Today, close to 58 countries around the world actively employ the penalty against those who commit capital offenses. Although close to 96 countries have abolished the use of death penalties against humans, several others still have it still entrenched within their judicial systems without practicing it for at least the last ten years owing to its controversial nature.
The death penalty has drawn great and uncommon controversy throughout the world with different groups and members of society taking different stands concerning the subject. In fact, the subject of death penalty is a matter of active debate even among states, nations and territories. With regard to the subject, people often take differing stands even though they may share similar political, religious and cultural ideologies. This paper discusses the subject of death penalty and will mainly focus on the pros and cons of employing the mode of punishment according to different viewers and commentators.
The death penalty is the pre-meditated and planned process of killing a human being in reaction to an offence committed by the person (Banner, 2002).. Also known as capital punishment, the act is normally done by a government against a person who has legally been convicted through a legal or judicial process.
There are several methods that have been employed in executing capital punishments against people accused of committing capital offenses as noted by Hood (2002). Historically, the death sentence was carried out mostly in the most painful of ways. In many ancient societies, convicts were often stoned to death while in other societies the convicts’ heads were severed using different means. For example in ancient Russia, executioners used swords to chop of the heads of those who were condemned to die while in France, the victim’s head was cut off using a guillotine.
Ferocious or venomous animals were also used in some societies to cause the deaths of those who