Death Penalty: What Do You know About It?

The death penalty is killing a person through a legal process for punishment or general deterrence. The crimes that led to this punishment knew as felonies of death, and this punishment is considering the most dangerous because it affects a vital right for each human, which is the right to life. Moreover, the death penalty wasn't controversial in the old legislation.

In the modern era, the discussion started about the feasibility of the death penalty as a part of criminal sanctions. Opinions emerged calling for the abolition of this punishment to impose humanity on the penal system.

Execution methods

The methods of carrying out the death penalty changed during the ages. And some of them have all brutality features, such as sawing with a chainsaw or skinning the condemned alive.

The Most Common Methods of Execution:

1. Shot Firing

One of the most common methods of execution is firing the convict, possibly by shooting a single bullet in the head.

 2. The Hanging

They place a rope on the convict's neck and raise it on a pulley, with his hands tied. An execution may be carried out by hanging, by placing the person on a platform that opens after the rope tied on his neck until the body collapses down and dies.

 3. Cutting off the Necks

The death penalty happens, where they used a sword to strike a blow to the convict's neck until his head separated from his body. Furthermore, there is another way to cut the head using a guillotine and became famous during the French Revolution.

 4. Electrocution

This method appeared in the United States in 1880 and is hardly used outside the US based on exposing the convicted to high-intensity currents several times for a few seconds, the condemned shocks and dies immediately.

 5. Poison Injection

People used it for the first time in the United States in 1982 as an alternative to electric shocks, hanging, and shooting. Under the appearance that it didn't cause hard physical suffering before it became clear in several cases the size of the difficulties that the execution team faced to complete the matter perfectly.

 6. Gas Chamber

It appeared in the United States, and they inspired it from the gas chambers by Nazi Germany. This method is based on putting the convicted person in a sealed room provided with a system to pump out poisonous gas to die from suffocation. However, this method proved to a limited execution and causes terrible physical and psychological harm.

Demanding the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Recently, several parties called for the abolishment of the death penalty based on a host of reasons. It's an irreversible punishment and a final punishment. Therefore, the death penalty doesn't achieve a general deterrent, as there is no evidence to prove the effectiveness of execution in achieving general deterrence compared to life imprisonment, for example. 

Also, it is considered an unfair punishment. However, we can use the death penalty as a political tool to punish political opponents.


The death penalty remains a controversial topic in many countries and on the international scene between supporters who see it as a deterrent and opponents who consider it a denial of the right to life. Between this, many people die annually in the application of this punishment. 

Although most countries, especially in Europe, stopped applying or abolishing this punishment. Moreover, according to Amnesty International, 60% of the world's population is in countries that practice this punishment. However, documenting executions is a complicated matter for human rights activists, especially in light of the countries that govern them and affirm the principle of "secrecy."

Written by - Shahd Aladwan

Edited by - Susan Ismail

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