1. Death penalty does not stop criminals from committing crimes.
“Para sa akin, dahil hindi naman na-po-prove ng statistics na mayroon tayong death penalty, bumaba ang crime incidents. Kaya sa atin, hindi po ako sang-ayon.”
Even during the time when our country employed capital punishment, the crime rate did not go down. Statistics submitted to the Senate by the Commission on Human Rights have shown that death penalty is not a deterrent to crime. From 1998 to 1999, seven Filipinos were executed during the term of former President Joseph Estrada. But in the same year wherein seven people where executed, crime rate actually increased by 15.3%. This was one of the reasons why death penalty was abolished.
2. Police, lawyers, and judges make mistakes.
“Maraming nangyayari tulad ng hokus pokus sa mga ebidensya, pati na pananakot at panggigipit sa mga biktima, maging sa mga huwes. Ano’ng klaseng katarungan ang ating aasahan kung ganito ang sitwasyon ng ating justice system? Modernizing our justice system is the key to end lawlessness and criminality. ”
In 1996, a Chinese teenager was found guilty of murder and put to death. However, 18 years later, the court overturned the decision, and declared him innocent after someone else confessed to the crime. The court’s deputy president gave the teenager’s parents 30,000 as compensation, and yet this does not, in any way, replace the life that was wrongfully taken. Courts are composed of human beings, and human beings are fallible. Our own judicial system may actually be more susceptible to making mistakes as it lacks sufficient budgetary and personnel support.
3. We cannot restore the lives of innocent people killed by death penalty.
“The death penalty should be abolished not only because there is no correlation between this punishment and crime deterrence, but also because its effects are basically irreversible.”
Death is irreversible. As in the case of the Chinese teenager, you cannot return a life that has been wrongfully taken. The right to life is the absolute right. Without life, we cannot enjoy all other rights such as the right to liberty and the right to own property. Government should do its utmost to protect this absolute right. We should hence not support the implementation of death penalty, which is a violation of our right to life.
4. Statistics show that there are even less crimes when death penalty was abolished
“The Death Penalty Law already had its time in the Philippines when it was imposed for 12 long years since 1994. Congress had enough of it when it was abolished in 2006 since it was clear that it was not an effective deterrent to crime. In fact, statistics would show that the crime rate decreased after the Death Penalty Law was repealed in 2006.”
5. Death penalty is anti-poor.
“During the campaign for the abolition of the death penalty, it was shown that 73.1% of death row inmates belonged to the lowest and lower income classes, and only 0.8% came from the upper socio-economic class.”
The poor are most vulnerable to losing their lives to death penalty. Without the wherewithal to hire good lawyers to defend them in court, many Filipinos who struggle in poverty have lost lives to capital punishment. Bringing back death penalty will greatly put the lives of poor Filipinos—who are at bottom of our criminal justice system—at risk.