Capital Punishment

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As abolition becomes an important issue around the world, advocates of the death penalty face an uphill battle as important international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union have recently debated the validity of this particular form of punishment. Accordingly, the European Union, in its Charter of Fundamental Rights, has effectively banned this practice in all of its member states. Seeking to explore the death penalty through an analysis of the deterrent argument as well as the application of lethal injection, a potentially cruel and unusual punishment, the following will analyze quantitative data surrounding the global use of death penalty and persuasively argue that the death penalty should be banned. While the deterrence factor is brought into question, this essay will argue that lethal injection runs contrary to the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and thus should be banned in its entirety (The Death Penalty Information Centre 2009. Hood 2008).According to the Death Penalty Information Centre, there has been a global trend towards the abolishment of the death penalty. Despite this trend, there are a handful of countries in the world which continue to use the death penalty as a form of punishment. While 92 countries have now abolished the death penalty (including France, Canada and the United Kingdom), 59 countries worldwide continue to have death penalty legislation on their books. China, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Pakistan remain some of the largest supporters of the death penalty with China the overwhelming leader in total executions worldwide. Is the death penalty a deterrent? It is to this question that we now turn (Hood 2008. Robert 2000).In addition to the plethora of ethical issues surrounding the death penalty, advocates of the death penalty argue that capital punishment works as an effective deterrent and thus is effective in preventing crime.