A Culture of Violence

The death penalty is arguably wrong on the basis that it goes against a fundamental human rights principle enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and that is the right to life. The death penalty could also be considered a form of torture, another right [to live a life free from torture] that is enshrined in the UDHR in 1948. Yet across the world, and across the United States, the death penalty is continually used as a form of punishment, and of justice. Countries or states that utilise the death penalty evidently don't consider this to be a violation of rights, or alternatively see the death penalty as an effective measure against dissuading others from committing crimes. However, this hypothesis so oft used to cite the death penalty is far from correct or even productive.

In 2016, there were over 1600 executions worldwide, and Amnesty International recorded this as the highest worldwide since 1989. The death penalty is cited often a not a solution, but a symptom of a culture of violence. In a similar vein, there has been more total mass shooting incidents and deaths in the US in the 11 years starting with 2005 than there were in the previous 23 years combined. The death penalty and mass shootings, along with a general increase in related violent incidents indicates something about the society that is evolving around us. How many of these incidents have to occur before solutions are found? Events related even slightly to terrorism cause uproar and the stigmatisation of the Islamic community, while those that occur as a result of mental health, more often than not, go forgotten. Indiscriminate daily murders have become commonplace, numbing us to the human rights violations that exist synonymously in our supposedly free and democratic society.

 

Photo Credit: Amnesty Internationalhttps://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/death-penalty/ 

Date Published: 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

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