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Capital Punishment In Australia Essay Paper

The Abolition Of Capital Punishment In Australia

Since the last execution in Australia in 1967 of Ronald Ryan and the abolition of capital punishment in Australia in 1973 imprisonment has been the only option as a sanction for murder. A survey conducted in 2009 demonstrated that a clear majority of Australians (64%) believed that imprisonment should be the punishment for murder as opposed to 23% stating the death penalty should be used and 13% did not wish to comment. The death penalty is not an effective punishment for all cases and there has not been any solid evidence stating that it is a more effective deterrent than imprisonment. Furthermore capital punishment possesses the risk of executing the innocent, which has happened or almost happened numerous times in the past such as Colin Ross. The death penalty is also a breach of the Universal Human Rights. Additionally although there is belief that detaining criminals actually costs taxpayers more due to court processes, the method of execution and many other factors. While imprisonment should be the highest sanction for crime, in some cases this is not effective, such as the case of Australian serial killer Peter Dupas. As a result, imprisonment is the only appropriate option for murder in majority of instances, however in some cases it is evident that capital punishment is necessary for the safety of society.
Capital punishment is not an effective punishment or deterrent for murder or any crime for various reasons. To many prisoners, being detained in a prison is much more of a punishment than death as is it a constant, conscious deprivation of liberty and rights. This idea is represented though US Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh who claimed after dropping his appeals against his death sentence that he would rather die than spend his life in prison and that his objective all along was ‘a state-assisted suicide’ highlighting how capital punishment is not necessarily a satisfactory punishment for all offenders. Furthermore the death penalty may create a brutalising effect, actually inspiring acts of violence, and therefore lessen instead of increase the deterrent effect of capital punishment. All evidence to date has failed to establish that the death penalty is any more effective than imprisonment than deterring crime. This establishes how imprisonment is a much more reasonable way and to an extent a more harsh way to punish offenders while simultaneously upholding the safety of society. It also demonstrates that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent for murder or any crime and therefore it is simply just another murder. Therefore this highlights that imprisonment should be the other option for murder and other countries should abolish the death penalty.
Through employing capital punishment as a sanction for murder or any crime the risk of executing an innocent person is constantly present. Additionally the death penalty is a clear violation of human rights which is why international jurisdictions should also abolish the...

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Florida is planning to carry out its first execution in more than a year and a half. Governor Rick Scott issued a death warrant that reschedules Mark James Asay’s execution for 24 August at 6pm. 

We must challenge the notion of “an eye for an eye” and here are five reasons why.

1. You can’t take it back

The death penalty is irreversible. Absolute judgments may lead to people paying for crimes they did not commit. Texas man Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three daughters. Following his execution, further evidence revealed that Willingham did not set the fire that caused their deaths. But it came too late.

2. It doesn’t deter criminals

There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than a prison term. In fact, evidence startlingly reveals the opposite. Twenty seven years after abolishing the death penalty, Canada saw a 44 per cent drop in murders across the country. And it wasn’t alone.

Twenty seven years after abolishing the death penalty, Canada saw a 44 per cent drop in murders across the country.

3. There’s no ‘humane’ way to kill

The 2006 execution of Angel Nieves Diaz, by a so-called ‘humane’ lethal injection, took 34 minutes and required two doses. Other brutal methods of execution used around the world include hanging, shooting and beheading. The nature of these deaths only continues to perpetuate the cycle of violence and does not alleviate the pain already suffered by the victims’ family.

4. It makes a public spectacle of an individual’s death

Executions are often undertaken in an extremely public manner, with public hangings in Iran or live broadcasts of lethal injections in the US. According to UN human rights experts, executions in public serve no legitimate purpose and only increase the cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of this punishment.

“All executions violate the right to life. Those carried out publicly are a gross affront to human dignity which cannot be tolerated,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“All executions violate the right to life. Those carried out publicly are a gross affront to human dignity which cannot be tolerated.”

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui

5. The death penalty is disappearing

While executions spiked in 2015, they were counterbalanced by a spate of abolitions. Four countries abolished the death penalty for all crimes – the highest number to do so in the space of one year for almost a decade. These developments are a clear indication that the trend towards abolition remains strong.

Today, 103 countries have turned their backs on the death penalty for good.Those that continue to execute are a tiny minority standing against a wave of opposition.

There are countless arguments for and against the death penalty. In an imperfect world where we can never be sure we have ever got the “worst of the worst” is it ever justified to take a life?

Find out more about the death penalty and how you can help save lives today

This article was contributed by a guest blogger. This blog entry does not necessarily represent the position or opinion of Amnesty International Australia.