Humanity And The Death Penalty Essay, Research Paper
Humanity And The Death Penalty
Write up by Paul Arguin
One of the more controversial issues these days is the death penalty, and it does come up more than once in a while. Over the course of this assignment, I will tell you about the Death penalty in Canada and in other countries around the world and why it should be abolished from the face of the planet forever.
Canada and the death penalty
Since 1892, the penalty for murdering anyone was Death, usually by hanging. Other offenses which were susceptible to hanging was rape, treason and mutiny (the latter two used only in militia. But as our country grew and matured, so did its views on the death penalty. The first act against the death penalty was in 1954 when the federal government removed rape from the roster of capital punishments. Tension on the subject continued to mount between 1954 and 1963, but a more limiting decision was made in 1966. In 1966 the government passed a bill which read that the death penalty may only be issued to those who have killed a prison guard or on Duty police officer.
Then, in 1976, a free vote in the house of commons abolished the Death penalty almost completely from Canada, with the exception of the military offenses treason and mutiny. All prisoners on death row were given a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years. However, no offenses have been made to this very day, and in 1998, those two offenses, (treason and mutiny) were no longer punishable by death. The Death penalty in Canada was finally gone.
Arguments of the Death Penalty
Now, there are two schools of thought as far as the death penalty goes, and both present some compelling arguments. Some pro-death penalty observers stated that it is actually cost efficient to give people the capital punishment. It costs 50,000-100,000$ to build the cell and an average of 25,000$ to support the criminal for life. An argument I dot quite agree with is the rehabilitation is uncertain and we have to guarantee no repeat crimes. Research shows that crimes go down after an execution, and its the method that speaks for the punishment and not how many times in a row the death penalty comes into effect(for example a public hanging may say more than a lethal injection behind closed doors).
However, there are many arguments that are anti death penalty as well. First off there is the price, The death penalty, because it involves so many required post-trial hearings, reviews, appeals ect? it ends up costing almost 6 times as much as life incarceration. (however there are exceptions to either economical arguments, where some capital punishments will take less money than others, the same applies to life in prison). What I think is the best argument of all is that it is irreversible, 25 people have been wrongfully executed in this century, and this is purely unacceptable. The death penalty also denounces the opportunity for rehabilitation, repair, redemption, & restoration.
The worst part of the death penalty is not the fact that it is death, but the fact that an innocent person could be completely abolished from the face of this planet. Yes, the most shocking part of the death penalty is mistakes. In a century of capital punishment, 710 people have been sent to the great beyond for their sins, and 25 of those people were later proven to be innocent. In fact, since the death penalty was abolished in 1976, 6 convicts were found innocent of murders of which they were accused. These six people would have been sentenced to death, and justice would never have been served. I think that anyone who would want the death penalty reinstated should be wrongfully accused and sentenced to death. (well, not really, but it would make some good poetic justice.). An interesting fact, if I might add, is that the number of people supporting capital punishment went down when they presented it as “death penalty” instead.
In conclusion I think that the death penalty is not a very intelligent choice for anybody, although Jon will undoubtedly disagree with me. It doesn’t matter how much we save, how much justice you think is being served, it isn’t right. Mistakes can be made, innocent people can be sent to their death. The death penalty glorifies the violence that is already to present in our society today, and by killing murderers, we are no better than they are.
“An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.