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Byron Peñaloza

Chenai Chidavaenzi

English 401

March 24, 2017

Is the death penalty effective and the best way to punish human beings?

The question people should ask is: should people die for committing crimes?

No one has the right to take the life of another person; in the society we live now, the death penalty is a debate. Human beings should respect the life of a person reforming and enforcing the law; it is the only work that justice must do; it is unfair that this law punishes criminals, taking their lives and acting just as murderers. The death penalty was created to punish the crime. Currently, the legal status of the death penalty varies widely across regions of the world. It has been abolished and penalized in almost all European countries, and most of those in Oceania. Most Latin American countries have abolished the death penalty because they think that this law does not respect what they defend, but in countries such as the United States of America, Guatemala and most of the Caribbean states, this law is used to defend their status as legal power. In Asia, the death penalty is allowed in countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Iran and Japan. The countries that have ended this law are 160, of which 104 are totally abolitionist, but six prevent it for ordinary crimes; another six govern a moratorium and 44 countries have not applied the death penalty for more than a decade; the death penalty will never be effective because it does not reduce crime, it goes against respect for human life, and this law accuses some innocent people.

First, the death penalty does not reduce crime. According to Amnesty International (AI), a global movement present in more than 150 countries that works for the respect of human rights; human rights are recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948, and in other international treaties such as the International Covenants on Human Rights. They have asked governments to undo the idea of the death penalty because \"there is not one reliable evidence that says it has reduced crime” and it is only used for political purposes (Amnesty International 2016). Politicians must stop acting for fame and show leadership in matters of public safety and must stop presenting the death penalty as a quick fix to reduce high rates of delinquency. The only thing that the death penalty does, is to reduce the population of criminals, but it does not reduce crime in the streets; International Amnesty take into account that there is no statistic that shows that crime among the population increases or decreases. Therefore, conclude that the only thing that governments want to demonstrate is the power they have over the people (Amnesty International 2016). There are also other organizations that demonstrate there are no specific statistics that talk about the increase or decrease of crime in countries that practice the death penalty, and one of these organizations is the US National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), is a private academy located in The United States; they are a group local informers of the nation, its information is based on science, engineering and medicine. The organization was created by the effects provoked during the civil war of the United States. The organization highlight that after analyzing all the studies on the subject to date, they conclude that there is no evidence that this punishment reduces crimes. The committee has carried out the analysis of the work on the death penalty since 1976 (The US National Academy of Sciences 2014). Thus, when a society or a state executes one of its members, even if the crime has been proven, justice would be imitating precisely what they condemn, in clearer words justice is acting as criminals. Such an attitude entails a serious contradiction. With this procedure, it is implicitly suggested to other potential killers that killing one\'s neighbor can be a licit way to solve serious human problems, but killing is the worst solution to solve human conflicts. The approval of the death penalty in our times would mean returning to times of barbarism already overcome.

Secondly, the death penalty goes against the respect for human life. This goes against the religious beliefs whose doctrine is normally based on respecting the rights of human life. According to Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, a group of Catholic bishops and dioceses of Pennsylvania. This group of Catholic religious, emphasize that seeing the death penalty from a legal point of view, this law is a denial of one of the most basic rights that exist in the world, which is to respect the life of human beings. If all the injustices related to the death penalty were abolished, and if justice would stop violating the fundamental rights of a human being, the society could see that justice respects the law, therefore, when justice starts to respect the rights Human, the prejudices of society will change for the better (\"Death Penalty: Choose Life.\" 2001). Without a doubt, religion is the greatest faith that every person can have; then we must also take into account beliefs that are opposite, and what religion shares with us; religion always wants to embark on the path of good, but there is something that always highlight us, day by day is to respect the neighbor; the religion always implants that regardless of the seriousness of any case of life, forgiveness is the best medicine for the soul. Without saying that criminals should be excused from a legal punishment; religion has nothing to do with the government and its laws but it has prejudice in society. According to the Union Nations (UN), an organization of sovereign states, voluntarily affiliated to fight for world peace and to promote friendship among nations of the world. In Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is a right that highlight and say that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (“Universal Declaration of Human Rights” Article 3).  It is worth emphasizing that in the declaration of human rights, there is no law that is against the death penalty; therefore, this reduces their fighting force but does not reduce their desire to create awareness of the misuse of death penalty. Articles 2 and 6 of the Declaration of Human Rights, refer to Article 3, to respect the civil and political rights of persons, also prohibits states from taking the lives of people arbitrarily (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 2015). The struggle to abolish the death penalty will take a long time and give much to talk about. In the United Nations, there are two parts, one part struggles to abolish the death penalty and the other part opposes, as in any game, there must always be a winner, but there is not enough evidence to abolish it and there are not enough votes to enact anything. According to publications of the same organization, the unfavorable votes against the death penalty have increased but there are still those who believe that this law helps to reduce delinquency. The organization believes that this topic will take a lot of research time, because there are studies that show that there are no exact numbers about whether this law works or not. The government simply seeks common good without respecting beliefs, and there is where social problems begin. Now, talking about legal defenses, there are some articles in constitutions that defend the right to life, but in some cases it limits if the cases are of life or death. In some articles decreed in the 80s in Latin-American countries and a few Europe countries; the constitution defends the right to life and repeals the death penalty, except as provided by military law for times of war. Human beings have passed through many epochs, one of those was in very remote times, when human was treated as a slave, all this depending on their social status. The king had the mandate of everything, and the law of death penalty was one of his powers. In those times, the death penalty killed guilty and innocent men, women, children and the elderly people without caring. The condemned had no right to reform. Nowadays, there are many methods to reform people, and reform is a right for everyone, regardless of race or social status; the criminals must learn from their mistakes, but by killing them, they will never be able to repent the mistakes that they committed.

Finally, there are cases where innocent people were sentenced to the death penalty. According to a statistical study, in the United States, one in 25 convicted are innocent. This study is based on the situation of 7,482 people sentenced to death between January 1974 and December 2004, of which 12.6% were executed. One in 25 of them would be innocent, without counting those who died in prison. A clear example of lack of experience or lack of desire to investigate a case on the part of lawyers is the conviction of Carlos DeLuna. On Dec. 7, 1989, Texas authorities finally authorized the lethal injection for Carlos DeLuna. Fifteen years later, a Chicago Tribune newspaper investigation reported that the wrong man had been executed: DeLuna was not the murderer of Wanda Lopez and his only mistake was to be in the worst moment of the worst circumstances. According to Ed Pilkington, an American chief reporter for Guardian US. He is a former national and foreign editor of the paper, journalist of great trajectory, and author of Beyond the Mother Country. With evidence supporting him, he said, “The great majority of innocent defendants who are convicted of capital murder in the United States are neither executed nor exonerated. They are sentenced, or resentenced to prison for life, and then forgotten” (Pilkington 2014). Lawyers and law schools have long time tried to calculate how many fatal errors such as this one, the justice system carries behind its back, and it was always said that \"neither know nor can be known\" due to the complex judicial system that always have good excuses. However, there is a much more common and probably more terrible scenario, forgetting and silent death in prison. The majority of the innocent who were sentenced to death, end up receiving a fateful misfortune, they were changed from the death penalty to life imprisonment in total abandonment. Then when the condemned person is no longer close to death, superheroes disappear, so the law fair or not, it always wins. The law in general, is a very great power that can fight the injustice but also can cause misfortunes. The Union Nations (UN) again highlights very important information, says that today there are still arbitrary and extrajudicial executions, without respecting the rules that are imposed. Also emphasizes that the same government, which encompasses all the security groups of a state, are often accomplices of the injustices committed by the powers that are granted, in other words this is called disrespecting human life and their rights. The chances of proving their innocence is scarce because it is no longer an urgency for anyone inside or outside the system. Therefore, this information shows us that the incompetence of judges or lawyers entails to commit mistakes with innocent people who simply were not in the right place. This leaves doubt that the death penalty is very effective; it can end the life of innocent people and can end the life of people who want to reform.

The death penalty was created to reduce crime in society; with the death penalty, the government can prevent the convicted person from committing the same act of violence. People who commit unlawful acts do not deserve to be punished with death. At present there is no decree or law abolishing the death penalty. The Economic and Social Council of United Nations (ECOSOC). Is a council made up of 54 members elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations, they coordinate the economic and social work of the nations that make up the organization. They have tried to create safeguards that guarantee protection to those sentenced to death, among the safeguards, the organization forces lawyers and judges to investigate more thoroughly, and with concrete evidence the person should be condemned to the death or not. The organization uses this method to make time and convince the jury to not condemn the death penalty, even though it does not always work. The United Nations took action in the matter and forced the states that use this law to publish all the steps they have taken to convict a person to death. In which, it is said that this way the application of the death penalty will be handled with more transparency (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 2015).  We have very clear that when the law acting with the death penalty wants to prevent the convicted person from committing the same act of violence, but they do not take into account that this law goes against what they defend. When justice takes this law as a resolution of a case, it means that the law cannot stop violence in society, so they kill to try to remedy the act committed. Giving the condemned a quick death and without opportunity to make them pay in life for the bad acts that they committed, the death for a convicted is the best way out of jail, which leads me to say that they never paid for the crime that they committed. If the condemned are still alive, they can pay in jail everything they have committed. A human being can be the worst thing in the world but never cease to be a human being. Therefore, the law must respect human life.

In conclusion, killing a person will never help solve a problem; it will not help to reduce crime in society, but it will reduce human lives. A justice system always works well as long as they respect what they fight, without acting as their enemies act. We have learned that justice is not always the one that has reason, but it is the one that always has the last word. In some cases, the law may be wrong and may condemn innocent people; the death penalty does not have revocation, so let\'s think about it; once you kill a criminal, whether or not he is guilty, he will die without the opportunity to redeem himself. Many statisticians, government groups and organizations defending the rights of human life are struggling to make the death penalty will be abolished. We have to look further into this issue, but I have shown some evidence that shows that the death penalty cannot reduce crime, it is not free to go wrong and by killing its condemned people, this law goes against what defends. This law has claimed many guilty and innocent lives. So far I have not seen people afraid of committing crimes; Therefore, I am clear that when someone wants to commit a crime he or she knows that can die, but it does not prevent them to commit crime. Hence, the death penalty is a way that helps to rid the criminal of a real punishment, this real punishment would be to pay in life all the evil he or she has done.

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