There has been a surge of interest in the capital punishment. President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev, imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in December of 2003 for all cases, apart from terrorism entailing loss of life and grave crimes committed in wartime, law abolishing death penalty. Moratorium is Latin word, which means temporary prohibition. So the death penalty is an existing type of punishment in the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan, but since 2003 it has been transiently banned. So, Kazakhstan has two options to reinstate or get rid of it.
Some people argue that life imprisonment is insufficient punishment for offenders, thus capital punishment is still being used. On the other hand, international organizations pay special attention on popularization of humanization.
Singh (2000, p.346), in the article “Capital punishment in the United States: a new abolitionism?”, called death penalty “the triumph of the punitive paradigm”, however he pointed out that 25% of world’s prison population are Americans. It provokes controversy regarding effectiveness of capital punishment.
This controversial issue demands decision, which will lead to improvements in criminal procedure of Kazakhstan.
In this study project I am going to discuss which one of these two options is suitable for Kazakhstan, as the basis for the rational and possible solution I am going to look at USA’s and the Netherlands’ experiences regarding that.
USA as example of endorsing death penalty
Attitudes regarding capital punishment are controversial in USA, however death penalty is currently used in 38 states of USA. Singh (2000, p.342) points out that USA remains the only ‘developed’ country which use capital punishment, even though world organizations, such as United Nations Human Rights Commission, are against death penalty and encourage countries all over the world to halt it. The questions are why Americans are wedded to death penalty and how American’s attitude has changed.
Singh (2000, p.343) emphasizes that the millions of Americans, who insist on death penalty, believe that “some crimes deserve death, nothing else will quench our righteous anger”, also, it is noticeable, that capital punishment serves as most effective sanction for justice, claims Singh (2003). So what are the strongest reasons for an application capital punishment, below I am going to reveal the most striking ones.
Plenty of researches were done, such of them were conducted by Jiang (2010) and Singh (2000). According to them, Americans’ attitudes regarding to death penalty are mainly affected by retribution and deterrence.
Retribution is reflection of the principle of lex talionis, or “an eye for an eye”, it means “if a person takes a life, then he or she must sacrifice his or her own life” (Jiang, 2010, p.861). A similar view is held by Bohm (2004, p.311). He describes retribution as “revenge right”, people have right to get revenge from offender. In addition for some people capital punishment seems as reliable way to reduce crime because there is no guarantee that offender would not repeat previous actions.
Deterrence in terms of death penalty is an approach to prevent individuals from committing crimes, it discourages others from doing similar offences, claims Jiang (2010, p.861). As well it is mentioned in the article of Singh (2000, p.342) that the effectiveness of capital punishment is demonstrated in decreasing amount in crimes. Singh (2000, p.344) emphasizes that even though some people focused on cruelty of death penalty, such type of punishment has been used effectively throughout mankind’s history. And as a proof it is still used, because of deterrent effect.
It is remarkable, according to Singh (2000, p.346) that religiosity of Americans’ society is in a favor of ultimate penalty,