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Capital punishment is at times a necessary course of action

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Introduction

Capital punishment is at times a necessary course of action She was not asleep, as her roommates had thought when they approached the bed of Joni Lenz that afternoon. Instead they found her drenched in a pool of blood that was still oozing from her body. She was immediately rushed to the hospital as she lay in a coma. Although she survived she was permanently brain damaged. Joni was one of the few victims to survive an attack by Ted Bundy, a serial rapist and murderer who had victimised women as young as twelve. Investigations revealed that he assaulted thirty-six women, but nobody will ever know the exact number that fell victim to Bundy. It is a number he carried to his grave. Capital punishment is defined as the imposition of death upon a person convicted in a court of law. It is a legal infliction and it has been used to punish a wide variety of offences but nowadays, restricted to murder or treason. Today, methods such as stoning and beheading are considered barbaric. At present, criminals are electrocuted, executed by firing squad and lethal injection or sent to gas chambers, so death would be virtually painless. It is instantaneous. A capital criminal should be dealt with in a manner that would make it impossible for him to repeat his offence. ...read more.

Middle

It is not fair to the victim's family that the murderer of one of their kin should go on living. Executing the murderer would satisfy their needs for justice or vengeance because as far as the victim's family is concerned, the murderer brought the punishment upon himself. Statistics in the USA shows that of the 2,575 prisoners sentenced to death in 1992, 1 out of 11 had a prior conviction of homicide. This means that additional people had to die before these murderers were sentenced to death. What kind of justice is that? If the murderers were sentenced to death the first time they were convicted, other innocent lives would not have perished. Thus, the punishment befits the crime and the victim's family and the general public would be comforted knowing one less murderer is on the prowl. It also makes economic sense for a convicted prisoner to be executed. A criminal kept in prison would cause authorities to bear extra financial costs to maintain the criminal for no useful purpose. All these expenses have to be borne by taxpayers. These taxpayers may be the victims, family members of victims or potential victims of this prisoner. Why should they pay for the expenses of a person that has caused or may cause misery in their lives? It takes only a small fraction of the amount used to keep a criminal in prison to execute the criminal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though capital punishment serves as some sort of compensation to the victim or his/her family, it cannot be classified as 'cruel revenge' because, as mentioned earlier, its purpose is to protect humanity. If capital punishment is 'cruel revenge' then it is unjust. But is it not unjust to let a cold-blooded killer escape the penalty of crime? A society that permits injustice would face the dire outcome of its tolerance eventually. However, capital punishment is not necessary for all crimes. It would be foolish to execute a thief or a person who has vandalised public property because these crimes are not severe enough for the criminal to warrant death penalty. This reinforces the earlier point of imposing a punishment that is fit for the crime. Not every prisoner deserves the death penalty. A person who is charged for manslaughter should not be treated as one who kills just for the sake of killing. He should be given a second chance, as the killing was not premeditated. There would be a high possibility that this person would be able to be rehabilitated and returned to society a reformed person. Although modern society considers death as punishment inhumane, there are circumstances where all other methods such as rehabilitation are futile. In these cases, capital punishment is the embodiment for justice. After having considered this issue from different aspects, capital punishment is, at times, a necessary course of action. Esther Tan ...read more.

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