• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Capital punishment.

Extracts from this document...


Capital punishment is most severe form of justice, the death penalty. It is the punishment given to the convicted criminals who have committed a capital offence. This punishment exists mainly because it is a huge deterrent against 'would be' criminals. Many countries have abolished it as a punishment. Some people believe it is inhumane and morally wrong for a society who frowns upon murderers to murder others. Some criminals could be wrongly convicted; there is no redress for innocent man. Some think that we are a civilized society that should not kill to solve our problems. There are many different reasons why countries such as the U.K have abolished it as a punishment. The documentary "14 Days in May" focused the issue of capital punishment. This documentary shows the life of the convicted murderer Edward Earl Johnson awaiting the death penalty on Death Row in the Parchment State Penitentiary, Mississippi. A film crew followed the last fortnight of his life on death row before being put into the gas chamber on the 20th May 1987. We see the last days of his life as he and his legal team struggle to prove his innocence. The death penalty was abolished in the USA until it was reinstated in 1976. The USA is in league with countries such as Iran, Turkey, South Africa and China, which all use capital punishment. ...read more.


This again portrays a different image to the one you would expect from a convicted murderer. Looking at Johnson's stay in the prison he seemed to be treated very well and was highly thought of by black and even white prison guards. We see interviews with his fellow inmates, who all talk about his innocence and describe him as intelligent and thoughtful. They come across as normal gentle people again different to what you would expect on death row. The death row staff and the head chaplain said, on film, they believed Edward Johnson to be innocent. None of the interviews given claim Johnson was guilty except the superintendent, and was very nervous and unsure according to Paul Hanmann, a cameraman. All of this reinforces his image as an innocent man. Being a "fly on the wall" documentary, we hear everything around at the time with no voice over. This gives the viewers the feel of the situation and puts them in the same position as Edward Earl Johnson. It is a creative way to make the viewers feel some sympathy for the prisoner as they get a slight idea of how he is must be feeling. It also has a positive affect on the viewer as it made it seem real and that it was not a planned speech or an act, and all the opinions given seemed like facts. ...read more.


It wouldn't be a 'fly on the wall' documentary and would have persuasive narration and background music, to make us think Edward was guilty. Edward would be shown to be rough, violent and angry to fit the stereotype of criminals on death row. This documentary has defiantly reinforced my views on capital punishment. It was cleverly made with a lot of suspense. I have always thought that killing is wrong no matter what the circumstances even as a punishment. I cannot see how a society who frowns upon murder to murder as a punishment. I have always seen the death penalty as an easy way out, we do not know what happens after death and if death truly is the end, with no after life, then the criminal will never have to think about the crime they have committed and ever have really suffered. It has persuaded me to think twice about some of the criminals in prison and whether or not they are innocent. Cases like Edward's make people more against capital punishment. An innocent man was killed while the criminal is still living. Capital punishment is killing to rid the world of our problems instead of sorting them out. The documentary shows capital punishment to be barbaric and endangers the innocent. Every one should remember that it is not man's job to control man, when everyone realizes this maybe the world will be a better place. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Capital Punishment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Capital Punishment essays

  1. Written Speech: Capital Punishment - MOTION:

    There may be a brutalizing effect upon society by the carrying out of executions. The killings are organised as a public event where even children attend and are even sometimes encouraged to take part in the murder of the criminal.

  2. The Punishment must fit the crime

    Firstly one of the aims of punishment is deterrence which means to draw or persuade a person not to commit the crime out of fear of the punishment or because they feel it is morally wrong.

  1. Dead man walking - Film analysis

    Matthew Ponclet's appeal was unsuccessful. His death was still set to happen as scheduled. Later on, on the day of his execution, Matthew was allowed some time with his family. This scene starts of very happy. The first sounds we hear are the laughs of all the family.

  2. Capital punishment is barbaric and inhumane.

    violence or copycat crimes and thereby diminishing rather than increasing the deterrent effect of capital punishment. (Nathanson, 1987, p.13) It also does not provide an opportunity for rehabilitation or clemency of a criminal. The Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld)

  1. Free essay

    "Death is nothing to us." How good are the Epicurean arguments for this ...

    lacks, but in ways which renew them, bring them back, or bring back even worse pains, which then lead to a life of dissatisfaction leading unhappy lives. According to the Epicureans, to avoid empty mental troubles by empty beliefs the best way is to live by their principles.

  2. Styal Mill - "The Gregs had a genuine concern for the welfare of their ...

    Joseph Sefton told Middlesex Magistrates Court that he "wanted to learn his book" rather then work overtime, for which he would have been paid. The reliability of Joseph Sefton's evidence is questionable, however, because there may have been a representative of the mill in the court at that point, and

  1. Capital Punishment

    With the biblical ethics theory, it clearly states that if a person has taken away another life then they deserve for their own life to be taken away, as a punishment for what they did. Therefore as in the Green Mile, the criminals that were guilty of their crimes deserved to be punished.

  2. Analysing a documentary called "14 Days in May".

    towards EEJ, because he is black man in a Mississippi Penitentiary and is believed to have an unfair case. The director very cleverly draws the audiences' emotions and feelings even more by showing that the conditions after they have been put on death row, doesn't make their lives any easier

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work