Capital Punishment Is Wrong Essay

1539 words - 6 pages

Capital Punishment is Wrong

Lethal injection, electrocution, hanging, beheading, stoning. Just
some of the ways used to murder people in many countries across the
world. But the difference with these murders is that they are
committed by the state, they are given the name "capital punishment".
The claim is that they are justified as a means of punishment, but can
intentional killings ever be justified? Or is, as I believe, murder
simply murder no matter what the reasons behind it are?

Capital punishment does not work as a deterrent, this is proven fact.
A survey conducted by the United Nations in 1988 and again in 1996,
failed to find a single piece of evidence to support the claim that a
prospective murderer wouldn't murder simply because of his or her
countries use of the death penalty. Are we really to believe that cold
hearted, psychopathic killers think about the consequences of their
actions? Of course they don't, they just kill. The United States of
America, for example, is one of the top four countries in the world in
terms of its use of capital punishment, yet its murder rate is also
one of the highest. This doesn't look to me as though it is working as
a deterrent. Compare this to America's neighbour to the north, Canada,
where the death penalty was abolished in 1976. Since it was abolished,
the murder rate has steadily declined, and is now at an all time low.
How can two countries, so close in terms of their geography and way of
lives, have two so very different murder rates? Could it be that in
the Americans use of the death penalty, far from discouraging murder,
they are simply condoning it, so their citizens see no problem with
killing one another? Either way, the deterrence argument simply
carries no weight, and there is not a single shred of credible
evidence to back it up.

The government is supposed to uphold the law, to set a good example,
to be a bastion of civilised behaviour. How could we possibly expect
them to do all of these things if they are lowering themselves to the
level of murderers, by becoming murderers themselves? The simple
answer is they can't. Governments must uphold the sanctity of life,
not imitate the most vile, bloodthirsty crimes. Someone once said that
a country can be judged by its treatment of its prisoners. If we were
to kill our prisoners then we would be judged as a vicious, barbaric
country, flying in the face of the rest of the civilised world's view.
If the state are seen to condone murder, which in my view is what they
would be doing if they carried out executions, then what kind of
country would we be living in? A backward thinking, unenlightened one,
that's what.

An argument put across by those in favour of the death penalty would
be on the "eye for an eye" basis, i.e. if you kill then you in turn
should deserve to be...

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