Pros and Cons of Death Penalty: Reasons, Arguments and Case Studies

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Updated: Aug 21, 2023
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The Death Penalty’s Complex Equation: Finding Equilibrium

The intent of punishment across various legal systems serves deterrence, rehabilitation, and restoration purposes. Examples, such as capital punishment, are contentious and controversial in many societies globally. They attract defenders and critics who differ on divergent concerns like retribution and human rights. The death penalty promotes public safety and retribution, even though it violates human rights and ethical concerns, thereby making life imprisonment imperative.

The death penalty is a legally sanctioned punishment imposed by the state on a person considered to have committed a serious crime.

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It is the severest punishment executed through lethal injection, hanging, or electrocution. Proponents of capital punishment believe the death penalty is suitable for public safety (Johnson, 2020). They imply that its irreversible nature prevents an offender from harming others again. Another reason for the death penalty is that it reflects proportional retribution for the harm inflicted on people.

Despite this, opponents of the death penalty argue that the punishment violates human rights and ethics. Such state-sanctioned killing infringes on principles of humanness and compassion and can be a miscarriage of justice. Key case studies include Indonesia’s execution by firing squad of Myuran Sukumaran, Sylvester Nwolise, and Rodrigo Gularte in 2015 (Rusito & Suwardi, 2019). The result has profound emotional, practical, and psychological implications for the victims’ families. Alternatively, focusing on life imprisonment and restorative justice upholds dignity and humanity.

In conclusion, the general aim of criminal law is to promote usability and certainty to achieve justice. The death penalty is a complex and contentious topic in most countries’ legal settings. While it may serve as a deterrent, capital punishment violates human rights concerns and moral considerations. Any punishment rendered by the justice system should uphold the principles of fairness, justice, and human dignity.


Johnson, D. T. (2020). The Culture of Capital Punishment in Japan. Springer Nature.
Rusito, R., & Suwardi, K. (2019). Development of the Death Penalty in Indonesia in Human Rights Perspective. Ganesha Law Review, 1(2), 38-54.

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Pros and Cons of Death Penalty: Reasons, Arguments and Case Studies. (2023, Jul 19). Retrieved from