Should we bring back capital punishment?
Recent revelations, that murder rates in the UK have raised over the past 35 years, have provided people with the question, should the death penalty be reinstated?
I aim to lay out the major advantages and disadvantages of the question that is on the tip of our tongues.
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Back in the years, when Kings and Queens ruled their lands, the poor were ‘peasants’ and good food only appeared in the castles, no guilt was spared for beheading a criminal. Times moved on, laws changed and that decision became one that a Judge would make. Several penalties were enforced, that being hanging, electrocution and many other torture methods. In 1965, laws were changed and Capital punishment was abolished, France eventually followed with their final guillotining in 1977.
The murder of two innocent schoolgirls, in August 2002, once more raised the question, Should Capital Punishment return? The question not only forces people to make a split decision, it has also caused a major uproar both in households and the Houses of Parliament.
So why are people against it? Why not give a death penalty to someone who has inflicted death onto another?
The main reason for stating ‘NO,’ is that innocent people can sometimes be found guilty, thus enforcing a painful death to one who does not deserve it. Juries can make mistakes, after all they are just citizens like you and me. Would we, the public, really want this over our heads for the rest of our lives? To make a decision as harsh as Capital Punishment only to find that weeks, months, years later, new evidence is brought forward only to find that the person we committed was never the guilty party.
Secondly, the bible states, ‘Thou Shalt not kill,’ Would this not be killing another? We may not be the people with the rope in our hands, but we’ve certainly handed it over on a shiny platter. As well as this isn’t the death penalty killing? And killing would lead to the death penalty, therefore it just goes round in a complete circle. Furthermore, people change, obviously not everybody, but for most, prison is the place where they can look back on the wrong that they have done and be willing to change it.
Prison may not be the easy life but it is a life where there is psychological help when it is needed, opportunities to better yourself as a person and educate yourself further, and a great deal of the quiet time which in time could drive a person mad, madder than it would drive them if waiting for their punishment of Death. One thing to think about is that you cannot bring a murdered victim by killing the guilty party, two wrongs don’t make a right and killing the prisoner would be a wrong. As well as this, what is it teaching younger generations? That killing another person for their own errors is ok? I thought that’s what we were trying to avoid.
A Christian may say that only God has the right to take life, we are not superior enough, Also that God would want us to protect life and not get rid of it like we would be doing if we brought it back. I feel they would think this because one of the ten commandments says, ‘Thou Shalt not kill’ meaning we should not sin because of other peoples sins. Plus God planned for man to be in authority over his creations. This can be understood to mean that we should take care of his creatures, not only animals but us as well.
The reasons above clearly show that Capital Punishment should not be brought back. But as with all things, there are two sides to a story, and so there are also several good points of allowing Capital Punishment to return.
On the 12th of February 1993, a boy at the tender age of 3 years old was murdered at the hands of two teenage boys. They were convicted and sent behind bars. Eight years, four months and ten days later, they were granted parole. They were given new identities, advised not to contact each other and advised that if they broke any more laws they would return to court. Surely, an evil misdoing as such should not be rewarded in this way. The boys got off lightly yet one boy that had a whole life to live would not see his teenage years, get married or settle down. The released criminals can do all that, does a bride to be really need to know what ones real name is and what horrific crime their groom committed?
It is an ongoing example; one will murder an innocent person, get sentenced for life, and walk out a few years later, ‘for good behaviour,’ some of them, only to do it again. The families still in mourning for their lost loved one. As previously stated, since Capital Punishment was abolished, crime and murder rates have risen. A threat as harsh as death to all the commit a serious crime would put off some criminals. Children will be raised to know that if in life they were to commit murder, they would face the same ending as their victim. Additionally, there is a saying that, ‘a punishment should fit the crime,’ If the crime is murder, then death should be on the cards for the person who has sinned. The families of the victim will rest assured that the person that caused the heartache and break up of their family will get what they deserve, and they will never return to kill again.
In conclusion, I, as many other people, have come to a split decision, yes I agree with bringing it back but at the same time, is there any need? Can’t we just tighten our laws? I believe that Capital Punishment should not be brought back, but if it is brought back it should ONLY be used if DNA has been tested and the law is 100% that the accused did commit the crime. It should only be used in cases of serious murder or serial killing; any thing other and the prisoner can spend time in prison wallowing in their guilt.