A THEMATIC CRITIQUE OF THE MORAL PERMISSIBILITY OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
This paper explores and exposes the debate on capital punishment. Arguments for or against capital punishment remain unsettled. However, the paper, not being a mere regurgitation of the traditional debate on capital punishment, draws attention to two important factors through observable facts and available figures, viz: (1) fallibility and possibility of judicial error, and(2) practical failures of capital punishment. First, it discovers that errors in judicial rulings over the years are too obvious to ignore, and if the system decisively ignores these errors and their consequences (the many innocent lives that have been lost to the process) then it means the system has become machinery which targets the lives of the people it is supposed to protect. This is a moral taboo. Secondly, the paper finds that it is either capital punishment is inconsequential in determining crimes or it is ineffective in deterring them as it cannot boast of any success in either case. Either way, the paper argues that capital punishment is irrelevant. Consequently, the paper recommends, based on practical successes and the fulfilment of the purposes of punishment, the maxim of restorative justice and rehabilitating prisoners.