- Argument: The death penalty is inhumane.
- Evidence 1: The death penalty involves cruel and inhumane punishments.
- There can never be a justification for torture or for cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. The cruelty of the death penalty is evident. Like torture, an execution constitutes an extreme physical and mental assault on a person already rendered helpless by government authorities.
- If hanging a woman by her arms until she experiences excruciating pain is rightly condemned as torture, how does one describe hanging her by the neck until she is dead? If administering 100 volts of electricity to the most sensitive parts of a man’s body evokes disgust, what is the appropriate reaction to the administration of 2,000 volts to his body in order to kill him? If a pistol held to the head or a chemical substance injected to cause protracted suffering are clearly instruments of torture, how should they be identified when used to kill by shooting or lethal injection? Does the use of legal process in these cruelties make their inhumanity justifiable?
- The physical pain caused by the action of killing a human being cannot be quantified. Nor can the psychological suffering caused by fore-knowledge of death at the hands of the state. Whether a death sentence is carried out six minutes after a summary trial, six weeks after a mass trial or 16 years after lengthy legal proceedings, the person executed is subjected to uniquely cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment.
- Evidence 2: The death penalty violates human rights declared by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- The Universal Declaration is a pledge among nations to promote fundamental rights as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace. The rights it proclaims are inherent in every human being. They are not privileges that may be granted by governments for good behavior and they may not be withdrawn for bad behavior. Fundamental human rights limit what a state may do to a man, woman or child.
- No matter what reason a government gives for executing prisoners and what method of execution is used, the death penalty cannot be separated from the issue of human rights.
- The death penalty violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It violates the articles below:
- Article 3
- " Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person."
- Article 5
- No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Like killings which take place outside the law, the death penalty denies the value of human life. By violating the right to life, it removes the foundation for realization of all rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
a guest May 24th, 2011 135 Never
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