As violence becomes an increasing concern among Canadians, people are calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty and after the recent murder of a Toronto Police Officer it will again become front and centre and will force those in government to have a really hard look at this controversial issue. As we examine the the agruments for and against the reinstatement of Capital Punishment, looking at current cases, ie Paul Bernardo, we can appreciate the country's concerns about how our murders really seem to be getting away with murder. It is with this in mind we should focus on bringing back the death penalty for those who have been convicted of murdering someone in the first degree, where it is a pre-meditated thought and for those who serve us, Police Officers and all Law Enforcement Officers. These men and women put their lives on line for each and everyone of us, day after day, and I feel that it would only be justified that should something happen to them then the "right" punishment is handed out to the person (s) who ended theirs.
Fortunately, like most Americans, many Canadians believe in the "an eye for an eye" rule of restitution. This belief is the basis for the argument for the reinstatement of the death penalty. Some believe that the death penalty will deter similar crimes from happening, others believe that they would feel safer if a serious offender would be put to eternal rest. Few, suggests that putting these criminals to death would be more economical then putting them behind bars.
There are those who claim that capital punishment is in itself a form of vengeance on the killer. But is not locking up a human being behind steel bars for many years, vengeance itself? And is it "humane" that an individual who took the life of another, should receive heating, clothing, indoor plumbing, three meals a day, while a homeless person who has harmed no one receives nothing?
Because we don't have Capital Punishment in Canada, statisics used are based on information from the United States, where several States have in fact the Death Penalty.
Statistics offered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This report offers the following facts:
At the end of 1998, the US held 3,452 prisoners on death row, which is a 4% increase from 1997.
On December 31, 1998, the youngest death row inmate was 18 years old and the eldest was 83. The average age was 38 years old.
As of the end of 1998, the execution of prisoners 16 years old or younger was permissible in a dozen states. Eight of which did not specify a minimum age for which the death penalty could be imposed.
34 of the 38 capital punishment states use lethal injection. Electrocution is the sole execution method in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Nebraska.
Delaware, New Hampshire and the state of Washington permit