Those in favour of capital punishment being reintroduced into the U.K feel this form of punishment removes the worst criminals from society, it protects the innocent from the violence of criminals. It is evident that dead criminals cannot commit any further crimes, either within prison, after escaping, or being released from it. They should be made to suffer for the crime they have committed. Murderers deprive themselves of their human rights when they take a life. This form of punishment can also save the non-violent prisoners from the hands of these killers, as they are often terrorised by convicted murderers. A murder shatters many lives, not just the victim’s but their family and friends who are tormented by the fact the killer lives, while the victim cannot. We also see murderers get off on grounds of diminished responsibility or use plea-bargaining; this removes peoples’ faith in our justice system and we have no guarantee the government will not release offenders, who then may go on to re-offend. The rates for unlawful killings in Britain more than doubled since abolition of capital punishment. Between 1965 and 1998, people who have been released after serving life sentences have committed seventy-one murders. It also eases the burden on taxpayers by not having to support the criminals, any spare money the country has, would be better spent on the old, young and sick, rather than the long-term imprisonment of criminals.
However, the most important drawback of capital punishment is the certainty that genuinely innocent people are executed. There is no way of compensating them for these miscarriages of justice. It is also highly probable that people are convicted of murder, when they should have been convicted of manslaughter. There is also the grief and emotions of the innocent family and friends of the criminal, this causes them trauma for many years afterwards, as it is very hard for them to come to terms with the fact that their loved ones could commit such a serious crime, and makes it more difficult to get over their death in this form. The suffering of victims’ families should not be denied, but the suffering of the murderer’s family is equally valid. However strongly you support capital punishment, two wrongs do not make one right. There may also be a brutalising affect on society by carrying out executions. It is a terrifying and gruesome ordeal for the criminal because of the mental torture he/she suffers leading up to the execution. Since the abolition of capital punishment, there have been several cases of miscarriages of justice, which would have resulted in execution. There is no perfect legal system anywhere in the world, therefore, could we trust the police, the courts and the system generally to get things right on every occasion? They never have always been right, therefore, there will always be some innocent people found guilty and killed.
My personal opinion is that capital punishment should be brought back into the U. K for people who commit very serious crimes, depending on them having one hundred per cent proof of them committing this crime. If there is any doubt that the prisoner is guilty, then he should not have been found guilty, so therefore the fact he has been found guilty, should mean there is no doubt. Many people believe capital punishment does not belong in a civilised society. I believe it is needed, as we do not live in a civilised society, if we did, then there would be no crime. The innocent of society should be protected against the violence of criminals. The system in place now is not preventing crime, jail is not a deterrent as the criminals get light sentences, due to overcrowding, but jails are overcrowded for one reason, more criminals than cells. This then leads to them being released from prison early, with a high risk of them re-offending. I am personally against a life sentence for murder as it fails. It is expensive and largely pointless as it only removes criminals from society for a given period. This is a soft option and needs to be corrected. Capital punishment ought to be tried again, maybe barbaric times call for barbaric measures, but safeguards should be put in place and any doubt would automatically negate its use. Terrible crimes should be met with terrible punishment and maybe the knowledge that the ultimate punishment was there, might act as a deterrent.