Capital Punishment vs Death Penalty
Death penalty for severe and rare crimes has been followed in many societies of the world since ancient times. From time to time, there have been heated debates against the pros and cons of death sentence, as the process or the act of the death penalty is irreversible and ends all hopes of any change of heart of the accused or the criminal as he is called. Though it has been abolished in many countries of the world, it is still awarded as a sentence in countries like US, China, and India; this suggests that the death penalty as a form of capital punishment will continue, in time to come. The words capital punishment and death penalty are considered synonyms and have been so defined in many dictionaries. However, there are some differences between the two as will be clear after reading this article. Let us take a closer look.
Death penalty is the most severe punishment that can be given to an individual for the crime or wrong he has committed. It has been in vogue since ancient times, and awarded in the rarest of rare crimes these days because of opposition to this form of punishment from all quarters of the society. There are influential groups like Amnesty International that are working towards the removal of death penalty from all countries of the world, as it considers it to be barbaric and reminiscent of ancient times when an eye for an eye and a life for a life was the only form of justice. These groups feel that the death penalty gives the right to kill a life in the hands of the society and lets a man decide whether another man should live or die, that is unusual and cruel.
Some feel that the terms capital punishment and death penalty are not the same, and there are differences between them. This is because of the time lag between the death penalty that is awarded by a court of law and the actual execution. There are cases where the sentence is commuted, and a prisoner who is supposed to go to death gallows is instead provided relief by turning his sentence into life imprisonment. There are countries where death penalty is given to people without a legal process being set in. This extra judicial death penalty is also different from capital punishment.
What is the difference between Capital Punishment and Death Penalty?
• Technically, the death penalty is the actual act of killing the individual whether through lethal injection, electric chair, shooting or any other method.
• On the other hand, capital punishment is the entire process of trying the accused and then awarding death sentence to him by a judicial court of law.