Capital Punishment

Is Capital Punishment, otherwise known as the Death Penalty, a disgraceful and unjust way to kill a fellow Human being? Or is it a justifiable way to punish someone in a modern day society? Some nations use the Death Penalty as their most severe punishment. Capital Punishment is one of the most debated issues in current day life. Is it acceptable or not? Many politicians have put their arguments across highlighting both their benefits and drawbacks.

In the past people in Britain were often executed by hanging or by having their heads severed. But nowadays very few countries allow the Death Penalty. In fact, it follows the abolition of the death penalty for treason and piracy in the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act and is part of a global trend which has made massive strides in recent years. Criminals are executed via lethal injection or electric chair. Some say this is a less painful and more 'humane' way of killing. But others argue against it.

The Death Penalty existed for centuries for crimes such as: theft and treason, to crimes like murder and rape. Until 1808 execution was an 'entertainment' for the public until reforms were introduced to the English Parliament to banish the Death Penalty for more than 200 crimes including; being in the company of Gypsies for more than one month and "strong evidence of malice" in children aged between 7-14. Hundreds of similar crimes were also down graded; these offences were registered under the 'Bloody Code'.

Sir Robert Peel reduced Capital Punishment crimes to just four: murder; treason; arson in royal dockyards; and piracy with violence. Public executions were abolished in 1868, and in the 1970s beheading, hanging and quartering of traitors were all eliminated. Less than one century later, Parliament voted to suspend for five years the death penalty for murder, when it passed Sidney Silverman's private members bill in 1965.

A Conservative vote in 1938 called for legislation to halt hanging for a period of five-years. It never lasted; and due to the beginning of World War Two it was postponed. In 1957 the compromise legislation - The Homicide Act - followed by a public flare-up over the hanging of the following three individuals: Timothy Evans in 1950, Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis, the last women to be a victim of the Death Penalty in 1955.
The Homicide Act created a number of anomalies: They found theft a punishable crime, whereas rape was over looked, placing property in a higher position than human welfare. Due to these anomalies the use of Capital Punishment declined. There were only two convictions in each year of: 1962; 1963; and 1964. The last capital punishment conviction that took place in Britain was of two young people: Peter Anthony Allen, aged 21 and Gwynne Owen Evans, aged 24. They both were accused on killing John Alan West, a milkman.

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The Death Penalty was completely abolished after another vote in the House of Commons, which led to an eradication of the Death Penalty. Since the death penalty was truly abolished, there have been 13 attempts to bring back the death penalty for various categories of murder since 1969. The latest of which was carried out in 1994. All 13 bills were refused and the law remained the same.

The law in this country doesn't allow criminals to be executed. The most severe sentencing a person can receive is a double life sentence, which consists of 40 years imprisonment. No country ...

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