Writing to Argue: Capital Punishment

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There has been a plethora of discussion debating the advantages and disadvantages of reintroducing the death penalty. Whatever your view, it is sure to be a controversial topic.

A deluded minority have the false impression that by presenting the death penalty as a punishment, it will act as an ‘effective deterrent’ – putting people off committing such savage crimes. Contrary to this view, I feel that labelling the death penalty as an ‘effective deterrent’ is misguided.

If capital punishment worked; surely America would have the lowest murder rate in the whole world? However, statistics do not support this idea as their murder rate is increasing every year and their prisons known as ‘Death Row’ are brimming with convicts awaiting execution.

This brings me on to the idea that by re-introducing capital punishment we would simply be encouraging murder. If the country is allowing state sanctioned executions; how can we expect our society to grow up having the mentality that murder is morally wrong? Additionally, as we look to the government for moral guidance, allowing capital punishment will create a culture where life is seen as disposable.

Leading on from this argument, there is also the undeniable possibility that someone completely innocent could be wrongly accused and consequently put to death. For example, the publicity surrounding the case of Stefan Kiszko perfectly illustrates how wrongful convictions can and do occur. The guiltless man was unfairly sent to prison for the rape and murder of Lesley Molseed. Sixteen years later Kiszko’s innocence had been proven beyond doubts due to advances in DNA evidence. This ‘miscarriage of justice’ (as Kiszko’s MP described it) was reprehensible, abominable and barbaric. Imagine how much more of a scandal this would have been if this blameless man had been killed? Although some people believe that advances in forensic science may prevent this from happening today; nothing can guarantee that innocent...
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