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Violance and the World by Robert Cover and Reflections on the Guillotine by Albert Cumus - Essay Example

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Violance and the World by Robert Cover and Reflections on the Guillotine by Albert Cumus

According to Cover (p. 1601), for instance, when a judge interprets the law and hands out a sentence, as legally appropriate to the crime as it may be, the sheer act of imposition of violence on another person is in itself an act of death and pain. This is quite similar to the actions committed during the course of the crime. This means that the interpretation of legal statutes occurs under conditions of death and pain. For instance, as a result of the imposition of a term of sentence, a convict losses his freedom, property, or life in extreme cases, while his family losses a father, brother, son or husband. Cumus is especially expressive about the aspect of sentencing convicts to the death penalty. According to the Cumus (p. 23), murder carried out by the state or under state supervision is tantamount to premeditated murder carried out by criminals on innocent persons. Cover speaks on this topic, citing that the interpretations of law allow for justification of violence and murder of persons found guilty of crimes, which, as Cumus put it, is equal to premeditated murder. While Cover explains that he is not sympathetic towards criminals and convicts for the crimes they committed, he asserts that the interpretation in the law itself creates victims who are innocent of the crime for which they are suffering (Cover, p. 1602). The victims in most instances are family members who were oblivious of the occurrence of the crime. The organized social practices of interpretations in law tear families up and perpetrate the same violence for which they are meant to punish. The irony of this situation is compounded by the statistics, proving that capital punishment does not necessarily reduce the occurrence of crime. According to Cumus, a more logical approach for remedying criminal behavior is through reforms and rehabilitation, rather than violence, pain, and death. Because the nature of law is to uphold the humane conduct of all persons in society, it is ironic that law also contravenes the same humane essence it preaches. Cumus tells of instances when the guillotine is not instant, hence prolonging the suffering of both its victim and that of family members and other witnesses. The sheer brutality of the guillotine is also implicit of the law’s violent nature (Cumus, p. 19) Both writers argue for the discontinuation of capital punishment. Cumus is primarily concerned about the guillotine, which he asserts is neither humane nor instant, as it is purported to be. Cover, on the other hand, speaks of the need to adopt more effective systems of reforms, rather than the conventional violence-riddled sentencing and confinement of convicts in solitary places (Cover, p. 1606). Legal interpretation, according to Cover, should adopt a culture that is similar to a number of communities, which use shame and contrition as a means of punishing offenders. In such instances, the offenders’ shame for their actions is stronger than any degree of violence meted on them in terms of behavioral correction. Cumus argues that the guillotine’s effectiveness has been eroded with time. In earlier times when the guillotine was used in public, it was relatively effective in deterring crime. However, because it is currently used privately in prisons, its effectiveness is muffled. This means that there is, in fact, no need to use the guillotine any more in the current day and age. Nonetheless, Cumus is somewhat supportive of the conduct of executions ...Show more

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Violence and the word by Robert Cover and Reflections on the Guillotine by Albert Cumus In his essay, Reflections on the Guillotine, Albert Cumus is explicit on the need to abolish the death penalty as a mode of punishment for crimes…
Author : lynchschuyler
Violance and the World by Robert Cover and Reflections on the Guillotine by Albert Cumus essay example
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