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Capital punishment is barbaric and inhumane.

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Introduction

Capital punishment is barbaric and inhumane and should not be re-introduced into Australia. Although capital punishment has been abolished, the debate on this topic has never abated. When a particularly heinous crime is committed, this debate arouses strong passions on both sides. Many who advocate the abolition of capital punishment consider the death penalty to be cruel and inhuman, while those who favor of punishment by death see it as a form of just retribution for the gravest of crimes. Determining whether Queensland should re-introduce capital punishment as a sentence will be the focus of this assignment. Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, often called a capital offence or a capital crime. In those jurisdictions that practice capital punishment, its use is usually restricted to a small number of criminal offences, principally, treason and murder, that is, the deliberate premeditated killing of another person. In the early 18th and 19th century the death penalty was inflicted in many ways. Some ways were, crucifixion, boiling in oil, drawing and quartering, impalement, beheading, burning alive, crushing, tearing asunder, stoning and drowning. In the late 19th century the types of punishments were limited and only a few of them remained permissible by law. In the 19th century capital punishment was to only be inflicted by the methods such as hanging, electrocution, the gas chamber, firing squad and lethal injection. The history of capital punishment in Australia is quite controversial and has been heavily debated since its abolition. ...read more.

Middle

Many in the group have lost a family member at the hands of a murderer. Some of these people are in favor of the death penalty, but most suggest that life imprisonment without parole is a more efficient punishment (QLS 2004). Then there is the police, criminologist and civil libertarians, who are strongly opposed to capital punishment, believing that it treats people unfairly and that it is not effective in deterring crime. Then there is also the general public and many religious groups with conflicting opinions on the matter because of their beliefs and attitudes. The government must try to weigh up these different opinions before in order to decide what is best for society as a whole. Those who argue in favor of the death penalty believe that the fear of death deters people from committing crimes. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, evidence to date has failed to establish that the death penalty is more effective than other less drastic forms of punishment in deterring crime. The Australian homicide rate statistics show that the crime rate remains relatively constant. Trends over the past twenty years demonstrate an increasing number of homicide cases but since the figures are rising more slowly than the population, the homicide rate per capita has actually fallen over this period, from six per hundred thousand to less that 4.4. (Potas, 1987, p.4) A punishment, to be justifiable, should only have a degree of severity which is sufficient to deter others from committing a crime. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Victory, 1994, p.23) In a civilised country, however, it is also unreasonable to engage in deliberate killing. Revenge should not be condoned by a civilised society. It cannot be legally or morally justifiable for the State to sanction and carry out vengeance killings. Some offences are so serious that people often argue that the punishment should be directly proportional to the severity of the nature of the offence. The theory, an eye for an eye, is compatible with the term retribution. In this respect, it is seen as morally right for society to punish offenders directly for the hurt they cause to others (Woodgate, 2003, p.202). However the Queensland Legislative Assembly disagreed with this theory in deciding, in 1922, to amend the Criminal Code to abolish capital punishment. The death penalty is barbaric and inhumane and should not be re-introduced into Australia. The tradition of capital punishment was abolished in Queensland over eighty years ago because it was an unacceptable example of barbarity towards man. There are no compelling arguments to justify the reintroduction of capital punishment in Queensland. Although the death penalty removes dangerous people from society permanently and protects citizens, life imprisonment achieves the same objective. Capital punishment is an ineffective deterrent and it does not provide for clemency and rehabilitation. With the risk of killing an innocent person, it contradicts the international laws of human rights. As a civilized society that promotes the worth of each citizen, the death penalty would not be an appropriate sentence under Queensland's Penalties and Sentences Act 1992. Therefore, in the best interest of both the community and the offender, capital punishment should not be recognized within the Criminal Code as a form of punishment. ...read more.

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