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Should They Death Penalty Be Brought Back Into Australia?

1881 words - 8 pages

Essay"Should the death penalty be brought back in Australia?"The debate for restoration of the death penalty in Australia has been ongoing since the 1985 abolishment of capital punishment in Australia. Following the abolishment of capital punishment, Australia has not seen any rise in the number of homicides and murders, suggesting that execution does not deter criminals. Each time another heinous crime is committed, public outcry reignites the debate on the reintroduction of the death penalty. In Australia today many obstacles are preventing the restoration of the death penalty including the high cost of capital punishment and the history of innocent people being executed however recent political leaders have mentioned that the return of the death penalty could be appropriate. The death penalty was abolished in Australia decades ago but the battle against capital punishment was left incomplete.Since the abolishment of the death penalty in Australia, Australia has seen no dramatic rise to the number of homicides and murders. One of the major fears when abolishing capital punishment was an increasing number of murders. This is evident in the Australian Institute of Criminology's article: "The argument for capital punishment usually hinges on the fear of increasing murder rates. Yet in Queensland, for example, in the decade prior to the abolition of capital punishment (1912-21), there were 131 murders, whereas in the decade following abolition (1923-32) there were 129 murders." (Potas and Walker: 1987) This information clearly shows that the abolishment of the death penalty did not lead to an increase in homicides and murders in Queensland. Table 4 (Potas and Walker: 1987) on the Australian Institute of Criminology article also shows the effects of the abolishment on conviction rates for murder and manslaughter in the major states in Australia. From this graph, it is evident that the abolishment had no major effect on homicide trends in each state with the exception of South Australia. Capital punishment should not be brought back into Australia as execution has not deterred criminals.The death penalty should not be brought back in Australia as it would be the Australian taxpayers that would pay the price as capital punishment is very expensive. Although many would believe that keeping a criminal under supervised imprisonment for life would be more expensive than the death penalty, the truth is that capital punishment is actually very expensive and costs much more than life imprisonment. The Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty (ACADP) is a human rights organisation which is dedicated to achieving total abolition of the death penalty in Australia. In an article written by ACADP, it is evident that the procedures are longer in a capital case and 'one single capital case could cost…around $5.5 million [and] life imprisonment for 30 years costs $1.5 million.' (ACADP: 2003) The process of the capital system could be limited however,...

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