Law 12 - LG #5
Capital Punishment Essay
I believe that capital punishment (the death penalty) should not be reinstated in Canada. Four main reasons for this argument are on the basis of deterrence, retribution, wrongful sentencing, and prejudice towards the accused person.
Those people who think that deterrence justifies sending certain criminals to their death bear the burden of proving that the death penalty is a deterrent. The conclusion from many years of studies is that the death penalty is no more of a deterrent than a sentence of life in prison. In fact, the United States, which has the death penalty, has a much higher murder rate than Canada or Europe, both of which do not have the death penalty. Once in prison, people serving life sentences often settle into a routine and become less of a threat to commit violence than other criminals. Prisoners who are given this sentence will never be released, so the safety of society can be assured without the death penalty.
Retribution is just another word for revenge. The idea of revenge is immature and does not follow the standards of a mature society. The emotional urge for revenge is not an adequate excuse for invoking a system of capital punishment. Allowing executions endorses killing as a form of "pay-back." We do not allow torturing a torturer, or raping a rapist, so whom should we allow murdering a murderer?
Once a prisoner is executed, nothing can be done to recompensate if a mistake has been made. There is substantial evidence that many mistakes have been made in sentencing people to death. In the last thirty years, about ninety people have been released from death row after proof of their innocence surfaced. In that same thirty years, over six hundred and fifty people have...