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

Capital punishment and human rights.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

RE COURSEWORK- WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT The presentation was on the topic of capital punishment, which undeniably has a distinct connection with human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), set up by the United Nations was the first international statement to use the term "human rights." It states that the rights of individuals are: * The right to legal recourse when their rights have been violated, even if the violator was acting in an official capacity * The right to life * The right to liberty and freedom of movement * The right to equality before the law * The right to presumption of innocence till proven guilty * The right to appeal a conviction * The right to be recognised as a person before the law * Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion * Freedom of opinion and expression * Freedom of assembly and association It has predominantly questioned whether capital punishment abuses the criminal's right to a life of sanctity as well as the right to human dignity. ...read more.

Middle

Undoubtedly such societies must learn punish criminals without becoming of them. The encouragement of revenge and violence, which the death penalty brings is directly linked to the high occurrence of crime. Hence the effect of being a deterrent is significantly weakened. The death penalty provides us the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life. It brutalises our sensitivities to the precious nature of human life. Our witness to respect life is more apparent when we demand respect for each and every human life, including the lives of those who fail to show respect for others. Strong emotion, alcohol, drugs, terrorism or psychopathic personalities can be in most cases the influences of crime. In order to be deterred rational thinking is required. Therefore it cannot be assured the capital punishment would act as an effective deterrent. Many of the criminals on death row may also tend to be zealots who would anyway want to die for the cause, such as in the case of Timothy McVeigh. Hence in such cases there would be not much deterrence value. ...read more.

Conclusion

According to the UDHR everyone deserves the right to equality before the law. It is usually the criminal who has fallen through the mistakes present in our social structure, for which we are more or less responsible. Therefore killing criminals insults our culture - society must stop making them and if made, we must reform them. Through vengeance justice cannot be achieved as according to the scriptures. In the Gospels, Jesus said that retaliation was an incorrect response to violence. He tells us to offer the other cheek and extend our hand in blessing and healing (Matthew 5:38-48). According to Pacem En Terris, 1963, "we are obliged as Christians to the development of social policies which meet the needs of victims as well as reforming those threatening public order." In a peaceful society there should be reconciliation between the criminal and the victim. Hence society should be sought and designed to rehabilitate the offender and understanding what led to the criminality should "redress the disorder caused by the offence" as stated in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae(The Gospel of Life) , by John Paul II. 1 ...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. Capital punishment as a deterrent of capital crimes in America

    It is not difficult to assume that poor and lower class defendants simply cannot afford good lawyers. A poor defendant in Louisiana was assigned an attorney who was working on 300 other cases at the same time. He spent only eight hours working on the case (Kronenwetter 37).

  2. Capital Punishment

    However there are a number of difficulties with utilitarianism, the first concerns all theories that rely on the consequences for deciding which actions are good. I need to be sure that what I think will come about as a result of a particular action will actually come about.

  1. Capital Punishment Vs Right to Life

    This proof states that utilitarians defend capital punishment as longs as it deters crime and produces guilt to the offender. The idea that crimes produce unhappiness is what corroborates to the though of capital punishment for utilitarians. If capital punishment is imposed, then those who are planning to commit crime

  2. Explain what Roman Catholics believe about reconciliation and punishment.

    This is where a community of people celebrate penance emphasizing the social aspects of sin. There are many stories in the Bible that illustrate the way in which individuals were reconciled. This is shown in the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a cheat who had climbed a tree just to see Jesus thereby showing his faith in Jesus.

  1. Explain some of the main beliefs that Christians have about Forgiveness/ Reconciliation and Justice.

    Many drugs are not only illegal but it costs a lot to pay for the addiction. This leads to the person committing further crimes. The assortment of crimes is wide.

  2. The Nature of Evil

    By referring to the noose as a snare it creates the image of an innocent creature being slaughtered. Perhaps in reality, it is only the immediate prospect of death, which prompts criminals to repent. If this is true, is it not immoral to punish a person who realises their mistakes?

  1. Too Much Love, Fame and Hatred

    loathed each other, which ruled out the possibility of them working together. After all was almost too much for the force, a vital clue which could have perhaps helped the team in solving the bewildering death, skin of Josephine Molloy's was found in the nails of McKendry, meaning that the

  2. What Attitudes Might Christians Hold About Capital Punishment?

    God punished Cain by banishing him. This proves that God didn't kill someone for a crime they have committed, he just banished Cain. " You are placed under a curse and can no longer farm the soil. " " If you try to grow crops, the soil will not produce anything; you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth.

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