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The criminal justice system: Capital Punishment

The criminal justice system in each society is tasked with rehabilitating and punishing various offenders. It consists of the law enforcement that arraigns the perpetrators of a crime or those who break the law, the judiciary that determines whether an individual is guilty as per the laws and the correctional facilities that provide for the penalty and rehabilitation of such wrongdoers. One of the ways through which lawbreakers are punished for the crimes that they have committed is through capital punishment. In capital punishment, offenders are sentenced to death by the courts. Nevertheless, this act is actualized by numerous means including the gas chamber, hanging, and the electric chair among others. Individuals within the community hold different opinions about the issue. Some proponents argue that certain offenses should be strictly banned and prevented; hence, such criminals should be sentenced to death. On the other hand, opponents argue that death penalty is a violation of the right to life and is not morally acceptable. Capital punishment plays various roles within the society including deterrence of crime, provision of justice to the victims of offenses, execution of social contact and provision of the Constitution of different countries.


Capital punishment affects all the members of the population. Individuals who commit crimes are taken to the state correctional facilities. Some crimes are considered heinous such as mass murder, terrorism, among others. Therefore, capital punishment exerts impact on the families of the victims of such crimes as well as families of the individuals who are involved in death penalty. For the injured parties of any offense, retribution is sought in the form of capital punishment while the families of offenders insist on a different form of punishment for the criminal. Thus, from this perspective, opponents and proponents of capital punishment can be regarded. Victims in the offenses become the proponents while the families of those sentenced to death serve as opponents. With respect to the rest of the society, this raises the question of the morality of execution.

Retribution is the first justification of the role of capital punishment in the community. Some individuals commit crimes that are considered more severe than the moderate ones. Hence, these offenses include murder and terrorism among others. Delinquents must be punished according to the severity of their crime (Warden, 2009). Therefore, death penalty performs an important role in the US since it seeks justice for the victims of such felonies. During murder, for example, families are left grieving over their loved ones. Without justice, these families cannot find closure. Capital punishment serves as a tool to offer retribution to such families. It is essential to note that in the US, the grand jury decides if the guilty party should be sentenced to death.

In addition, capital punishment in different societies is justifiable through the social contract. By social contract, the citizens of a specific country elect a government and task it with protecting the public from lawbreakers. In the extreme cases, the government bears the responsibility of executing delinquents (Berdufi & Dushi, 2015). It is pertinent to the human nature to establish a peaceful environment where people can get motivated to be productive. For the government to ensure its citizens that it can protect them, it needs to punish offenders, even by using execution. For this reason, capital punishment is among the laws that hold the society together. In the preservation of life, no person will refuse from resisting those who threaten to kill or injure oneВ’s body. Hence, this means that an individual may accept a contract from the government that makes the latter entitled to attempt to kill if the lawbreaker commits a serious offense. The person cannot accept any contract where the government resorts to passive murder and agrees not to help offenders avoid penalties, but is entitled to try to prevent the punishment. By signing the social contract, one allows the authorities to execute him/her if they interfere with the greater good of the society. Therefore, individuals take a risk that the government might execute them in order to enjoy a good and peaceful life within the community. As a result, those who break the laws are deprived of that right, and in case of extreme offenders, execution is implemented. Therefore, death penalty is mainly used to ensure that life of the society remains safe.

Additionally, capital punishment serves as a tool to deter crimes and incapacitate criminals. Severe offenses deserve strict punishments. One of the tasks of the justice systems is to prevent violation of laws through rehabilitation and deterrence of crimes. One of the ways that the justice system achieves this is the death penalty. When people are aware that a specific felony can eventually lead to death, then fewer individuals will commit such a crime. Different studies by various scholars provided divergent conclusions regarding this issue, but it is clear that capital punishment can deter the community members from infringing the law (Dezhbakhsh & Rubin, 2010). Nonetheless, there is a strong link between capital punishment and rates of murder in the population; hence, this fact serves to prove that execution may save lives (Marcus, 2007). Consequently, capital punishment can incapacitate various types of criminals. Thus, those who are willing to kill others do not deserve to live within the society. Even when incarcerated, such people can maintain their violent behavior in the correctional facilities. Therefore, these delinquents have no use for the community and cannot be redeemed. To keep them detached from the rest of the public or other offenders in prisons, execution is the only way. For this reason, death penalty is important to the society since it deters crimes and incapacitates malefactors.

Lastly, capital punishment is a requirement of several Constitutions in different countries. The states preserve execution because there is an allowance in their fundamental law. For example, in the US the first step is determining whether an offender is innocent or guilty in regards to a particularly severe crime such as terrorism or murder. Besides, this is done by a jury. After a guilty verdict has been given by the jury, then a grand jury is chosen to decide whether the capital punishment is permissible for the crime committed. When the grand jury declares that the offense is severe and that death penalty should be used, then it is the role of the state to administer the punishment. In the world, 30 countries still impose capital punishment for various offenses ranging from murder, terrorism to treason and corruption. Nevertheless, these delinquencies are dependent on the laws of a specific country. Consequently, it is clear that execution is found in the Constitutions of numerous nations that allow this form of punishment. In these countries, committing the crimes defined in this article of the Constitution means that one can be put to death by the state.

Several solutions have been proposed to deal with the matter of morality surrounding capital punishment. The main moral issue is whether the government has the right to deprive its citizens of life in the guise of penalty for various crimes. On the other hand, lack of punishment for such crimes can mean that individuals within the society continue violating the law. One of these solutions is life imprisonment without parole. Life term solves the issue of morality since it preserves human life at the same time providing the form of punishment worthy of such a crime. Hence, this solution suggests a compromise for the morality concerns and secures that both members of the divide feel that some of their problems regarding death penalty have been addressed.


In conclusion, capital punishment is an issue that has promoted debate throughout the world. Some people argue that execution is a denial of the most basic right, namely the right to life. On the other hand, proponents assert that capital punishment serves several roles in the community including deterrence of crimes, incapacitation of criminals, retribution to victims, the social contract theory, and the law provided in some Constitutions. To some extent, death penalty is a necessary evil, as it has been observed in the given discussion. However, the further research should be conducted in order to maintain where different people stand with regard to capital punishment as well as to understand if the issue has any advantages for the society. The solution of life imprisonment can solve the problem revolving around the morality of execution. Through the life term, victims of various crimes can find retribution while at the same time ensure that the sanctity of life is preserved.

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