Capital Punishment

Topics: Death Penalty, Crime, Amnesty International Pages: 5 (1702 words) Published: June 5, 2013
Capital Punishment is the lawful infliction by judicial process of death as a punishment for an offence; the death penalty. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. There are five (5) lawful methods of capital punishment. They are 1. Electrocution 2. Hanging 3. Lethal Injection4. Gas Chamber5. Firing SquadCapital Punishment is used in many countries around the world. According to Amnesty International figures as at December 2009, 58 countries and territories retain the death penalty although many never actually use it. In 2008, there was a growing reluctance among those countries that do retain the death penalty to use it in practice. In 2008, only 25 out of 59 countries that retain the death penalty carried out executions. Amnesty International, March 2009

In 1977, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes. As of December 2010 that figure stands at 96 and more than two thirds of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. In 2010, 23 countries carried out executions and 67 imposed death sentences in 2010. Methods of execution in 2010 included beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection and shooting. Countries that retain the death penalty defended their position by claiming that their use of the death penalty is consistent with international human rights law. Their actions blatantly contradicted these claims. IN FAVOUR OF THE DEATH PENALTY

The basic argument behind retribution and punishment is
* All guilty people deserve to be punished
* Only guilty people deserve to be punished
* Guilty people deserve to be punished in proportion to the severity of their crime This argument states that real justice requires people to suffer for their wrongdoing, and to suffer in a way appropriate for the crime. Each criminal should get what their crime deserves and in case of a murderer what their crime deserves is death.

The measure of punishment in a given case must depend upon the atrocity of the crime, the conduct of the criminal and the defenceless and unprotected state of the victim. Imposition of appropriate punishment is the manner in which the courts respond to the society's cry for justice against the criminals. Justice demands that courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime. Justices A.S. Anand and N.P. Singh, Supreme Court of India, in the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee

The argument against retribution
* Capital Punishment is vengeance rather than retribution and as such is a morally dubious concept. * The anticipatory suffering of the criminal, who9 may be kept on death row for many years, makes the punishment more severe than just depriving the criminal of life. DETERRENCE

Capital punishment is often justified with the argument that by executing convicted murderers, we will deter would-be murderers from killing people. Deterrence is most effective when the punishment happens soon after the crime- a child learns not to put their finger in the fire because the consequence is instant pain. The more the legal process distances the punishment from the crime either in time or certainty the less effective a deterrent the punishment will probably be. Executions, especially where they are painful, humiliating, and public, may create a sense of horror that would prevent others from being tempted to commit similar crimes... ...In our day death is usually administered in private by relatively painless means, such as injections of drugs, and to that extent it may be less effective as a deterrent. Sociological evidence on the deterrent effect of the death penalty as currently practiced is ambiguous, conflicting, and far from...
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