Abolition is becoming the norm and those who advocate for the death penalty face important challenges in the 21st century. For example, the United Nations and the European Union (EU) recently debated the legitimacy of the death penalty and world opinion is moving towards its abolition. The European Union, through its Charter of Fundamental Rights, has led the way and successfully banned the death penalty in all of its member states. Thus, if a country wishes to become a member of the EU and has the death penalty as a punishment on the books, that will need be overruled for the death penalty to become a member. This is just an example of how the tide is turning against advocates of the death penalty in the 21st century. Seeking to explore capital punishment and ask whether or not it is a good thing, the following will explore the deterrence argument for the death penalty and persuasively argue that the death penalty is not a good thing and should be banned. Furthermore, this paper will argue that lethal injection runs contrary to the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” and because the consequences of the death penalty are irreversible, it should be abolished worldwide (The Death Penalty Information Centre 2009; Hood 3).
From an ethical standpoint, advocates of the death penalty argue that the death penalty serves to deter criminals and thus is effective in preventing crime. According to the well-respect British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the consensus among researchers in the field is that the deterrent aspect of the death penalty has yet to be proven. Furthermore, a survey on the subject was undertaken by the United Nations (UN) in an attempt to look at the relationship between the death penalty and homicide rates. According to this published analysis, the United Nations concluded that “research has failed to