Critical Thinking

SHOULD VIETNAM ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY ? 1,

SHOULD VIETNAM ABOLISH
THE DEATH PENALTY ?

1,
Introduction

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Rising
criminal rate is a big problem of our society today. Although in major part of
the world, living standard, awareness and educated level of people are
developing, there are still thousands of criminal cases occurring everyday. The
governments are using a lot of different ways to punish these offenders depend
on their serious level of crime as well as the country’s laws, one of them is
the death penalty. According to Collins Dictionary of English, “The death penalty is the punishment of death
used in some countries for people who have committed very serious crimes.” In
the early time, death penalty is a very popular punishment all over the world
and was appeared in different kinds: decapitation, burning alive, drowning,
beating to death, hanging, dismemberment and so on. (Death Penalty Information
Center, n.d.) However, modern people do not use these barbarous punishments
anymore, and even remove the death sentence, that is the reason why there is
the phrase “used in some countries”
in the modern definition. As we can see that, there are two currents of idea in
the world on the death penalty : approve and disapprove, and It seems that the
affirmative side is now gaining the upper hand with 141/195 countries abolished
the capital punishment in law or practice. So the question is that, should
Vietnam catch up to this trend? We will answer it after discussing the reasons
why governments chose to maintain this punishment and why the others chose to
abolish it.

2.
Discussion of findings

2.1.
Reason why there is a trend that many countries abolish the death penalty

As
mentioned above, there are more than hundred countries have abolished the
capital punishment, specifically, there are 104 countries abolished for all
crimes, 7 abolitionists for ordinary crimes only and 53 abolitionists in
practice, (Amnesty International, 2017), so there must be some reasons for the
trend of abolishment.

2.1.1. Abolish the death penalty in
order to protect the Human Rights.

The
root cause of abolishing the death penalty is that these punishments are
against The Universal Declaration of
Human Rights.  It is said that :”No one shall be subjected to torture or to
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” (United Nation,
1948). In these 104 countries, some names can be pointed out as typical
examples such as Australia, Austria, France, Germany, United Kingdom, United
State of America, etc (Amnesty International, 2016). It is clearly seen that
they all belong to developed part of the world, and they are all respect
everyone’s human rights, these countries believe that criminals are also human
regardless of what they have done, and no one has right to divest their lives.
Moreover, killing a person is really an inhuman activity. Somebody can say that
there is a thing called “the humane death”, but in fact there is no humane way
to end someone’s life, either shooting or “humane injection” brings a cruelly
pain. That is the reason why The Amnesty International was founded in 1977 with
the aim of ending the death penalty regardless convicted person is guilt or
innocence. (Amnesty International, n.d.)

2.1.2. Abolish the death penalty in
order not to make irrevocable mistake.

According
to the book “The Decline of the Death
Penalty and the Discovery of Innocence” (2008), since The Innocence Project
was founded, the death penalty all over the world has decreased. The Innocence
Project is an organization that exonerates the wrongly conviction to defend
social justice, this organization has helped 200 innocent people including
death executed cases. For example, according to this organization, Cameron Todd
Willingham, a Texas man was executed in 2004 for arson that killing his three
daughters in 1991. However, since his execution, a lot of evidences prove his innocence
had appeared, but it was too late (The Innocence Project, 2010). The Amnesty
International also mentioned this as a typical case in order to claim a truth
that we couldn’t take it back in case the death penalty was given wrongfully
(Amnesty International, 2017). In addition, there is also a famous book on the
innocence named In Spite of Innocence
(1992), this book has profiled 23 cases since 1900 that innocent people were
executed. These are all uncompensated loses, therefore it is believed that
abolishing the death penalty can save plenty of innocent lives.

2.2.
Reason why some countries still remain the death penalty

It
likely seems that death penalty abolishment is a signal of humane, however although
nearly three fourths of the world decided to abolish the death penalty, we can
not forget the fact that there are a lot of countries still maintain this
punishment. It is even more surprise that the retentionist list not only
contains names of developing countries but also some developed countries, and
these countries must have their reasons.

2.2.1.
Death penalty is justice for crime victims and their families

Opinion
of Anne Marie Schubert, an attorney in Sacramento County District, is that
repealing the capital punishment makes the wounds of victims’s families members
unhealed, no matter what how humane the abolishment is. Moreover, these
families are obsessed with the fact that there is chance for the murderers to
be released if they have not been executed. They would wonder where the justice
is while their close relatives’s live had been robbed, the murderers could be
given amnesty and return to normal life at any time (July 20th, 2016).
Similarly, according to Robert Blecker, a professor of Law at New York Law
School, it is really unfair if a murder after behaving well in jail can watch
TV and play sports like normal people. Being asked by the Dallas News about retributive
justice, he claimed that punishments must fit the crimes, criminals have to
take the punishment they deserve, and what killers deserve is the death (April
2014). Also, there is an argument that, if we base on the UN’ s Declare of
Human’ s Rights that a person should not be given the death for any reason, however,
serious criminals has made inhumane crimes, so they do not deserve to have
human’ s rights, they need to pay off for what they did by their lives.

2.2.2. Death penalty is an
effective deterrent

According
to The Listverse, this punishment is an “ultimate warning against all crimes” (June
1st, 2013).  Hardly anyone
does not fear the death, therefore the death penalty is the last warning to
people who are on the verge of being criminal. The capital punishment not only deters
the crime to appear but also prevents it from repetition. One of the article on
the BBC also states that giving the death to the criminals can stop them doing
it once more (September 21st, 2011). The death of a murderer is
either the most fair response for his crime or an example to awaken those who
are on astray, or in other words, death penalty obstacles future criminals. A
Professor
of Management Science at Pepperdine University named Michael Summers, said that
recent study on death penalty shows the correlation between carried out
execution and the decrease in number of criminal the following year – 74
murders/per execution (November 2nd, 2007).

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