Arguments For And Against The Reintroduction Of The Death Penalty For Murder

1924 words - 8 pages

Arguments For and Against the Reintroduction of the Death Penalty for Murder

The death penalty was abolished in the United Kingdom in 1965.
(Blackwell 1968.)

The abolishment of the death penalty was not a simple case. Since 1957
the issue had

been before the House of Commons more than 19 times. However the death
penalty is

still used today in many countries across the world. During the year
2000 at least 3,058

people were sentenced to death in 65 different countries. (www.amnesty.org
2001.) This

essay will discuss arguments for and against the reintroduction of the
death penalty for

murder.

One of the most straight forward arguments for the reintroduction of
the death penalty

for murder, is that once an offender has been executed they are
obviously unable to kill

again. (Hudson 1996.)

A study by Bendall found that in the 17 years before the death penalty
was abolished

eleven police officers were murdered. He then studied the 17 years
after the death

penalty was abolished and found that twenty-seven police officers were
murdered, which

is more than double the figure than before. Therefore this is evidence
that the abolition

of the death penalty resulted in an increase in the rate of murders.
(Sorell 1987.)

In May 1982 there was a debate on the clauses in the Criminal Justice
Bill in the British

House of Commons. If this was successful then the death penalty for
certain crimes in

England and Wales may have been reintroduced. One of the speakers in
the debate,

Arthur Lewis, claimed that he had experienced a deterrence effect of
capital punishment.

He stated that if the penalty for committing a robbery with fire-arms
was the same as

committing a robbery without fire-arms, then people are more likely to
use them as they

are more likely to get away with it. He also went on to say that he
knew a professional

burglar who carried out his jobs without ever using a fire-arm because
of the fear of

capital punishment. (Sorell 1987.)

Taylor (1982) argued that supporters of the death penalty do not
simply want to kill

more people or get revenge. Evidence shows supporters of the death
penalty believe that

it leads to the saving of innocent lives. (Sorell 1987.)

Hudson (1996: 119) pointed out that executions were made as painless
as possible. He

stated that:

Where the right to life is removed, in capital punishment it is the

withdrawal of the right that is the penalty, not the infliction of the

pain, which is why jurisdictions which retain the death penalty are

concerned with whether or not death is instantaneous and does not

leave the condemned in minutes of agony.

Although the reintroduction of the death penalty for murder may well
result in some

...

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