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Capital Punishment

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Introduction

Capital Punishment "The state has no right to carry out executions" Capital punishment is one of the penalties of committing a horrific crime, such as murder, by putting the criminal to death. The death penalty is the harshest form of punishment enforced in the world today. Once a jury has convicted a criminal offence they go to the second part of the trial, the punishment phase. In the USA, if the jury recommends the death penalty and the judge agrees, the criminal will face some form of execution. Lethal injection is the most common form used today, although the electric chair and hanging are still used in some States. For a period, from 1972 to 1976, when capital punishment was ruled unlawful by the US Supreme Court. Their reason for this decision was that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment under the eighth amendment. The decision was reversed when new methods of execution were introduced, and each year about 250 people go to Death Row and 35 are executed in the U.S.A. ...read more.

Middle

Public perception of horror of the crime is met by visible punishment. Providing victims of violent crime with evidence of punishment is perceived to make them feel better. 'A life for a life'. Some people believe that we should punish crimes of violence with a death. Retribution may be quoted from the bible, and is the classic argument. 'Whosoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed' (Genesis 9:6). But on the other hand all life is sacred, and what right has society to judge when a person's life shall end . An alternative view of retribution is revenge. Revenge is always destructive, both to the criminal and to society. Retribution is uncivilised, and gives the impression that it is OK as long as the government of the day approves. What an example for a civilised country to set the world! If we are Christians, should we not be promoting the power of forgiveness and repentance not vengeance. ...read more.

Conclusion

We should examine the pressure that society has placed on them. In the long term this protects public safety, allows time for repentance and therapy, and by therapy rehabilitation. This is not 100% effective, because they can re-offend. There is still a low risk to society. There is a chance for new evidence to appear and mistakes to be rectified. This is the safest balance between safety and punishment. However, early release is a side effect of poor checking, and of the pressure of overcrowded prisons. Is money that important that we release the dangerous criminal in to society to offend again? It appears today that to risk another life IS less important than money. Alternatives, such as counselling, aversion therapy, and confrontation can help the person who is really shocked at what they have done. Being brought to understand the effects of their actions can be punishment enough. Drugs and electronic monitoring are also alternatives that do not have the safety factors but rely on the offender's agreement to stay on probation, take drugs and otherwise co-operate with the measures. Helen Paterson, St John Fisher School Centre 22339 Candidate 5092 ...read more.

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