Capital Punishment Controversy

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Although it is argued that capital punishment is a strong deterrent to crimes and serves as a just punishment, nevertheless, capital punishment should be abolished because it is a violation of human rights, carries a risk of executing innocent people, is a burden on taxpayer’s money and is discriminant in application. Capital punishment has been argued to be a violation of human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 recognizes that every person has a right to life and further states “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” . Death penalty however, is a violation of both these fundamental human rights as it…show more content…
In 2003 alone, 10 wrongfully convicted defendants were released from death row. These statistics depict an intolerable risk of killing the innocent in the name of justice. There have been several cases globally when a person was executed and his/her innocence was later proven. One such case was in Taiwan when a Taiwanese soldier was executed in 1997 for rape and murder of a five year old girl. Before his death, he had repeatedly claimed that he was wronged and that he did not rape and murder the girl. He was deprived of his life, and branded a rapist and a murderer. Fifteen years later, the authorities caught the real killer Xu Rong-zhou who admitted that he was responsible for the crime . However, the damage had been done. There was nothing that could be done to bring the innocent back to life. Historically, death penalty has also been misused intentionally leading to wrongful executions. For example, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged in April 1979 for charges of murder. This execution is very controversial since it was alleged that the then President of Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq had used the death penalty and judicial system as a tool to get rid of his rival, Bhutto as Benzir Bhutto writes,” There were no eye-witnesses to the attack.......that the FSF guns, which the ‘confessing accused' claimed to have used in the murder attempt did not match the empty cartridges found at
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