• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The death penalty

Extracts from this document...


Human rights are fundamental rights which every human being is entitled to just because they are human. The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. It is the cold blooded killing of a human being in the name of 'justice'. In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; in Articles 3 and 5 it states that "no one shall be subjected to cruel or degrading punishment and everyone has the right to life and liberty". The death penalty violates both of these fundamental rights. The United Nations Rights Commission (UNHRC) has passed a resolution calling for all nations that continue executions, to restrict the number of offences for which the death penalty may be imposed and to suspend executions with a view towards abolishing the death penalty. While most nations have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, the US is one of few industrialised countries in the world which continues to execute criminals. The US accounts for the highest number of executions; 65 people were executed in 2003, bringing a total of 885 prisoners put to death since the US Supreme Court lifted a moratorium on executions in 1976. ...read more.


Executing juveniles breaches Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966- into force in 1976), which states that the "Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age". Also in the Convention on the rights of the child, article 37 it states that "no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment shall be imposed". These conventions are obviously being breached. In 1984, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty. The Safeguards state that no one under the age of 18 at the time of the crime shall be put to death and that anyone sentenced to death has the right to appeal and to petition for pardon or commutation of sentence and executions regarding the mentally ill it states: "...nor shall the death sentence be carried out...on persons who have become insane." The case of Robert Anthony Carter is one of many examples of unfair death convictions. He was a juvenile and was mentally retarded and suffered abuse as a child by his parents. ...read more.


Amnesty International continues to work for the abolition by regularly monitoring developments, collecting information worldwide and organising an ongoing program of work against the death penalty in cooperation with other human rights organisations and governments. Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization dedicated to protecting human rights worldwide. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all circumstances because of its cruel and inhumane nature. They investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. They challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law. Conclusion: The death penalty legitimises an irreversible act of violence by the state, in which many victims are later found innocent. In my opinion, killing a murderer does not bring his victims back to life; it achieves nothing but the death of another person. It only serves to create more victims and continues the cycle of violence. No ones life should be placed under another person's authority nor should anyone have the power to determine whether a person shall die. The US should be protecting their citizens and have other alternative measures, such as life imprisonment; to ensure that international laws and human rights are not being violated. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Capital Punishment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Capital Punishment essays

  1. Death Penalty Opinion.

    A person is less likely to do something, if he or she thinks that harm will come to him. Another way the death penalty deters murder, is the fact that if the killer is dead, he will not be able to kill again.

  2. Critically evaluate arguments for and against the death penalty.

    of statistics, which show an opposite conclusion to the question of discrimination in the death penalty sentencing. Dudley Sharp, in his article Pro and Con: The Death Penalty in Black and White, claimed, "black murderers represent 35% of those executed and white murderers 56%".

  1. "Society in 2005 wants to re-introduce the death penalty in prisons

    fact that it is wrong to murder and the fact that it could be used inappropriately, for example the film "the green mile" shows life on death row and how an innocent man dies for a crime he didn't commit, also King Henry the Eighth is a good example of

  2. According to the affirmitive team, the death penalty is a contradiction of the constitution.

    So may I ask the affirmitive-"In the plan of your case outline, you stated the fact that you would abolish the 5th amendment. Does abolishing the right of a person to due process of law and protection from accusations, in other words "innocent until indicted by a grand jury" really accomplish your theories.

  1. Death Penalty

    There is no other furniture in the cells, though some states have concrete shelves on the cell's back walls - to serve as 'tables,' or a place to set a TV or radio if the prisoner is so fortunate as to have one.

  2. Why and In What Ways Did Medieval European Attitudes Towards Death Change With the ...

    It was the place where one would suffer for the sins that had not been cast off during life. The soul is often tormented for many years in Purgatory before satisfaction is granted and it can ascend to eternal life.

  1. Should the death penalty be used lawfully in civilised society

    In Britain there isn't even the chance that the murderer will be executed, if the murderer is executed then justice will be served, thus the punishment would fit the crime (an eye for an eye). This means that they pay for what they have done with the crime they have committed.

  2. Justice demands the death penalty for serious crimes. Discuss

    Therefore justice does not demand the death penalty fo serious crimes. For the first counter-argument, the simplest answer is that raping a rapist or stealing the car of a car-theft does not necessarily stop them from doing so again, but by sentencing a murderer, especially a serial murderer who is

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work