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Death penalty should be abolished - Essay Example

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[Your full name] April 3, 2013 Death Penalty- An Unjust Death Whether death penalty is just or unjust has been a hot topic of debate since ages, and the controversies regarding its application have not come to end till today…
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Death penalty should be abolished
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Death penalty should be abolished

A punishment, which was put into effect in 1500 in England, was opposed by many academics in 1750. These academics included Cesare Beccaria who was the Italian jurist; Voltaire who was the French philosopher; and, Jeremy Bentham and Samuel Romilly, who were the English law reformers. They presented the argument that death penalty was the cruel form of punishing the criminals, and it is most often applied on innocent people. However, there are many counter-arguments that support the death penalty. This paper intends to juxtapose the arguments and counter-arguments regarding death penalty; and, support the statement that capital punishment or death penalty is cruel, and should be abolished. Ethics do not allow a government to take lives of its nationals. There is good number of chances that innocent lives will be put to death under this punishment, and there can be no compensation for this. It is possible that capital punishment converts to manslaughter by killing someone convicted of murder, when the murderer says that it was not murder but an inadvertent killing, such as killing in self-defense. An example is the open and shut case of James McNicol, who was put to death in December 1945. Although James did not oppose the conviction of murder; yet, after his death, Elaine Merrilees, his niece discovered that he was only guilty of manslaughter and not murder. Hence, death penalty can be understood as a violation of human or civil rights. Wrongful conviction also includes cases where people make false confessions. Such people are innocent in actual, and are penalized to death. Whether the court announces death penalty for a convict or not depends less on the criminal act and the evidences, and more on the skill of the lawyers, the financial status of the criminal, the socio-economic status, and the race and color. These factors result into biased decisions from the court, resulting in either making the real criminal escape the punishment or enforcing death penalty on to some other innocent person. This makes the whole system of death penalty illogical and heinous. However, it cannot be stated as a final decision that murderers should be given relaxation in punishment, which makes the debate of adopting or banning the capital punishment all the more daunting. Death penalty has deepened its roots strongly in many countries, and the victims are often Hispanics and the minorities, who are killed due to racial discrimination. It would have been somewhat acceptable if the punishment was for everyone, regardless of what race, color, or ethnic group the murderer belonged to, but since most of the times racial biases come across, the situation gets worse. This also becomes the cause for hatred between different ethnic groups, and may give rise to riots and a long sequence of killings based on racial differences. Marquart, Ekland-Olson and Sorensen (86) affirm that: Rather than systematically sentencing younger minorities to death, murderers of all racial categories who received death tended to be younger than the larger pool of imprisoned convicted murderers- although the difference in age between Hispanics sentenced to death or those imprisoned was not statistically significant. The family of the one who is being put to capital punishment suffers very badly. Negative impacts are inflicted on their innocent minds because they have to come to terms not only with the sentence of their loved one but also with his death, and that too so cruelly. Therefore, the agony of ... Read More
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