In 2010, retentionist countries continued to justify their use of the death penalty by stating that in their countries capital punishment is applied only for the “most serious crimes” and after due process, in line with Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)”. In this regard, the aim of the research is to contend support to the retention of death penalty as a means to address the most serious capital offenses.
The current study would initially present relevant statistics of countries practicing capital punishment, those who support for its abolition and facts about states practicing the death penalty in the United States. In addition, the discourse would determine the reasons for implementing capital punishment and discuss what abolitionist countries or states responses are in terms of the rationale for death penalties. The advantages and disadvantages of death penalty would thereby be clearly expounded before pursuing a review of related literature on what scholars and criminologists believe regarding the practice of capital punishment. A recommendation would be provided after integrating highlights and findings from the discussion, prior to a concluding statement that reinforces the argument on retaining capital punishment for criminal offenses....
Relevant Statistics of Countries Practicing Capital Punishment The information provided by Amnesty International (2011) reveals that “in the last decade, more than 30 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Fifty-eight countries worldwide now retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes, and less than half of these carried out executions in 2010” (Amnesty International, 2011, p. 1). The global trend actually shows a decreasing number of countries carrying out executions, as shown in the illustration below: Source: (Amnesty International, 2011) In the United States, the Death Penalty Information Center (2011) showed that a similar trend was manifested from the high of 98 executions in 1999 to only 32 executions in 2011 (p. 1). Further, as depicted below, death sentencing likewise exemplified a decreasing pattern: “The number of death sentences per year has dropped dramatically since 1999. Year 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Sentences 313 313 315 268 294 277 224 159 166 152 140 139 123 120 119 112 112* Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics: “Capital Punishment 2009.” *Projected, based on DPIC's research” (Death Penality Information Center, 2011, p. 3). The news article published in The New York Times on “Capital Punishment” revealed that one of the factors that contributed to the declining trend is the availability for the drug used for lethal injection. As noted, “One contributing factor in the low number of executions nationwide is the shortage of one of the three drugs used in most lethal injections - the barbiturate sodium thiopental. Several states have postponed executions because of the scarcity of the drug” (The New