What is the Law on Murder in Oklahoma and What are the Punishments for it?
Death penalty or otherwise known in friendlier terminology as ‘capital punishment’ refers to the planned killing which is awarded by the Government because of a crime. In the US, most states award death penalty for murder. Some states may also award it for espionage, treason, drug trafficking, attempt to murder of a court officer, a witness or a juror.
The US military has also given capital punishments to over 135 defense members for various reasons including murder and desertion. Let us quickly look at why the murder law in Oklahoma will award a death penalty.
Advantages of capital punishment
- Proportionate Punishments – Law in every country requires that the punishments awarded should be in proportion to the crime committed. If the person has been convicted of taking away a life, then giving him life imprisonment will not serve justice. Almost all death cases in Oklahoma and other states give death sentences for aggravated murder.
- Restraining against violent crime – Legal bodies try to protect society and deter people from committing murder by imposing such punishments. Love for one’s own life is more than anything for anybody. Fear of death may make potential criminals think before executing a murder.
- Brutality is not involved – The focus in the death penalty is to execute the person as quickly as possible in the least painful manner. In Oklahoma, the most commonly used execution method is by use of a lethal injection.
- Eliminating the escape plans and safeguarding society – A person in life imprisonment usually puts efforts to plan to escape from jail. Such a convict will have nothing to lose. If he gets caught while escaping the judicial system will only add imprisonment years to his current capital punishment. Therefore, to avoid such situations and not jeopardize the victim’s family in future a death penalty is awarded.
- Controlling prison overpopulation – the Life expectancy of humans has exponentially increased with the availability of technology and better medication. Convicts are also eligible for enhanced medical treatments during their stay in prison. A death penalty helps to keep the population in prison under check. Courts cannot risk letting out dangerous convicts out in society just because they don’t have plenty of space to keep them locked.
- Absence of death penalty will cause an increase in the crime rate – It has been estimated that close to 2,000,000 US citizens become victims of different crimes. If the law lacks astringent action such as a death penalty, criminals may tend to become bolder and are likely to commit more crimes such as murder.
- Violation of a victim’s right to life, safety and freedom – Crimes such as murder and assault directly violate the right to live peacefully. Such criminals have no respect for other humans and only a capital punishment can serve justice.
While all the above stands true, there are people and various bodies who do not believe in capital punishment and who have raised their concerns to the government time and again.
Cons to capital punishments
- Violation of human rights – There are various bodies who are pro-life and believe that the death penalty is an inhuman and cruel action exercised by organizations in the name of justice.
- Innocent life at risk – History shows that there are cases when an innocent has been wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to imprisonment or worst a death penalty. It is therefore incorrect to award capital punishment as it also puts some innocent people to death.
- Impact to the family of the convict – The family of perpetrator undergoes higher trauma and psychological problems when a death penalty is given than life imprisonment.
The advantages and disadvantages of capital punishment rely upon various aspects and also consistency across the state and the country. To determine if it is a right or a wrong approach is a debate at an individual level however, Oklahoma considers it as justice served to the victim.