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Essay on The Disadvantages of Capital Punishment: It is costly and inhumane

Essay on Capital Punishment

The Disadvantages of Capital Punishment: It is costly and inhumane

The principle of morality states that the taking of one’s life is wrong in all aspects notwithstanding the seriousness of the crimes and wrongdoings of such person. The enforcement of capital punishment raises some religious, moral and ethical issues since it involves the killing of convicted criminals and depriving them of their natural right which is the right to life.  This paper aims to discuss the argument against capital punishment and the reason why it should be abolished due to its superficial effects in the criminal justice system.


There is a well known assumption that death penalty is more cost effective than life imprisonment which is a known alternative for capital punishment.  However, studies show that in the USA, the cost of execution is proven to be costly than providing a lifetime support to convicted criminals in prison. Estimated figures show that the cost of execution ranges from U$ 3-4 Million which is considerably higher as compared to the projected cost of keeping someone in prison which is only U$30,000 -35,000 a year. It is estimated that Texas spent $530 million on 239 executions to the end of 2000 and will need to spend in excess of a billion dollars to process and perhaps eventually execute the other prisoners currently on death row. (Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment in the USA). These are considerable amount of money which can be spent in health, education, crime prevention or criminal rehabilitation.

The possibility of executing an innocent individual is not remote considering that data show that there have been 139 accused have been released from the death rows nationwide due to legal technicalities or absence of witnesses. However, what is alarming is that some states are willing to prosecute based on circumstantial evidence only which is definitely not a sufficient basis for the imposition of death penalty. If death penalty is imposed based on mere circumstantial evidence, there is a greater possibility that innocent lives will be taken and state cannot claim that justice is truly served.


Death Penalty is inhumane

Morality dictates that there is no such thing as a totally humane procedure to take a convicted criminal’s life. Regardless of the form of execution, whether gas chamber or lethal injection, the same causes suffering on the part of the convicted felon. The suffering may extend from physical to mental pain and suffering which in principle, should not be inflicted upon him by a fellow human being.


Considering that states need to spend vast amount of money for the strict implementation of death penalty, it is about time for states to re-evaluate the imposition of capital punishment. Apart from being inhumane, it is not proven to be an effective deterrent against heinous crimes. Despite its enforcement through the years, the fact remains is that heinous crimes are still being committed in different states every day.  States should consider an alternative to death penalty such as life imprisonment for after all,   a convicted criminal still deserves a second chance.



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