Death penalty

The death penalty: Violation of the fundamental right to life

Introduction

The right to life is an inherent and inalienable right. It is a natural right not to be deprived of life or existence either arbitrarily or unlawfully. This implies that human beings are inviolable and should not be killed by another. Protecting the right to life is extremely important. This is because, once life is taken away, it cannot be replaced. This right is enshrined in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to life can be subject to several debates when pertinent issues with conflicting perspectives arise like; capital punishment (death penalty), abortion and euthanasia.  Emphasis will be laid here on the death penalty which is legal in some jurisdictions and poses a great threat to this right to life. The death penalty is the act of deliberately killing a person, as a form of punishment for a capital crime. This raises two looming questions; How does the death penalty violate the right to life? Is the death penalty the best form of punishment?

How does the death penalty violate the right to life?

The death penalty gravely violates the right to life as it involves; cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It is often applied in unfair trials in order to suppress political opposition. The gruesome wait on death row, unaware of when their time is up, has led to the death row phenomenon, a form of psychological and emotional distress brought about by being placed in isolation. In fact, the irreversible nature of the punishment does not take into consideration the fact that human errors can be committed leading to innocent people being executed. This raises several legal and ethical concerns about the appropriateness and the controversial nature of the punishment, which violates the right to life.

Other preferable modes of punishment

The barbaric and ethical concerns raised by the existence of the death penalty indicate that it is not a preferred mode of punishment in several jurisdictions. Life imprisonment comes as the closest alternative to the death penalty as it preserves the existence of the individual, while punishing him/her for the crime committed.

 

Conclusion

Currently 111 countries worldwide have abolished the death penalty. However, 53 countries practise it. Over 60% of the world’s population live in these countries where the death penalty is still in practice. This staggering revelation discloses the need to amend legislations, sensitize populations, hold meaningful conversations with stakeholders across the globe on the inhumane nature of this form of punishment  and how it contravenes the right to life which is embedded in several international and even national instruments. In this way, the goal of ensuring that the right to life is protected will be truly realised.

Britney Isambi Ngube

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7 Comments

  1. Lamin 4 weeks ago May 1, 2023

    Such a beautiful and Helpful Article ma’am

    REPLY
  2. Achu Denise 4 weeks ago May 2, 2023

    This is beautiful and well structured. Yes death penalty should be abolished because it goes against Human right standards and GOD’s principles.

    REPLY
  3. fellow 4 weeks ago May 3, 2023

    Good ρost. I learn something new and challenging on sіtes I stumbleupon every day.
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    REPLY
  4. Pekwang Finian Ngo 4 weeks ago May 3, 2023

    Good piece of write up
    Creating awareness about the cruelty involved in death sentences
    Good work I must comment.

    REPLY
    • Marian Gyamfi 3 weeks ago May 9, 2023

      Thank you

      REPLY
  5. Mishi Solomon Msughter 4 weeks ago May 4, 2023

    I totally agree with your points on the death penalty punishment. There are many ways to correct humans rather than taking their lives. Like you said once a life is taken, it can never be replaced.

    A masterpiece Indeed Britney, it was indeed enlightening.

    REPLY
  6. Charles 4 weeks ago May 4, 2023

    I don’t support death penalty

    REPLY

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