Capital punishment, death penalty or execution is considered as the infliction of death upon a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes. Death penalties are enforced on people who have performed profound malpractices and crimes.
In ancient times, the death penalties were more of a torture than that of punishments. The methods were torturous, and it would strain the body of the culprit in such a way that the pain would lead to their death.
Traditional methods of death penalties included devouring by animals like being thrown away to the lions, alligators or death by snake bites. Back-breaking was an ancient method of execution that avoided spilling of blood on the ground. Crucifixion was also a standard method of execution in the past which involved nailing the person to a cross and allowing it to perish.
Suffocating the criminal by carbon monoxide poisoning was also another method of execution. It was performed by burning coal inside a sealed room where the criminal would ultimately choke to death. Modern techniques are much quicker and less painful than the traditional methods of execution. Modern means of death penalties involve electrocution where the criminal is tied to the chair, and a high voltage current is passed through his body which can ultimately kill him. It mainly causes the failure of the heart.
Tranquilization or lethal injection is a method that gives the person a slow but painless death. It takes quite long for the criminal to die. The toxins in the injections act slowly and cause the slow death of the criminal. Hanging the criminal is the most common method of execution in recent times. The criminal is hung till death.
Another form of the death penalty in recent times is the shooting method where the culprit is shot in the head or the chest, which causes immediate death. In the Arabian and the Gulf Countries, the beheading method is used as the death penalty for the criminals. Beheading is decided based on the crime committed. It is a painful method where the head is cut off from the culprit’s body.
The role of public opinion and collective conscience plays a vital role in the imposition of death penalties in many countries. The punishment must befit the crime so that the court reflects the public abhorrence of the crime. The court must consider both the rights of the criminal as well as the rights of the victim and society at large while deciding the mode of execution.
Many think that death penalties are violating human rights, but still, it is practised in many countries. It not only prevents future crimes, but it makes a person think twice before committing a deadly crime. Death penalties are a harsh reality showing that the world is filled with culprits and criminal activities. Crimes have risen to such a level that execution is the only way to stop deadly crimes.