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SHOULD CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BE

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Introduction

ENGLISH GCSE SHOULD CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BE REINTRODUCED INTO THE UK? The Anglo Saxons first introduced capital punishment in Britain. It is a lethal infliction of death as punishment for violating the law. It was part of justice for many centuries. In the 18th and early 19th century, there were about seventeen offences, for which a death sentence was carried out. These included murder, attempted murder, arson, rape, sodomy, forgery, uttering (passing forged or counterfeit monies or bills), coining, robbery, highway robbery (in many cases, this was the offence of street robbery, that we would now call mugging), housebreaking, robbery in a dwelling house, returning from transportation, cutting and maiming (grievous bodily harm), and horse, cattle or sheep stealing. At the start of the century, the mandatory punishment for murder, was death by hanging, this was done in public to attract large crowds in the hope it would deter them from crime. This changed in 1868; it became law for executions to be carried out in private, within the walls of county prisons. The parliament suspended this form of punishment for five years in 1965; it was then abolished completely in 1969. ...read more.

Middle

It is evident that dead criminals cannot commit any further crimes, either within prison, after escaping, or being released from it. They should be made to suffer for the crime they have committed. Murderers deprive themselves of their human rights when they take a life. This form of punishment can also save the non-violent prisoners from the hands of these killers, as they are often terrorised by convicted murderers. A murder shatters many lives, not just the victim's but their family and friends who are tormented by the fact the killer lives, while the victim cannot. We also see murderers get off on grounds of diminished responsibility or use plea-bargaining; this removes peoples' faith in our justice system and we have no guarantee the government will not release offenders, who then may go on to re-offend. The rates for unlawful killings in Britain more than doubled since abolition of capital punishment. Between 1965 and 1998, people who have been released after serving life sentences have committed seventy-one murders. It also eases the burden on taxpayers by not having to support the criminals, any spare money the country has, would be better spent on the old, young and sick, rather than the long-term imprisonment of criminals. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many people believe capital punishment does not belong in a civilised society. I believe it is needed, as we do not live in a civilised society, if we did, then there would be no crime. The innocent of society should be protected against the violence of criminals. The system in place now is not preventing crime, jail is not a deterrent as the criminals get light sentences, due to overcrowding, but jails are overcrowded for one reason, more criminals than cells. This then leads to them being released from prison early, with a high risk of them re-offending. I am personally against a life sentence for murder as it fails. It is expensive and largely pointless as it only removes criminals from society for a given period. This is a soft option and needs to be corrected. Capital punishment ought to be tried again, maybe barbaric times call for barbaric measures, but safeguards should be put in place and any doubt would automatically negate its use. Terrible crimes should be met with terrible punishment and maybe the knowledge that the ultimate punishment was there, might act as a deterrent. Gillian Waters 04/12/2007 ...read more.

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