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Should the death penalty be used lawfully in civilised society

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Introduction

SHOULD THE DEATH PENALTY BE USED LAWFULLY IN CIVILISED SOCIETY? Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as 'capital crimes' or 'capital offenses'. Historically, the execution of criminals and political opponents was used by nearly all societies both to punish crime and to suppress political dissent. Most European and Latin American states have abolished capital punishment. Some of the countries that still use the death penalty are, Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Chad, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, St Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Zimbabwe, and many more. In most places, the death penalty is reserved as a punishment for premeditated murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice. In most Muslim countries sexual crimes, including adultery and sodomy carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as apostasy. In some countries, drug trafficking is a capital offense. In China, human trafficking and serious cases of corruption are also punished by the death penalty. In militaries all over the world, the Court Martials have given the death penalty for offenses such as cowardice, desertion, insubordination, and mutiny. Capital punishment was last used in Britain in 1964, but was totally outlawed on 20th May 1999. Because Britain is now in the EU, there is now hardly any possibility that the death penalty will ever be brought back. ...read more.

Middle

The 883, 593 prisoners are costing the American taxpayers $19.4 billion. Why should we, the taxpayers/the victims, support these criminals?' By executing criminals, tax money that would otherwise have been spent on more prisons and food, could be used for something more useful. Thus the economy benefits from the death penalty, plus it helps lower the number of people in the prisons. Jessica Spinler on execution says, 'executions maximise public safety through a form of incapacitation and deterrence.' Incapacitating a person is depriving the criminal of physical or intellectual power. Deterrence is discouraging and preventing an action from happening. The possibility of execution would give a pause in the process of a murder, using fear to prevent the crime. Execution would forcibly prevent the recurrence of violence, as without the criminal, there would be no crime. Abolitionists of the death penalty believe that someone can do more alive than dead. By working, the criminal pays back society, the community, and also their victim and the victim's family. One of the most well known examples of the criminal contributing to society is the case of Leopold and Loeb. Leopold and Loeb were 19 years old when they committed 'The Crime of the Century'. In 1924 they kidnapped and murdered a 14 year old boy just to see what it was like. They were both spared the death penalty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Together, their accomplishments include working at hospitals, teaching illiterates to read, creating a correspondence school, and writing a grammar book. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the police arrived at the break in, Derek's friend had a gun, Derek was convicted on the words "let him have it" when a policeman approached. The friend then shot the policeman. The words that he spoke had two meanings, and nobody knows which meaning he meant - either 'give him the gun' or 'shoot him'. Derek was of limited intelligence (mental age of 11), easily influenced, and unable to read or write. He was wrongly convicted for the crime, and then hung when he was only the mental age of 11, which is disgraceful, not only in the eyes of the public, but in the eyes of the future government, who should be ashamed for sending somebody of the mental age of 11 to the gallows. Even the thought is sickening, as it is like sending a small child to die. Even though the supporters of the death penalty have some interesting arguments, I feel that the abolitionists view contains much more stronger reasons for its views, the first of which is that the death penalty is wrong morally because it is the cruel and inhuman taking of a human life. The methods by which executions are carried out can involve physical torture. Nobody, in my opinion, has the authority to play God. Execution is not legalised murder, just like imprisonment isn't legalised kidnapping. It lowers the government to the moral level of the criminal. One of the ironies of capital punishment is that it focuses attention and sympathy on the criminal, when they should be humiliated by having to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Zara Smalley The Death Penalty 1 ...read more.

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