The right to life is the most basic, fundamental, primordial and supreme right which human beings are entitled to have and without which the protection of all other human rights becomes either meaningless or less effective. Indeed, the right of each person to life is something, which is intrinsic to his status as a human being and which is a necessary concomitant of human existence. The preservation of this right is one of the essential functions of the state and the numerous provisions of national legislation guarantees the enjoyment of this right.
In the oldest written records of human history such as the Code of Hammurabi in the ancient Babylon, the Neo-Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu and Torah, a Jewish Law, capital punishment has been employed as a form of punishment for various degrees of offences. This phenomenon has continued to exist despite modern civilisation, and is being used by several countries around the globe today. In Nigeria, capital punishment is and has remained the integral part of the criminal justice system, used as an arrow head for punishing offenders who commit offences classified as capital offences. However, the issue of capital punishment has continued to generate controversies, heated debates and arguments in Nigeria. The thrust of this research is to examine critically Right to life, other related concepts like Euthanasia, abortion and suicide; also, the general concept of capital punishment, the validity of capital punishment in Nigeria, whether capital punishment is a breach of right to life and dignity of human persons, the exceptions of vulnerable from capital punishment, the methods of executing capital punishment in the world, an appraisal of various theories, arguments against and for the use of capital punishment; Finally, this research makes recommendations and suggestions.