Vioent Crimes, Economic Development and the Morality of Capital Punisment in Nigeria: A Retentionist Perspevtive
Violent crimes such as murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism are the cruelest, most inhuman and disparaging crimes plaguing Nigeria today. Lately, kidnapping and terrorism have taken the centre stage leading to horrible bloodshed and serious economic set-backs. For this reason, many civilized nations governed by law impose the severest punishment death penalty on such heinous crimes. The paper examines the abolitionist and retentionist arguments on capital punishment, showing how issues raised by the opposing viewpoints could be used to reform the criminal justice administration in Nigeria. Particularly, the paper challenges the anchorage of abolitionist argument on the perceived failure of capital punishment to deter criminality, showing that there is yet no empirical basis for such a lofty conclusion. Besides, the work broadens the logic of contemporary capital punishment debate beyond the issue of right to life argument of most human rights activists, positing that the philosophy behind this mode of punishment is theoretically and practically complementary with human rights defence. As a way forward, it makes a case for a selective retention of death penalty in Nigerias penal system in cases of culpable or intentional homicide which is currently on the increase.
Keywords: Crime, capital, punishment, criminal, law, development