Capital Punishment has been recognised as a civilised way of disposing of their unwanted criminals by most countries at one time in their history

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Tunde Olusanya 10 SH .  Discursive essay on …

Capital Punishment has been recognised as a civilised way of disposing of their unwanted criminals by most countries at one time in their history. Slowly countries that claim it is uncivilised to kill people for crimes they have committed have abolished the death penalty. There are strong arguments for and against the use of the death penalty in a society that claims to be civilised and in this essay I will examine them. I will also look at the impact of the death penalty on crime figures in Britain before and after 1965 and in the USA today. I feel it is important to include the USA in this essay as it is the only westernised country where you can still be executed for crimes you have committed. Over the years countries have tried to come up with the most seemingly civilised ways to put people to death. One of the main arguments for the abolishment of the death penalty was that it is unreasonable to ask someone else to kill someone for their crimes thus making them a murderer. Countries have tried to find the most indirect way of putting criminals to death however the act still have to be committed. Technology has come along way from the primitive times of just chopping someone´s head of with an axe or hanging them by their neck from the nearest tree

In 1887 an American dentist made of the biggest advances in ‘humane´ capital punishment. He devised and built a chair with equipment that could be used to pass electricity through the head of the condemned, killing them quickly and supposedly painlessly. This was the most indirect method of putting someone to death at the time. All the executioner had to do was pull a lever, the electricity was turned on and the prisoner was electrocuted to death. When they first started using it they realised that it usually took more than one surge of electricity to kill and the prisoner had to be finished off with a second or maybe even third surge. Also they realised that the execution was not the pleasant to watch, the prisoner may foam at the mouth, convulse violently and in some extreme cases catch fire. A certain amount of people had to be present at the execution and to make it seem more acceptable they started to put a hood over the face and to lessen the chance of a second surge of electricity being needed they would place a wet sponge under the main plate of the equipment to aid in the conduction of the electricity this also lessened the chance of the body catching fire.

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‘We were lead into a small room and sat down on folding chairs, the man was lead in and his rites read, then it was almost like a ceremony and everything was seemingly carried out so precisely, after the man was pronounced dead by the doctor he was taken away by the prison guards. Only then were we released and I could smell burning flesh for hours afterwards. I felt sorry for the man as he looked so frightened and I could see it was hard on the prison guards. After this experience I do not feel this is the ...

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