The Abolishment Of Capital Punishment In Australia

Essay by HodgieHigh School, 10th grade July 2004

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Capital Punishment is punishment of a crime by death. The death penalty was abolished in Queensland in 1922, New South Wales in 1955, Tasmania in 1968, Victoria in 1975, South Australia in 1976 and Western Australia in 1984. Since that time debate has raged as whether or not capital punishment should be re-introduced. This essay examines the case for and the case against the use of capital punishment.

One of the main reasons against capital punishment was abolished in Australia was that the justice system is not always correct. Prime Minister John Howard has stated "while I am in power the death penalty will not be re-introduced, mainly because the law is never 100 per cent accurate. Every justice system has flaws. The potential for an innocent person to be executed would be too great and such a mistake can never be corrected." In 1987, a study was published by the Stanford Law Review. Evidence was found that suggests that at least 350 people between 1900 and 1985 in America might have been innocent of the crime for which they were convicted and sentenced to death.

Another strong reason against capital punishment is the effect on society. Some people feel that permitting planned murder is totally unacceptable, even if done by the state. Capital punishment lowers the value of human life as seen by the general population and brutalizes society. It is based on a need for revenge. Capital punishment violates the belief in the human capacity for change; it powerfully reinforces the idea that killing can be a proper way of responding to those who have wronged.

A reason in support for capital punishment is justice and/or vengeance

Many people feel that killing convicted murderers will satisfy their need for justice and/or vengeance. They feel that certain crimes...