Death Penalty Essay

Submitted By tamoor090
Words: 2084
Pages: 9

Death Penalty Rejuvenated?

Tamoor Iqbal

ELB 30/ Period 3
Mr. Heskin
April 16th, 2014

The death penalty is a very controversial topic. There are always two sides to everything and the death penalty is no different. The death penalty, also known as Capital Punishment is the top punishment to all crimes, specifically death. Certain people are against the death penalty because it goes against their moral values and beliefs and believe that giving a convict the death penalty makes us no different from the criminal who committed the crime, and we are letting criminals take the ‘easy way out’ if we execute them. On the other hand, some people believe in the idea of retribution; ‘an eye for an eye’. Considering the criminal did a major crime, they should be executed because the criminal does not deserve to live anymore after the horrifying act they have done. To come down to it, the death penalty should be re-instated for many reasons. The main ones being; giving prisoners parole can give criminals another chance to hurt or kill civilians, it creates another form of crime deterrent, and it provides closure to the victim’s family who had to already suffer so much. The earliest proof of the death penalty dates back to the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon in which one of the 25 codified laws of punishment resulted with the death penalty. However, the law regarding death penalty in Canada was an option ever since England colonized Canada way back in 1775. In Canada, the death penalty had been changed numerous times under the Criminal Code by the government in order to ensure the safety of Canadian society. (Munroe)
In 1859, offences punishable by death in Canada included: murder, rape, treason, administering poison, wounding with intent to commit murder, unlawfully abusing a girl under ten, buggery with man or beast, robbery with wounding, burglary with assault, arson, casting away a ship, and exhibiting a false signal endangering a ship. According to the Department of Justice the only method of execution in Canada was by hanging,but a decade later in 1869, a new law came into effect for which only three crimes were punished with the death penalty: rape, treason, murder. This law carried on for almost a whole century until 1961, after the legislature decided to separate murder into two offences; capital and non-capital offence. To be guilty of a capital offence it would require murder referred to planned or deliberate murder, murder that occurred during the course of other violent crimes, or the murder of a police officer or prison guard. At this time it was mandatory that the death sentence be carried out for anyone who committed a capital murder, since this was the only law left with the consequence of the death penalty. (Goverment of Canada)
In 1962, Arthur Lucas and Robert Turpin were the last people to be executed on the governments’ behalf after killing law enforcing officials, in Canada. During that time the capital punishment was legal in Canada. 1481 people were sentenced to death, 710 were executed, of those 697 were men and only 13 were women. Eleven years later, on July 14, 1976 the capital punishment was completely removed and abolished from the Criminal Code of Canada after the bill, C-84, was passed by a free vote; all members of the House of Commons could vote as they please even based on personal opinions. Because this was such a controversial topic they did not want to hear Conservative or Liberal’s point of view, but rather individuals from the party expressing what they think about the death penalty. This bill replaced the death penalty with punishment of 25 years in prison without parole. However this bill was instated with the exception of certain offences under The National Defence Act. In 1987, an attempt in the House of Commons was made to re-instate the death penalty, but fell a little short when it came to the free vote once