Capital punishment is at times a necessary course of action

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Esther Tan

Capital punishment is at times a necessary course of action

She was not asleep, as her roommates had thought when they approached the bed of Joni Lenz that afternoon. Instead they found her drenched in a pool of blood that was still oozing from her body. She was immediately rushed to the hospital as she lay in a coma. Although she survived she was permanently brain damaged. Joni was one of the few victims to survive an attack by Ted Bundy, a serial rapist and murderer who had victimised women as young as twelve. Investigations revealed that he assaulted thirty-six women, but nobody will ever know the exact number that fell victim to Bundy. It is a number he carried to his grave.

Capital punishment is defined as the imposition of death upon a person convicted in a court of law. It is a legal infliction and it has been used to punish a wide variety of offences but nowadays, restricted to murder or treason. Today, methods such as stoning and beheading are considered barbaric. At present, criminals are electrocuted, executed by firing squad and lethal injection or sent to gas chambers, so death would be virtually painless. It is instantaneous.

A capital criminal should be dealt with in a manner that would make it impossible for him to repeat his offence. Execution is the only definite means of preventing a murderer from being on the loose and committing further murders. If a criminal is imprisoned, not only are prison staff exposed to violent murderers, people in the entire community may be at risk too, if these criminals do escape. Such was the case of Ted Bundy. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1976 after he was charged for the murder and rape of Caryn Campbell. During his time in prison, he tactfully devised a means of an escape. He succeeded. He got himself an apartment, a new identity and into more crimes. Denise Naslund was last seen walking towards a restroom in a park after spending the afternoon with some friends. That afternoon, a man who wore an orthopaedic cast on his arm asked her for help with his boat. Denise Naslund was the kind of girl ever ready to help someone in need, especially someone with a broken arm, not realising it was an act of kindness that would cost her her life. Because Ted was not executed, many other women were, sodomised, raped and murdered. Even if prisoners do not manage to escape, there would be a possibility that they may be granted parole. If they happen to return to society, who's to say they wouldn't kill again?

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Capital punishment may seem merciless. But as murder itself is barbaric, death is the most appropriate punishment for it. A murderer deserves to die. This is justice. A life for a life. The punishment received by a criminal should be just as severe as the crime committed. If someone has murdered another person, the suitable punishment for the murderer would be death. Ted Bundy’s vile act resulted in Joni Lenz’s shattered being. With permanent brain damage and paralysis, Joni Lenz can only lie on her hospital bed. In the case of Caryn Campbell, Ted Bundy left her two children motherless ...

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