Shelly Clemente #5
Oppose Capital Punishment
Be it resolved that capital punishment be legalised in Canada. The death penalty was officially abolished in Canada in 1976 when the Canadian government held a free vote in Parliament to eradicate it from the Criminal Code and over sixty countries around the world have done the same. According to a poll conducted by Angus Reid, a Canadian sociologist, 21 percent of Canadians feel that murderers can be rehabilitated and 54 percent feel that although the convicted murderer has taken a life, it still is not justifiable to take the murderer’s life as the punishment. Capital punishment should not be legalised because it does not provide a useful purpose to society, it does not promote the rehabilitation of criminals and it is more retributive than restorative.
Capital punishment is not in any way advantageous, if not an inconvenience, to society. After having reviewed numerous studies of the costs of the death penalty in the United States, Dr. Richard C. Dieter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, had found that it costs more than life imprisonment. The costs consists of all that is needed for a regular trial plus more trial time, experts, attorneys, two trials for guilt and punishment and multiple appeals while the inmates are held a high security confinement centers, which costs a lot of money that ultimately comes from taxpayers. In general, killing a person is not humane, yet that is the definition of capital punishment. According to Amnesty International, “the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights,” since the criminal’s right to live is ignored. Therefore if the government began to reinstate this punishment, there might be distrust within the citizens of the country. In addition, capital punishment is useless in the sense that it will not resurrect the victim, nor will it provide closure to their relations. Criminal trials and the execution usually offer a temporary sense of closure, however many crime victims have stated that the continuous repetition of their unfortunate stories, the formal legal rules and the years between appeals have only increased stress and have postponed their emotional recovery. Overall the death penalty only creates more distress for humanity rather than peace.
Through the use of capital punishment, the rehabilitation of the criminal into a useful citizen of society is not possible. Education provided within the prison allows the convicts to stay updated on society and lets them enhance their knowledge. This is crucial because studies show that numerous criminals do not have a strong basic grade school foundation. Without an education, it would be extremely difficult for them to acquire jobs, therefore they return to their life of crime. Additionally, rehabilitation guarantees that the criminals are socially adjusted. Psychological assessments are used to test for mental or physical disabilities. Many convicts are capable of returning to society as fairly well-balanced citizens, if they choose to participate in counseling and further assessments. With the use of capital punishment, criminals sentenced to death would not be able to be rehabilitated. The different stages of rehabilitation would have many positive effects for the inmates and their families since their criminal behaviour would be cared for and they could function in everyday life. Rehabilitation of criminals is a far better solution in contrast to the death penalty.
Finally, capital punishment is less a form of justice, but more a form of revenge. The death penalty is based on the concept of retribution: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life.” Retribution does not protect society, instead it is a way of satisfying anger. Retribution is when punishment is seen as the best solution to a crime. According to Raymond A. Schroth, Jesuit Priest and Community Professor of the Humanities at St.Peter’s...
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Basket-East, Sabrina. "Counterpoint: Capital Punishment is a Form of Revenge Killing, and Should Remain Illegal." Canadian Points of View Reference Centre. Online. <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=p3h&AN=28674832&lang=en-ca&site=pov-can> 25 Feb. 2013.
Dahlia Lithwick. “Does Killing Really Give Closure?” Death Penalty Information Center. Online.
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“In Support of the Death Penalty.” Death Penalty Curriculum. Online. <http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org/student/c/about/arguments/argument2a.htm> 25 Feb. 2013
Mario Canseco. “Canadians Hold Conflicting Views on the Death Penalty.” Angus Reid Public Opinion. Online. <http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/44374/canadians-hold-conflicting-views-on-the-death-penalty/> 25 Feb. 2013.
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Pulsifer, Andrew; Renneboog, Richard M.J. "Capital Punishment: An Overview." Canadian Points of View Reference Centre. Online <http://web.ebscohost.com/pov/detail?vid=4&sid=a0236eec-18c7-4ea7-befb-50d4ce9c18fc%40sessionmgr4&hid=27&bdata=Jmxhbmc9ZW4tY2Emc2l0ZT1wb3YtY2Fu#db=p3h&AN=28674830> 21 Feb. 2013.
Various authors. “Top 10 Pros and Cons: Should the Death Penalty be Allowed?” ProCon.org. Online. <http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002000#4> 25 Feb. 2013.
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