Capital Punishment- Informative Essay

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Pages: 6

An innocent man is wrongly executed whilst a man who raped and murdered a mother and her thirteen year old daughter spends the rest of his life with three meals a day and cable television. Which of these is the bigger injustice? The use of the death penalty to punish serious crimes is a very controversial topic and there is much debate surrounding the issue. This paper will briefly discuss arguments supporting and against the use of the death penalty.

The death penalty which is also known as capital punishment is the punishment of a crime by execution. (Washington Post 2008: Such extreme sentences are awarded for very serious crimes such as premeditated murder, multiple murders, repeated crimes, rape and murder and so on, where
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(Death Row on Trial 2001: video) A good example of a case that illustrates the problem with an irreversible verdict is that of Timothy Evans: Evans was hanged in 1950 in the United Kingdom for murders subsequently found to have been committed by the notorious John Christie, and was pardoned posthumously in 1966 (Giles 1993: 48)

The death penalty is also considered to be economically biased. (Washington Post 2008: Every defendant is supposed to be offered the same chance for justice, but how can this be so when a wealthier person can afford a better defence including such things as expensive tests unavailable to a poorer defendant and this could end up being the difference between life and death. (Washington Post 2008: Opponents of the death penalty also refute the supporter’s claim that the death penalty acts as a deterrent. (Washington Post 2008:; Death Row on Trial 2001: video; Giles 1993: 46) Statistics favour this view because in countries such as Australia where the death penalty has been abolished, the number of murders and major crimes that were previously punishable by death did not increase as a result of the abolishment of the death penalty. (Giles 1993: 46)

In conclusion the death penalty is a very controversial topic. Supporters believe that the death penalty