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Capital Punishment

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Introduction

A Moral Issue - Capital Punishment The debate over Capital Punishment has been going on ever since it was thought of. Many believe it is wrong but increasingly today polls show that the majority are in favour of the death penalty. * Can capital punishment ever be justified, or is it simply 'murder by the state'? Many believe that Capital Punishment can never be justified the case study of Timothy McVeigh, the bomber of the federal building in Oklahoma city on 19th of April 1995, killing 168 people including 19 children, shows that even when he was executed by lethal injection the friends and family of those who died did not get any closure by seeing him die. The sixth commandment says that 'Thou shalt not kill', this is the Christian belief that is morally wrong and inexcusable to kill anyone regardless of the circumstances. The five aims of punishment are Protection, Deterrence, Vindication, Retribution and Reform. Evidence shows that the death penalty does not fulfil all of these aims such as deterrence. ...read more.

Middle

In the case of Timothy McVeigh he was under anaesthetic when they administered the fatal injection so that he felt nothing, this is a fairly humane way to go. Apart from the fact that there were hundred's of friends and family of the people he killed watching on a closed circuit television which no doubt people would have been able to hack into. This is very inhumane having hundred's of people watching him die and then saying afterwards that they got nothing out of it, no closure, no joy at knowing he was dead. * Should life imprisonment mean life? According to the state there are several criteria one has to fulfil to be sentenced for full life imprisonment: * Multiple murders * Sadistic/sexual motive * Abduction * Premeditated When Ian Huntley murdered Holly and Jessica he was sentenced to 40+ years in prison, not life he only definitely fulfilled 2 of the 4 criteria. So he only received 2 life terms (20 years parole at 15 possibly). * What do you think? * Do you think he should have been life imprisoned? ...read more.

Conclusion

Myra Hindley said she would rather have died than spent life imprisoned. This therefore shows that a life sentence is more of a punishment than being executed. * Can miscarriages of Justice be avoided? Derek Bentley, 19 year old who was sentenced to death in the 50's when he was innocent of murder. That was an innocent life lost by capital punishment, now if he had been imprisoned there would have been the opportunity to have sorted it out and have his name cleared. Kenny Richey's appeal case is still in the court of appeals and had he been in prison he would have been alive to see his name cleared and have been released. Therefore with capital punishment there is no way to undo a miscarriage of justice whereas there is with a life sentence. * What do I believe? Capital punishment is morally wrong and totally inexcusable. Being a Christian I am likely to say that as it is one of the Ten Commandments. However even as not a Christian it is still a violation of human rights as amnesty international say 'It violates the right to life'. ...read more.

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