2 weeks ago

THE DEATH PENALTY

This is my argument for and against the death penalty and then as usual I will put my opinion at the bottom. I hope you find this interesting and I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments.

The last death sentence was on 13th August 1964 when Peter Anthony Allen was hung in Liverpool, and Capital Punishment was officially abolished for all crimes except for treason in 1973. Although, it was unused the death penalty remained in place in the UK until 1998 and many argue that it should be reinstated. In the USA, the death penalty is a state by state decision and 32 states still have some form of capital punishment in place but arguments continue if it should be illegalised in all 50 states.

Pros

The absence of death penalty causes the crime rate to increase.

Those in favour of the death penalty use the crime rate as an example of how abolishing the death penalty has affected the crime rate. In the states where capital punishment was executed, on average there was a 7% increase on crime rates compared to states where capital punishment was kept as a means of punishment. Also, fewer crimes are committed in states where the death penalty occurs and in years when there have been more death sentences fewer crimes were committed which reflects the idea that it deters people from committing crimes due to fear of execution.

An estimated 2million people in the US have been victims of crimes ranging from assault to murder and with insufficient laws to address and correctly punish these crimes, criminals are more likely to commit frequent or repetitive crimes. The leniency of the justice system means that often criminals get animal punishments and there is no deterrent for them not to commit crime, it is for this reason there is a need for the death penalty.

It is constitutional and does not violate the Human Rights.

In the US the death penalty is not considered a violation of the constitution as it protects the mass population and the drugs used to cause the coma like state before death reduces the pain and therefore is not a form of torture. It was even argued in the senate that the drugs and other means of capital punishment were not in violation of the constitution and were not a form of punishment as they were humane, quick and mostly painless ways of dying.

Death penalty is a just punishment for crimes committed against the rights to life, freedom and safety of victims.

It is the right of an individual to live peacefully and be free from harm. Unfortunately, crimes like murder, rape and assault are committed by perpetrators who have no regard for life and property of others. Since they violate other people’s lives, it is but fair that they are brought to justice and suffer the fate they rightfully deserve. People who are for capital punishment also talk about free will wherein an individual is given the right to do things in his or her own volition and he or she is responsible for his or her own fate.

Death penalty costs the government less as opposed to life imprisonment.

The government spends thousands of pounds of taxes on prisons and looking after those inside prison. For those on life sentences, they ill never repay the tax they used or have the opportunity to do so and it is wasting tax payers money. The cost of capital punishment is much cheaper than paying for the up-keep of a life sentence prisoner. Although capital punishment is not cheap, life imprisonment is a lot more expensive with the cost of food, healthcare, accommodation, learning and daily activities.

Cons

Innocent people are wrongly executed.

Although rare, there have been cases where innocent people have been wrongly executed due to corrupt police, false evidence or lack of evidence which has been used to make a convincing argument. Although there is a long wait in prison before the death penalty is carried out to allow time for cases to be checked or opposed often the mistakes are founded to late and therefore the execution has already been carried out.

Some criminals are suffering from mental illness or are having clouded judgment at the time of the crime.

In recent years the law has changed to state that murder is a pre-meditated crime but previous to this many who were struggling with mental illnesses or clouded judgement were sentenced to death after committing a crime unaware of what they were doing or acting on impulse. However, it is stated that often it is hard to distinguish the difference between the crimes committed in a state of ‘insanity’ and those using the plea to reduce their sentence or leave guilt free.

It is an added cost to the government and taxpayers’ money.

Although the obvious cost of life imprisonment is greater than capital punishment, experts argue that the cost of handling the cases of death row inmates with appeals, complexity, expert witnesses and the length of the trials is more expensive. Not only do we have to pay for the trial and the process by which the accused go through but also the sentencing, punishment and any appeals that they may have, that don’t normally occur when dealing with life imprisonment cases.

Death penalty is a form of revenge.

Many argue that crime should be repaid with punishment through rehabilitation and recovery work and that the death penalty is a from of revenge which no one learns from. Whilst many argue that ‘an eye for an eye’ is the correct form of punishment for serious crimes such as murder or serial rape, others suggest that capital punishment should not be used as it only continues the path of violence.

My Opinion

I believe that there is a need for the death penalty in some extreme circumstances. Murder in my eyes is the killing with intent on killing, not an accident or offence caused by mental illness, defence or otherwise and with this in mind those who are serial killers or violent murders should receive the death penalty if there is reason to believe 100% that it is them that committed the crime. I do however believe that that sentencing in general needs to be harsher for other crimes, prison is too focused on rehabilitation and I feel that there needs to be a step by step approach whereby the first part of someones sentence is punishment focussed by looking at their crime, no luxuries such as tvs, sport or learning courses etc and focussed on repaying society through hard labour or a series of intense therapy. Only then should prison be rehabilitation based, in order to prepare inmates for a life outside as many people reoffend as they enjoy prison and find it easier than life outside.

If there is any doubt at all in evidence or the persons guilt then the death penalty should not be applied but a maximum of a life sentence being a life sentence and not just 25-30 years.

I know this is a strong view that many might disagree with and I understand that and welcome any opposing views or opinions.

I hope you enjoyed this piece of my mind and I would like to know your views...

SHOULD WE REINTRODUCE THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE UK?

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