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"Should Capital Punishment Be Legal In Britain?"

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Introduction

"Should Capital Punishment Be Legal In Britain?" The death penalty continues to face much opposition. Can the death penalty, adopted by nations such as the USA, Singapore and Afghanistan, possibly be a morally acceptable punishment in British society today? Since capital punishment became outlawed in 1965, the murder rate in Britain has inflated by over 100 per cent. Is this reason enough to re-instate the practice considered by many, as a barbaric form of revenge? The death penalty has a number of incontrovertible arguments. Perhaps the most important question would be how far does capital punishment act as a disincentive to murder? Does it effectively discourage would-be murderers from committing the crime? Death Penalty Information Centre records reveal that execution doesn't seem to have an 'educative effect'. ...read more.

Middle

In contrast, others perceive the Death Penalty as encouraging revenge only to extend the chain of violence. Capital Punishment does not allow for any mistakes: Innocent people have died. There is no way of compensating for this miscarriage of justice once the executions are carried out. In the US, researchers have estimated that roughly three hundred and fifty innocent people have been wrongfully convicted of murder this century. For twenty three of those prisoners, their evidence had been brought to light after their execution. In Britain, Judith Ward, an innocent person whose life was saved by the abolition of the death penalty, served eighteen years in prison for a crime she didn't commit before winning her appeal in 1992. Later she said, "No country which resorts to legalised murder can claim to be truly civilised". ...read more.

Conclusion

More than forty per cent of those on death row are black even though they make up just twelve per cent of the American population. In 1977, eighty four per cent of those executed were convicted of murdering a white person despite the fact that black and white people are murdered in roughly equal numbers. It would seem that the taking of a white life is more severe than a black life. In conclusion, with Capital Punishment's accompanying problems and risks - such as racial inequalities and the inevitable likelihood of innocent deaths - the Death Penalty should not be re-instated in Britain. Although Capital Punishment effectively eradicates dangerous criminals from society, there is no scientific proof that it's any more of a deterrent than life imprisonment. It is in my opinion, that although our first instinct may be to inflict pain on those who wrong us, the standards of a civilised, mature society demand a more measured response. ...read more.

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