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Is Death Penalty Effective?



Death penalty has been there ever since the beginning of time. It is considered to be the most brutal punishment of all, as it is robbing one of his or her life. In earlier times, Death Penalty was a common phenomenon and most of the time it took place out in the open. One of the perfect example of it would be of guillotine, which was used for execution purposes to behead someone. This beheading device was used heavily by the French during the French Revolution. This procedure of beheading by guillotine was usually carried out in the public like in the middle of the market area, so as to be able to set an example for the others not to follow the same path as the person who is being executed. It was considered to be a big show and all the people of that city would gather to see it.

The people who were executed would be thieves, traitors, rappers and many more criminals of other sorts. There was a time when the only penalty that a person had to fulfill for any crime conducted by him would be life penalty.  But with the passing centuries life began to be valued more and more and the sentence of death penalty became more and more rare and they are now also carried out in private. Of course, a contradiction to this would be the hanging of Saddam Hussein which was recorded when he was being executed and was put on the internet for the whole world to see. Now-a-days death sentences are rare and in most of the countries across the globe they have to be sanctioned by the President of that state before the death penalty can be carried out.


The main question that arises is that whether the harsh sentence of death penalty is right or wrong? Many Human Rights worker for many years have been arguing against death penalty and have been working on it for abolishment. But like every coin has two sides, the story of death penalty also has two sides.  Human Rights workers are not completely right nor are the people who support death penalty are.

Life is precious and everyone would agree to that. Yes, there is no doubt about the fact that life has different meaning to different people; it can never mean the same thing no matter how much one argues about it. One is taught by their religion or their parents or their school to forgive and let things go and that everyone in life deserves a second chance and gets one and that the other has no right to take it away from you. Death sentence does exactly the same.  What the person did was wrong and unacceptable, but then again one cannot deny that they have a story which led them to the hideous crimes they did. If one is guilty of the crime, the person does deserve punishment. But Death sentence is too harsh. The person should be given a second chance to start their lives and undo the wrong they did. It again does not mean that the criminal should be let free the very next moment he or she does the crime, because that way the criminal is not going to learn that what they did was wrong and that their actions have harsh consequences.

People who indulge in these activities are aware of the wrong that they are doing, but sometimes they have no other option but to do what they do. One of the most common examples would be the young boys who join the terrorist groups like Al-Queda, Indian Mujhideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba are helpless and are just in search of money to be able to support their families which are starving. The most common and recent example would be of Ajmal Kasab, he was one of those five terrorists who attacked Mumbai and was the only one to survive. He came from a very humble background and joined the terrorist group because he wanted to support his family. His is not the only case, there are many such cases.


If one flips the coin, the other side is that which talks about Death sentence being right.  In olden times when the ritual of death sentence was established, it was established with the purpose of instilling fear in the minds and hearts of the people against any wrong action and also that people would think twice before indulging into any criminal activities. By no doubt death penalty is one of the oldest and the most effective punishments so far. Nowadays, even though it’s a rare happening it still takes place. During the time of British Rule in India the sole purpose of the hanging of the great leaders, so that it would crush the people’s spirit in order to rise against them.

But now those who are hanged are those people who don’t hold any value for human life as such. They are those who have killed hundreds, thousands and millions of people and have plans to do so. Such people who have no regard for others’ lives around them and have no right to live. In order to live in the society peacefully one needs to have regard for other person’s life.

Yes, death penalty is harsh but till some extent it is needed like in the case of people like Kasab, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden and many more such leaders across the globe. If we all learn to live peacefully amongst ourselves then there would be no such need for a death penalty. It is very rightly put in the Holy Bible: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

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