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Should capital punishment return?

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Introduction

Should capital punishment return? This is the face of Ruth Ellis. On Wednesday July 13th 1955, Ruth secured her place in history as the last woman to be executed in Britain. Since ancient times, capital punishment has been used for a wide variety of offences - murder, rape, arson, burglary, larceny and treason. Venezuela (1853) and Portugal (1867) were the first nations to abolish the death penalty altogether, and Michigan; USA (1847) was the first state to abolish it for murder. It is virtually abolished all over Western Europe and most of Latin America. Reform of the death penalty began in Europe in the 1750s. America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East (except Israel) still retain the death penalty for certain crimes. ...read more.

Middle

Do we imprison them for life without parole or execute them? Execution is a gruesome and terrifying ordeal for the criminal. Criminals are real people too. They have life, they feel pain, fear the loss of loved ones and they have all the emotions the rest of us have. But execution is a real punishment rather than some form of "rehabilitative" treatment. We could spend our (limited) resources on the old, young, sick, homeless, etc. rather than the long term imprisonment of criminals. The cost to society for keeping people in prison is 500.per week for an ordinary prisoner. This is around 375,000 for a typical 15 years life sentence. The innocent family and friends of the criminal must go through hell. ...read more.

Conclusion

Our membership of the EU and commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights, secures our society from execution returning. We would need to seriously think about the return of capital punishment, to try to decrease crime rapidly. In USA, 598 executions were carried out from 1977 - end 1999. Texas accounts for 199 (33%). In Britain, since the death penalty was abolished, 1964 - 1998, murder rate more than doubled (around 750 per annum). According to Home Office statistics, 71 murders are committed by people who have been released after serving "life sentences". Statistics were kept for five years after capital punishment was suspended (1965 - 1970). These show a 125% rise in murders. These criminals would have been sentenced to death. Two wrongs don't make one right, but one wrong isn't being punished at the maximum penalty to date. ...read more.

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