This paper in particular, tends to describe the history of capital punishment in UK, the evolution of major regulations on its abolishment, ethical aspects of this issue, and arguments against and for its reintroduction etc.
Capital punishment in UK has a history dating back to several centuries. Initially, the punishment was meant for breaching royal ethics or disturbing the piece of administrative wings in the country. As stated in Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment Vol, 1 (2000, p.158) states, though England was the major influence on colonial America and the United States for their legal tradition, none of them ever carried out capital punishment with the same ferocity in their country as it was in England. Early days were notoriously remarkable with people getting hung for the crimes they had done. The punishment was in particular carried out by hanging the person proposed to death on the branch of a tree. Methods adopted to execute people were rather barbarian those days; apart from hanging, people were executed in various other ways like boiling, burning at the stake, decapitation and sometimes, drawing and quartering while still alive. England was historically considered to be the country to facilitate more number of crimes than any other one on the face of the earth. According to Johnson & Zimring (2009), the capital punishments Britain carried out reflected the punishment policy it had adopted in colonies.
The history of England reveals the prolific but horrifying fact that over 220 crimes were considered punishable by death. However, by 1957 death penalty was restricted to four types of offences such as a) killing a policeman, b) killing during an armed robbery, c) killing by causing an explosion, and d) killing more than one person (Keene 2002). Critics were of the opinion that until 1957 the law itself gave more opportunity to people to commit capital crimes or was ...
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Some raise questions over ethical acceptability of the issue as well. The societies have in the past punished the criminals by sentencing them to death but now with the modernization of the world, there are many nations which have abolished the death penalty.
It argues in favor of the fact that criminals who have no regard to other people’s personhood must face this definitive penalty in order to maintain the community whose footing is in sheer violation, especially if they deliberately do this in distressing persistence thereby making it a routine.
As a result, society developed systems of punishing those who commit serious crimes such as killing, stealing felony among others. One such way of punishing offenders was death penalty. Ideally, the authorities came up with procedures to be used in determining the crimes that warrant death penalty, the steps to be followed while executing individuals among others.
Capital punishment has been abolished in many countries across Europe, Latin America although it is still retained in some parts of Asia and Africa1. In non democratic countries, especially in Middle East, capital punishment is still quite common. Capital punishment is usually given for murder, treason and in Muslim countries it is also given for sexual and religious crimes2.
Supporters of the capital punishment believe that it should be used as prevention from future crimes. However, opponents of the capital punishment suggest that it should be abolished for many reasons. Proponents of execution favor a specific and discrete conception of capital punishment: to them it is a question of the appropriate sanction to be imposed on the most serious form of murder, a matter of principal importance to one part of the administration of criminal justice.
According to Robert Ruby’s “Capital Punishment’s Constant Constituency: An American Majority,” capital punishment has long since been a heated topic of debate of fairness and of constitutional rights and ethics. Between the years of 1972 and 2007, the Supreme Court has gone through many moments of indecision in concerns of the capital punishment.
Supporters of capital punishment are of the view that in the absence of capital punishment, people may engage in more criminal activities. In their opinion, crime rates cannot be controlled without strong
The practice is not uniform across the states in the US. Some of the states do not allow capital punishment while others have the law permitting capital punishment. However, execution procedures may differ. As of May 2013, the District of Columbia and 18 other States have abolished the capital punishment for any kind of crime whatsoever.
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