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Capital Punishment

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R.E COURSE WORK -CAPITAL PUNISHMENT! Crime is a social act that offends the laws of society. There are lots of causes for people carrying out crime, whether it is because they are so poor they commit robberies to survive or because they are mentally unbalanced and do not realise the difference between right and wrong. There are lots of ways to punish the criminals but it isn't all about punishing them. Punishment can be used as a deterrent to stop the criminal committing crime and also to stop others as well. Punishment can also be a form of retribution or revenge on criminals for their behaviour. Some people for the case of capital punishment believe that the law should be based on the idea of "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." In simple terms what you do wrong should be done back to you. E.g. if you kill someone, you should be killed also. This view can be backed up in the bible in the book of Leviticus chapter 24:17-20. It says: "If the person strikes another and kills him, he must be put to death. Whoever strikes an animal and kills it is to make restitution, life for life. If anyone injures and disfigures a fellow countryman it must be done to him as he has done- Fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth." It makes them suffer for their crime that they have committed. It can also be a form of protection to society from the criminal. The criminal could be dangerous and it could be for the public's safety and the criminal's well being if he is punished. It is the protection of society from anti social behaviour; the criminal is therefore separated from society. Punishment can also be a form of reformation, so they can change the criminal's ways and make him/her less likely to commit another crime. ...read more.


On the other hand the Hindu principle of ahimsa seems to contradict this as ahimsa says that do not harm any living creature/ do not harm others. Hindu's believe that this sort of punishment is vital for ones Karma and that a king or ruler has the right and has a duty to kill or punish people. There are many different stories, within Hinduism such as the mahabharata, Vedas, Upanishads, and the Ramayana. Each story tells a of a similar belief that is that all creature and humans have the right to live in safety. They say that if people are going to fulfil their dharma successfully then they need to be assured of their safety and it is the king or rulers duty to make sure of this. A king or ruler has the right to control crime by using suitable punishments called danda, or by killing criminals. Danda take on three issues form the 5 aims of punishment. These are: retribution, restraint, and reformation. So overall the Hindu belief is that if a criminal is beyond the stage of being able to reform then that person needs to be put to death. Muslim responses: Muslims believe in strict justice, but it should be tempered with mercy, compassion, and honour. If someone has committed a crime, Muslims duty is to put it right as by ignoring it, it is a crime in itself. If someone has been a victim of a crime then there demands are heard and possibly met. Muslims believe that Allah forgives those who are remorseful, but they too realise that gaining forgiveness from others may be difficult. Muslims only use the death penalty for murderers and for those people who turn against and are attacking the religion. However it is only used after a fair trail! So in Islam the death penalty is permitted but only in extreme cases! ...read more.


On January 1, 2000, it was announced that Hindley was going to take her life imprisonment battle to the House of Lords. At this time, Myra had served more than 33 years in jail. Ian Brady, age 61, had gone on a 3-month hunger strike, hoping to kill himself rather than die in prison. Myra's application was unsuccessful! Myra Hindley died on 15th of November it was said that she died from respiratory failure. Following the official announcement of Hindley's death, the Manchester Gaurdian reported that she had died within weeks of a decision by the House of Lords, which was "likely to have led to her release." A ruling on an appeal brought by double murderer Anthony Anderson, who is challenging the power of politicians, rather than judges, to set the lengths of murderers' prison sentences, was imminent and was expected to succeed. The Gaurdian further described how a ruling in favour of Anderson's appeal would have left the British home secretary, David Blunkett, facing a new challenge from Hindley as she was one of 70 prisoners who had already served longer than the recommended sentence and had planned to apply to Lord Woolf, the lord chief justice, for her release. In 1985, Woolf's predecessor, Lord Lane, recommended that Hindley should serve no more than 25 years, but subsequent home secretaries fixed her tariff first at 30 years and then at "whole life", meaning she would never be released. Mr Blunkett had already promised to pass a new law to keep high-profile killers such as Hindley behind bars if the current system was declared illegal. Overall in conclusion all I would like to say is that I feel that right from the beginning Myra Hindley and Ian Brady should have been given the death penalty, but as they were not and were both given the penalty of life imprisonment they should have had the fair chance of being let out after the amount of years that they had been given. As Myra showed remorse I think she should have been let out. She as I have said before was a political prisoner! ...read more.

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