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Lethal Punishment. Supporting Arguments Against The Use Of Execution By The State

2688 words - 11 pages

Laurentian UniversityCapital Punishment: Essay 4ENG 1705ELZakk BartschMarch 26 2008Zakk BartschDr. Helena Debevc-MorozEnglish 1705ELMarch 31st, 2008Lethal PunishmentThe death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is known as a primitive form of punishment, the deliberate execution of a criminal by the state for crimes committed against individuals and/or the state itself. Summary execution has been a part of human history for centuries as a way to deal with murderers, spies, those who commit treason, and those who commit blasphemy, just to name but a few of the instances where it is thought justified to take someone's life. A taboo subject for some, the death penalty has become a key subject in debate as to whether a person or persons have the freedom and right to play God in deciding if someone is to live or die. The death penalty violates the right to life and as such has no place in a modern judicial system. Fortunately, it has been a dying practice as of late and the figures, according to Amnesty International are as follows:135 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.62 countries retain and use the death penalty, most often as a punishment for people convicted of murder.At least 1,591 people were known to be executed in 25 countries during 2006. The true figure is certainly higher.91 per cent of all known executions in 2006 took place in China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and the USA. Taking someone's life for any crime is not justifiable. The fear of death and losing one's life may seem to be the greatest retribution; however such a system is primitive and barbaric. It is a biased, usually racist and at times costs the lives of those who are innocent.The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. Since that time capital punishment has been adopted by many countries and their rulers with multiple ways of executing a criminal for petty, pathetic crimes that many would deem unreasonable.In the early times such barbaric methods like drowning, beating to death, burning alive, impalement and the famous crucifixion were used as methods to kill those sentences to death. As time progressed in the renaissance, politics and laws may have changed but the cruelty of the executions did not. In England, as in France, authorities had experimented with such "delicious" refinements as burning at the stake, boiling in oil, beheading and pressing to death in instances where major offences had been committed. Gradually, however, all these "luxuries" gave way to one common method - hanging - and were reserved for special occasions such as treason. Hanging became the ordinary punishment for ordinary criminals for ordinary crimes.In Canada hanging was common during her early years, but for more severe crimes, the death penalty took a brutal and disgusting nature. For example, David...

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