The death penalty when preceded by long confinement and administered bureaucratically dehumanises both the agents and recipients of this punishment and amounts to a form of torture

Debates on retention or abolition of the capital punishment have predominantly existed for years causing some countries to consider prolonged delays that precede execution, mostly allowing the condemned person reasonable time to appeal3. Such prisoners are condemned to dehumanizing conditions in “death row” units that have been criticized for transforming humans to caged animals. Penologists and criminologists have been actively engaged in extensive researches to find the answers to perennially baffling issues on prolonged delays that today precede execution4.
The question of whether the prolonged delays can serve a just cause and whether they should be retained has in itself been a subject of debate among human rights lawyers, legal scholars, jurists, judges and social theorists the world over5. Whether the delays aptly serve the real purposes of punishment, whether eliminating the delays can promote the rights of the prisoners or violate them, and what message the brutal existence can send to the society are issues that this paper attempts to address6.
In all, the dehumanizing conditions serve to portray the prisoners are being secluded from the society. Even as human rights activists have held that they should be reformed and corrected to make them sober citizens, studies7 have showed that such prisoners who undergo brutal conditions are made to be worse8. Such situations view the pre-arranged and proportional punishment as in conformity with Bentham’s theory of penal objectives which suggest that the pain of the offender should be higher than the pleasures he enjoys following the commission of the crime9. However, the element of “higher” must be proportional and uniform10.
Even as legal and moral philosophers and scholars have examined the various objectives or justifications for death penalty, social scientists have focused more on explaining the effects of the