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Capital Punishment

Practitioners of justice, sociologists and philosophers have long
propounded the theory that the ultimate form of justice is the absence of
injustice in society. Viewed from this stand point, the main argument of
Retentionists for capital punishment that it acts as an effective deterrent
in the prevention of crime and the protection of society from the evils of
crime, seems a tenable one. But does it really’ A review of the effects of
capital punishment as a deterrent not only fails to corroborate the theory
of Retentionists, it also raises questions on whether capital punishment
violates the very concept of ultimate justice since there is a prima facie
case to argue that, the practice of capital punishment may, in itself,
actually amount to a form of social injustice.
Butfirst, it would be of importance to actually discuss the role, if
any, of capital punishment in acting as a deterrent to crime. The
Retentionists argue that the threat of capital punishment will: prevent
crime as it will arouse fear of the ultimate reprisal of death, a specter
which is a common human fear; that it is essential to protect society from
the further loss of innocent lives and the accompanying suffering should
the convicted criminal ever be set free; and that it affords retributive
justice to the victims and their families. There is some validity in these
premises since the human fear of death is undeniable as also the fact that
current legal systems often result in the parole and early release of
dangerous criminals who may further threaten society. Having said that,
none of the aforesaid reasons are conclusive in themselves.
If capital punishment is a powerful deterrent to violent crimes, then
a declining use of it should be accompanied by an increase in the number of
crimes. Yet, statistics available from many countries, including the United
States, tend to show that this is not th…

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