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Capital punishment is the infliction of death by an authorized public authority as punishment for a crime.

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Introduction

Capital punishment is the infliction of death by an authorized public authority as punishment for a crime. In most jurisdictions where it remains, its use is limited to those who have been convicted of murder, although in some countries where its use is more frequent it is imposed as a penalty for other offences such as armed robbery (in certain African countries), large-scale embezzlement of state property (the former Soviet Union), rape and gang-fighting (China), and drug-trafficking (Thailand). A UN survey in 1990 revealed that forty-three countries had abolished the death penalty entirely, seventeen had retained it but only for exceptional crimes such as treason, twenty-four had retained it but not used it for at least ten years, and ninety-seven were still using it. The abolitionist countries were widely scattered, including, for example, the Philippines and Namibia, but were mostly to be found in Europe and Latin America. Although the number of abolitionist states had doubled since the previous survey in 1967, the UN found unwavering official support for capital punishment in many countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Islamic law (the sharia) imposes capital punishment for certain offences, and capital punishment is enforced in those countries where the sharia forms the legal code, and in many countries where the sharia is drawn on as the basis for the legal code. ...read more.

Middle

The death penalty denies the sacredness of human life. Live is so precious that nobody should ever be killed, even by the state. Unfairness: The mentally ill, poor, males, and racial minorities are over-represented among those executed. One pilot study of over 2 dozen convicted criminals on death row found that all had been so seriously abused during childhood that they probably all suffered from brain damage. Women convicted of murder are almost never executed; that is a penalty that is almost entirely reserved for men. A 1986 study in Georgia showed that persons who killed "whites were four times more likely to be sentenced to death than convicted killers of non-whites." 8,9,10 The Texas Civil Rights Project issued a report in 2000-SEP which was critical of the justice system in Texas. They made six criticisms which could probably apply to most of the states in the U.S. which still execute prisoners: The defence lawyers are often incompetent. Judges sometimes appoint friends or political associates. Other times, no competent lawyer is willing to accept the case because of the poor compensation paid. District attorney is given "unrestricted discretion" in deciding whether to seek the death penalty. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sentence was commuted to life in 1994. 1994. The last vote on re-introduction of the death penalty was defeated by 403 votes to 159. April 16th 1996. John Martin Scripps becomes the last Briton to hang, for murder in Singapore. 1998. Death penalty abolished for crimes committed under military jurisdiction. 20th May 1998. On a free vote during a debate on the Human Rights Bill, MPs decided by 294 to 136, a 158 majority, to adopt provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights outlawing capital punishment for murder except "in times of war or imminent threat of war". The Bill incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into British law. 27th January 1999. The Home Secretary (Jack Straw) formally signed the 6th protocol of the European Convention of Human Rights in Strasbourg, on behalf of the British government formally abolishing the death penalty in the UK. It had been still theoretically available for treason and piracy up to then but it was extremely unlikely that even if anyone had been convicted of these crimes over the preceding 30 years that they would have actually been executed. Successive Home Secretaries had always reprieved persons sentenced to death in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man where the death sentence for murder could still be passed and the Royal Prerogative was observed. Chetak Barot 10A English Capital Punishment ...read more.

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