Congregation of the Condemned: Decades of Discontinuous Debates on Death by Design in Southern Nigeria
AbstractThe application of death penalty has been a subject of heated arguments amongst scholars, human right proponents and Christian religious leaders. Although several nations the world over have abrogated its use, Nigeria still has death penalty deeply entrenched in its statute books. In spite of this, capital offences are still on the increase thus calling to question, its relevance as a form of deterrent. The study utilised the functionalist theory.The design was exploratory and involved the use of qualitative methods of data collection. Three states: Edo, Delta and Anambra in southern Nigeria were purposively selected due to high incidence of the commission of capital offences in the locations. 1200 questionnaires were administered to respondents, 30 in-depth interviews and 15 key informant interviews were conducted. A descriptive analysis of the quantitative data collected was undertaken using frequency distribution while the manual content analysis was used for qualitative data collected from the field work. Findings from this investigation showed that death penalty does not in any way deter would-be criminals from committing crime. Based on the findings of the study, government rather than eliminating criminals should instead focus more on their rehabilitation and also use its enormous power and resources to redress some of the inequalities and injustice that characterize our society which is often the cause of crime.
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