Capital punishment Should be the Penalty for Murder

Capital punishment Should be the Penalty for Murder

The death penalty is an inhuman, cruel and degrading punishment. It is more of vengeance and a morally dubious idea rather than retribution. Capital punishment in Hong Kong was eliminated in 1993. However, before that capital punishment was a normal sentence in Hong Kong for offenses like kidnapping that ends to death, murder and piracy. The last execution in Hong Kong was the murder of Wong Kaikei who was executed in Victoria prison in 1966 (Wai-Kin, 2019). This was a year before the British parliament eliminated the death penalty. Ideally, murder was considered to have a mandatory sentence since 1842 when the common law was first used where a mandatory death sentence was applied for offenses of piracy, murder, and treason. Regardless of the circumstances, nature or who is accused of the crime, innocence or guilt, the death penalty in all cases should be exempted as a method of execution.

A death penalty cannot be reversed. Ideally, the death penalty is irreversible action and irrevocable punishment. There are high risks that an innocent person may be executed due to serious doubts over their guilt. Over the years, absolute judgments have led to people paying for a crime that they never committed. The justice system is never 100% accurate thus the juries and judges can convict an innocent. Ideally, some people turn up to have never committed the crime thus innocent. The fact that they were only sent to jail and not executed their sentences are irreversible.

The death penalty breaches several human rights including the right to live free from inhuman, cruel, torture and punishment and the right to life (McCafferty, 2017). Each individual has an absolute human right to life despite their actions thus executing a murderer will violate their human right to life. Ideally, capital punishment is morally wrong and unjust. Human life is valuable and thus even when murderers are found they should be deprived of the value of life. Considerably, the value of the life of the offender cannot be deprived due to the conduct of the offender. When an individual murders another, the correct action is not to murder the person but to try and help them out. Considerably, people cannot steal from thieves since they stole or rape therapists. Thus, it is not effective to condone an action or a crime by repeating the action. The death penalty takes away the attention of the crime from the victim and pays attention to the criminal.

The reason why societies have laws is to educate the criminals about what is wrong and what is right as well as regulate the behaviors of the citizens (Clark, 2017). However, capital punishment has not performed any of these functions. Criminals have no chance of reforming or even educating the public over things that they have learned about their crimes. Thus, it has not even deterred other criminals from committing such crimes. At some points, it is believed that the death penalty will deter criminals from having the same crimes again.

Considerably, it is undeniable that criminals who have been executed cannot commit more crimes. However, this is not a sufficient justification for execution since other ways can be utilized to ensure that the offenders do not commit such crimes even when in jail. For instance, education or rehabilitation is a more suitable way to approach this issue since the main aim of having the criminals is to let them know their mistakes and help them in building a better and healthier attitude towards life. Thus, education is a soft and more effective way of leading healthy attitudes to the public and criminals. There is no evidence that the death penalty is effective in lowering the crimes as compared to a life sentence. Before capital punishment was abolished in Hong Kong, there approximately 128 death sentences that had been passed in Hong Kong which means there were still crimes even after death sentences (Wai-Kin, 2019). This clearly shows that the death penalty cannot deter crimes since it is not more effective compared to the prison term.

Real justice demands that people suffer for their wrong practices and suffer in the most appropriate way for the crimes they have committed. Considerably, each criminal should get what their crimes deserve which means, therefore, most people perceive that a case of a murder, their crime only deserves death. Of all the crimes in the society, none of those crimes is more serious than the crime of murder, unlawful and intentional taking of human life.  Apart from treason and espionage, murder has been the only crime that deserves the death penalty. However, there is a need to continue challenging the idea of an eye for an eye.

In conclusion, capital punishment is a culture of violence and is never an answer to serious crimes such as murder. The death penalty will remain an inhuman, cruel as well as degrading punishment. Executions violate the right of life and evidence shows that they have not deterred such crimes. The notion of capital punishment for murder cases should be eliminated as options of punishment.


Clark, R. (2017). To Abolish the Death Penalty. In Capital Punishment (pp. 176-180). Routledge.

McCafferty, J. A. (2017). Capital punishment. Routledge.

Wai-Kin, V. H. (2019). Criminal Law in Hong Kong. Kluwer Law International BV.




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