Argumentative Speech: Capital Punishment is Wrong

There are many occasion under which the jury in a case are compelled to have a convict sentenced to capital punishment. This comes as a relief to the people who suffered from the deeds of the convicted person because at last they think justice has been served. However, this is not the case since capital punishment is merely a state-sanctioned form of murder. Capital punishment is also referred as the death penalty and is a legal process that sentences a person to death for his/her crimes. It is a punishment for serious and highly magnitude crimes, in most countries capital punishment is unacceptable. Due to growing uproar about continued practice of this form of punishment, there has been a pressure by right groups and movement who want it abolished (Melusky & Pesto, 2011).

In religious perspective capital punishment is not condoned because of the fact that it is in contrary to the belief of respecting an individual’s rights. It’s a revelation that this form of punishment is discriminatory because it target particular race, which is blacks. Although this is a subject of contention since each person of either race might argue differently (Melusky & Pesto, 2011).

Why Capital Punishment is Wrong

There are several cases that can be used to show how capital punishment is wrong and should be termed as murder by the state. To begin with, capital punishment can be used in executing innocent persons in the society. This is because there are always flaws in the judicial system of a state which can make an innocent person to be convicted and killed for a crime that they did not partake in doing. The flaws in the judicial system, arises from the fact that the judicial relies on witnesses, prosecutors and jurors who are all human and can make errors in the process of searching for justice.

For instance, in the United State there have been a confirmed number of 130 people how have been sentenced to death and were later found not guilty of the crime they were prosecuted for having committed. This punishment is irreversible once it has been done on the convict hence there may be many innocent lives that can be lost in the process making capital punishment a wrong form of punishment for crimes no matter how big the crime is deemed to be (BBC, n.d).

Consequently, capital punishment can be compared to retribution and vengeance. In many societies retribution and vengeance have been flawed and are problematic in both the practice and concept. This is because retribution is a sanitized form of vengeance that has been designed to re-establish to justice. A philosopher by the name James Fitzjames advocated for vengeance by thinking and claiming that it is an acceptable form of punishment for crimes committed

However, retribution can have its consequences when used for punishment. This is because when a person is punished through vengeance the person harbors feelings of vindication against the people who punished him/her which makes them also to have retribution against them. Furthermore, if retribution is a form of justice, then there are many cases where the judicial system fails because some of the people being served with the vengeance are innocent of the crimes. This is wrong because the people who feel the wrath of vengeance are those who did not commit the crime while those who committed it live peacefully (Melusky & Pesto, 2011).

In addition, capital punishment should be used to deter people from committing crimes, however it has failed in this since it is unable to deter crimes from happening. For instance, a research survey carried out by Amnesty international in 1996 concluded that there was no scientific proof of the effect of executions had in deterring crimes when compared to the greater effect life imprisonment had. Therefore, to reduce crime rate the government were encouraged to increase the likelihood of detection and conviction rather than execution because it was a harsh punishment but one that was not harsh enough for the crime.

Consequently, the concept of using deterrence to form morals in a society is a flawed concept. This arises from the fact that people may argue punishing even innocent people will have effect in the society therefore there is no need to wait for a person to commit a crime for them to be punished. Hence, if capital punishment is used for deterrence effect then there will be a high chance of making scapegoat scheme which will have a legal appearance to convince the society that a person has been found guilty of crimes that they are supposed to be punished for (BBC, n.d).

Lastly, if there is a continuous use of capital punishment by the state there is a high chance of brutalizing the society and the individuals. This is because when the punishment is performed it causes some individuals especially those who are related and had close ties to the convict to be disturbed which makes them to be more likely to commit murder. This also causes the number of deaths among the police to increase since majority of them are victims of vindication from a suffering brutal society. According to FBI crime report “In 2010, the murder rate in states where the death penalty has been abolished was 4.01 per cent per 100,000 people. In states where the death penalty is used, the figure was 5.00 per cent”. This shows how the use of capital punishment in the society makes a brutal society (BBC, n.d).

In Conclusion

In conclusion, capital punishment might be viewed as a form of reducing criminals who have been found guilty of heinous crimes. However, it is wrong since it is a form of murder by killing innocent people in the process and making a brutal society that increases the number of murder cases. Hence the effect of capital punishment in deterring crime and murder is over showed by the increase number of crime arising from the society making capital punishment to be looked at as mindless killing by the state.


BBC. (n.d). Arguments against capital punishment. Retrieved from

Melusky, J. A., & Pesto, K. A. (2011). Capital punishment. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood.

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