An eye for an eye, will make the whole world blind

 

 

The death penalty -

                                                            the arguments for and against (Seen with British eyes)

                                                                                           Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/15007511, This page was made on Wednesday 21st September 2011

 

                                                                                  In some countries it is legal to kill someone if they have committed a terrible crime.

                                 This is called a death sentence, or the death penalty.

                                                                                      It is not legal in Britain. There are lots of reasons why people think it's right or wrong.

   Here are some of the arguments:

 

Arguments for the death penalty

 If someone murders someone else, they have given up their human rights, including the one to stay alive themselves.

 The punishment should 'fit the crime' - if you have killed someone, you should be killed too

 Giving a killer the death sentence will stop them - and others - doing it again

 The very small chance of executing the wrong person is balanced by the benefits to society of putting off other murderers

 

Arguments against the death penalty

 The death penalty goes against our most basic human right - the right to life

 Being killed by lethal injection or being electrocuted is not always smooth and painless, sometimes it causes a painful death

 No-one has ever proven with numbers that killing murderers stops other people committing similar crimes

 Mistakes are sometimes made in the law - what if someone is killed who is actually innocent?

 

 

 

       Should the death penalty be banned  as a form of punishment?

Source: http://www.balancedpolitics.org/death_penalty.htm

 

      

Yes

         Financial costs to taxpayers of capital punishment is several times that of keeping someone in prison for life.  

         It is barbaric and violates the "cruel and unusual" clause in the Bill of Rights.  

         The endless appeals and required additional procedures clog our court system.  

         We as a society have to move away from the "eye for an eye" revenge mentality if civilization is to advance.

         It sends the wrong message: why kill people who kill people to show killing is wrong.  

         Life in prison is a worse punishment and a more effective deterrent.  

         Other countries (especially in Europe) would have a more favorable image of America. 

         Some jury members are reluctant to convict if it means putting someone to death.  

         The prisoner's family must suffer from seeing their loved one put to death by the state, as well as going through the emotionally-draining appeals process.  

         The possibility exists that innocent men and women may be put to death.  

         Mentally ill patients may be put to death.  

         It creates sympathy for the monstrous perpetrators of the crimes.  

         It often draws top talent laywers who will work for little or no cost due to the publicity of the case and their personal beliefs against the morality of the death

         penalty, increasing the chances a technicality or a manipulated jury will release a guilt person.  

         It is useless in that it doesn't bring the victim back to life.

 

No

         The death penalty gives closure to the victim's families who have suffered so much.  

         It creates another form of crime deterrent.  

         Justice is better served.  

         Our justice system shows more sympathy for criminals than it does victims.  

         It provides a deterrent for prisoners already serving a life sentence.  

         DNA testing and other methods of modern crime scene science can now effectively eliminate almost all uncertainty as to a person's guilt or innocence.

         Prisoner parole or escapes can give criminals another chance to kill.

         It contributes to the problem of overpopulation in the prison system.  

         It gives prosecutors another bargaining chip in the plea bargain process, which is essential in cutting costs in an overcrowded court system.

 

Another 10 reasons to oppose the death penalty:

Source: http://www.deathpenalty.org/section.php?id=24

Innocence and the Death Penalty
The wrongful execution of an innocent person is an injustice that can never be rectified. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty, 142 men and women have been released from death row nationally.

 
The High Cost of the Death Penalty
It costs far more to execute a person than to keep him or her in prison for life.

 
Death Penalty Can Prolong Suffering for Victims' Families
Many family members who have lost love ones to murder feel that the death penalty will not heal their wounds nor will it end their pain; the extended legal process prior to executions can prolong the agony experienced by the victims' families.

 
International Views on the Death Penalty
The vast majority of countries in Western Europe, North America and South America - more than 139 nations worldwide - have abandoned capital punishment in law or in practice.

 
Inadequate Legal Representation
Perhaps the most important factor in determining whether a defendant will receive the death penalty is the quality of the representation he or she is provided.

 
Deterrence
Scientific studies have consistently failed to demonstrate that executions deter people from committing crime anymore than long prison sentences.

 
Arbitrariness in the Application of the Death Penalty
Politics, quality of legal counsel and the jurisdiction where a crime is committed are more often the determining factors in a death penalty case than the facts of the crime itself.

 
Religious Perspectives on the Death Penalty
Although isolated passages of religious scripture have been quoted in support of the death penalty, almost all religious groups in the United States regard executions as immoral.

 
Racial Disparities
The race of the victim and the race of the defendant in capital cases are major factors in determining who is sentenced to die in this country. In 1990 a report from the General Accounting Office concluded that "in 82 percent of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e. those who murdered whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks."

 
Alternatives to the Death Penalty
In every state that retains the death penalty, jurors have the option of sentencing convicted capital murderers to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The sentence is cheaper to tax-payers and keeps violent offenders off the streets for good.