Capital Punishment The Pros And Cons

1336 words - 6 pages

Capital Punishment is the legal infliction of the death penalty. This is implemented if someone is found guilty of committing a capital offence. This is crime punishable by death. The main crimes that result in capital punishment are murder and treason. There is a difference between murder and manslaughter. Manslaughter is when someone kills another person but the murder is thought to be unintentional and the death penalty is not used for this. Murder is when the killing is intentional and pre-meditated and if found guilty of this crime, you can be sentenced to death.At the end of the 18th Century, efforts to abolish the death penalty gained momentum. This reform was lead by the Quakers. In ...view middle of the document...

One such case is that of Derek Bentley. Bentley, then nineteen and Christopher Craig, his accomplice, then sixteen, were burgling a confectionary warehouse. Derek Bentley was caught and Craig drew a gun. Bentley said to Craig, "Let him have it", and Craig pulled the trigger on PC Sydney Mills and killed him. Even though Bentley was in police custody at the time, he was the one charged for the murder and because Craig was only sixteen, he was too young to be executed. When Bentley said, "Let him have it", the police said that he was signalling Craig to shoot the police officer, but the other interpretation, which seems more plausible is that Bentley meant for Craig to give the police officer the gun and to give himself up, and it was even revealed later that Bentley was epileptic and he had a mental age of eleven. Finally, forty-four years after his hanging, he has been cleared of murder.Another case was that of James Hanratty. He has been cleared forty years after he was hung for allegedly murdering Michael Gregston. Hanratty was one of the last men to be hung in Britain - for a crime, which the police later admitted, he could not have committed. This controversial case helped end the death penaltyAlthough it is in the American constitution not to execute anyone with a mental illness, because it is claimed that they don't know what they're doing, there have been many cases where people with mental illnesses have been killed,One such case is that of Joseph Cannon. He was seventeen when he killed a young girl. He was also diagnosed as being brain damaged and schizophrenic, but he had never received any sort of medical treatment. The first attempt to kill him failed, when the needle "blew out" of his arm as the injection began to flow. The needle was re-inserted and thirty-four minutes later, he was dead.One more reason why Amnesty International has condemned the United States for having a worse civil rights record than Iran is the case of Robert Carver, another juvenile criminal who was executed in Texas. He too was brain damaged by continual abuse by his parents. His I.Q showed him to be semi-retarded. None of this was presented at his trial for robbery and murder. The jury took just ten minutes to find him guilty and to pronounce that he should die.More than forty others elsewhere in The United States await the same fate, among them is sixteen-year-old Sharef Cousin, the youngest person on death row.The classic moral arguments against the death penalty have been biblical and...

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