Capital Punishment : A Form Of Legal Punishment Essay

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Capital punishment implies that the criminal is sentenced to death as a punishment for their crimes. Prima facie, it appears to be the most just punishment and solution to crimes that demand such severity of punishment in proportion to the offense. However, the reason why it is a moot point and a debatable issue is because ethicists see both sides of the story and there are numerous ethical issues involved with institutionalizing capital punishment.
To understand the debate on capital punishment as an ethical issue, there must first be an understanding of the terms involved in the debate. Capital punishment refers to death as a form of legal punishment for crimes. The term ethics refers to a code of human conduct that regulates human behaviour and helps one discern right from wrong. The debate ensues as soon as one understands the meaning of ethics and tries to apply it to the justification of capital punishment or the death penalty.
Death as a form of punishment for crimes has been meted out since historical times when monarchy existed as a form of governance. Before the introduction of humane capital punishment methods that are used in present times, penalties included boiling to death, flaying, slow slicing, crucifixion, impalement, crushing, disembowelment, stoning, burning, decapitation, dismemberment and scaphism. The evident barbarity of these punishments is in itself a justification to how human consciousness has evolved over centuries and how what was once
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