convicted in an Islamic court of law before the punishment can be meted out. The severity of the punishment requires that very strict evidence standards must be met before a conviction is found. The court also has flexibility to order less than the ultimate punishment (for example, imposing fines or prison sentences), on a case-by-case basis.
At the end I want to say that Capital Punishment is necessary, if the situation is applicable. This is not unethical or immoral but it has to be seen that the griminal is passes with ease and relief.