Arguing against capital punishment, people most often uphold one of the following opinions:.
That the hangman's job is an unpleasant degrading one.
2. That it is in vain, for it does not deter other potential criminals.
Advocates of the first argument seem to be superficial since there are many other unpleasant jobs, and yet they are not being abolished because of their need by society.
The second argument seems to have more force, but still it is not very solid. The aim of punishing criminals is not merely to deter other criminals. On the contrary there are many other reasons, most important of which is katharsis. Katharsis is the purification or purgation of the emotions that brings about spiritual relief and release from tension. It is inner relief one gets upon seeing or knowing of the suffering of the person who made him suffer. So one of the prime aims of judicial punishment is offering the same kind of grateful relief (a) to the immediate victims of the punished criminal, and (b) to the general body of moral and fearful men.
These people, and mostly the first group do not very much care about deterring other criminals. What they actually care for is seeing the criminal suffer as he made them suffer, and by that way they will feel happy and satisfied. This yearning is not noble, but it is commonly found among human beings.
The case is the same in the larger scale. People in the whole community feel menaced and insecure until the criminal is struck down and is given proper punishment.
Capital punishment is not demanded for ordinary crimes, but only for intended and unjustifiable ones where katharsis becomes necessary to dissipate the revengeful feelings of the people.
The real objection to capital punishment does not lie in the actual killing of the criminal, but in the postponing it for so long. By the American habit, criminals sentenced to death should wait in the death-house months or even years before the verdict is taken into action, during which lawyers carry on their idiotic work with writs and appeals.