The argument of whether the death penalty is effective is an age-old and contentious issue. Many people believe that “an eye for an eye” mentality is barbaric and goes against basic human morals. Others are of the opinion that it can be used to prevent further crimes. People are just beings and can therefore make mistakes, if a prisoner was innocent and executed nothing can be done to make amends. Although we have modern tools of science, like DNA testing, there is still a 1% chance that the person could be innocent.
If even one person was wrongfully executed it cannot be effective as one person can contribute greatly towards society and the killing of just one innocent person negates its effectiveness. One of the main ideas of using the death penalty is to act as an example to others; however many criminologists agree that the death penalty is not a deterrent to capital crimes. If it does not fulfil one of its basic functions how could it be effective? It cannot and it is not effective.
A society that deals violence with violence will only breed more violence. There are a lot of costs involved in executing a criminal; they need to be kept in maximum security prisons and the long trials will affect the courts of the country. South Africa would not be able to deal with this. It should therefore not be reinstated in South Africa. The killing of people is inhumane. There are may be advantages to allowing the death penalty, but the disadvantages far outweigh them.
The requirements for a death sentence are long and clog up the court systems. Moreover the costs of keeping prisoners on death row are high. The death sentence is an inefficient, expensive and cruel way of sentencing criminals. It should never be reinstated in South Africa as we do not have the best court systems and neither do we have the resources available to dealing with sentencing a person to death. We will always be a nation stained with racism; sentencing of people could be affected by race.