The word alone sums up a great deal of horrific pain and torture, despite this some states or countries still use it today as a form of punishment for the criminal “lowlife” that “pollutes” the world. In this piece of writing, I am going to discuss Capital Punishment and the many reasons for why it should be completely abolished. My first reason for being against the death penalty is that many innocent people have been wrongfully accused and executed as a result of the death penalty. In 1973 Judith Ward was convicted for the murder of 12 soldiers in a coach explosion on the M62.
She served 18 years in prison for a crime that she did not commit before finally being proved innocent in 1992. This innocent person’s life was saved as a result of the abolition of the death penalty in Britain. On the contrary, not every wrongfully accused convict has been as lucky as Judith. Research estimates that 350 innocent people have been wrongfully convicted of murder this century. For 23 of the prisoners, the evidence establishing their innocence was discovered after they had been executed. This clearly highlights the danger of the death penalty taking the life of an innocent which shows that the Capital Punishment should not stand.
Furthermore, the death penalty is cruel and inhumane as there is no humane way of killing someone. The victims are put through excruciating pain. At a hanging in Norwich in December 1886 the criminals head was literary jerked off his body. Other more modern methods of execution are no more humane. Visible destructive effects, electrocution produces as the body’s internal organs are burned; the prisoner often leaps forward against the restraining straps when the switch is thrown; the body changes colour; the flesh swells and may even catch fire; the prisoner may defecate, urinate or vomit blood.
This piece of information was sourced from an article from “Crime and delinquency volume 15. ” In addition there are many recorded cases in which death has not happened at the first attempt, nor been instantaneous. In 1983 it took three charges of electricity over a period of fourteen minutes for a prisoner to be declared dead. Similarly in 1993 a prisoner being executed with lethal gas convulsed for 8 minutes. Pointed out, doctors have, that lethal injections may not always work effectively and it can be an extremely painful and brutal process.
These examples of torture effectively show that Capital Punishment is cruel, inhumane and has no place in our world. Darren Parker Capital Punishment Continued Some people might argue for the death penalty and say it acts as an effective deterrent in which criminals shall fear their possible punishment and decide not to commit a crime. This Statement is completely and utterly false as there is no evidence whatsoever to support the view that the death penalty works as a unique deterrent.
The arguments outlined by Professor Terence Morris and Louis Blom-Cooper QC suggest that: in so far as any penalty is relevant to the murder rate, the death penalty provides no greater control over the incidence of murder than does the mandatory penalty of life imprisonment. Professor Walter Reckless’s research, in which he compared abolitionist states in America with retentionist ones, concluded that: All these sources contain no evidence that the absence or non- use of the death penalty deters capital offences.
Amnesty International also opposes the death penalty in every country and under every circumstance as it dissuades the right to life. “The Death penalty is a violation of human rights: the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, unusual or degrading punishment,” as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Capital Punishment clearly violates the rights, therefore, without argument it should be abolished. “An eye for an eye” is the stereotypical view for many people share towards the death penalty but nevertheless in reality the death penalty, in its simplest form, reduces us to murderers.
How can we say that killing is wrong if we sanction killing criminals? Moreover, we as human beings should have the power to show mercy to others as mercy is a great quality, it can not be forced… it arises naturally. Mercy is especially great when it comes from those in power. Even William Shakespeare knew this, in a time when public execution was common. In his play “The Merchant of Venice” the character Antonio is given the opportunity to kill the man who tried to kill him (Shylock) but instead he chooses not to which highlights that mercy is “The mightiest of the mightiest”
It is problematical to see how anyone could approve of Capital Punishment. Without any question or doubt it is significantly cruel, inhumane, painful and violates human rights. Likewise the death penalty has consumed the lives of many innocents, it reduces us to murderers and does not act as a deterrent. So why do ninety seven countries still use and retain the death penalty? Perhaps we are not this civilised world that we think we are, in the eyes of our laws and rights we are just “murderers. ” To rid this world of brutal killings should we not start off with ourselves?