Capital punishment is still an acceptable punishment for serious crimes in many countries and differs from country to country. China executes criminal for murder, rape, corruption and drug dealing. Other countries consider adultery as a capital crime and are punishable by stoning or beheading. Most Western European countries as well as South Africa have banned capital punishment. The U.S, Japan, and the Philippines are the only democracies that allow their state to kill citizens. Even though the majority of Canadians have voted to bring back capital punishment, Canadian lawmakers have refused, and still remains a controversial issue.
The purpose of capital punishment is retribution, to stop criminals from committing crimes and to reassure society that the offenders can’t harm anyone else. Also to give victims and their families the justice and peace knowing the offender got what they deserve. Lobby groups, including police and prison guards are at the forefront of the campaign to reinstate the death penalty. They believe that life imprisonment; with a possibility of parole after 25 years is not a just punishment for convicted murderers. In their opinion a person who commits a murder should face a similar fate. They also argue that the death penalty prevents others from committing serious crimes. Our society has also moved to more humane methods of carrying out capital punishment, so the argument of it being inhumane and unjust are slowing coming to a halt. Between 1892 and 1961 the penalty for all murders in Canada was death by hanging. They now use lethal injection, electrocution and gas chamber. So I ask, why sentence the offender for 25 years in prison, to be set free with a chance to re-offend? The victims and their families have the right to feel safe and have the satisfaction of knowing that the criminal is not getting away with all the pain, suffering and grief it caused them. In 1987 a Gallop poll showed that 73 percent of Canadians support the return of capital punishment. Another poll in 1992 showed only a small decrease of 69 percent. Despite these polls Canadian lawmakers will not budge to the issue. Mark 7:12 of the Bible simply says “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you”.
On the other hand, how do you sentence one to death if the person didn’t commit the crime? People have been sentenced, spend years in prison then later found not guilty. David Milgaard is a high profile case in Canada where he was convicted and charged for the murder of a Saskatchewan nursing aid, Gail Miller in 1970. David spent more than 2 decades in prison. In 1992 his DNA was cleared, he was found not guilty and released. If the death penalty was in place it would of been too little too late. Which according to the criminal code, it’s what Canadian Parliament also believes. Canadian homicide rates have not increased since the abolishment of capital punishment. In 1966 capital punishment in Canada was limited to the killing of on-duty police officers and guards. In 1976 it was removed from the criminal code and replaced with mandatory life sentence without possibility of parole- Bill C-84. There was a total of 710 executions between1867-1962. Arthur Lucas and Ronald Turpin were the last to be executed on December 11, 1962.
The bottom line is, killing a person is unlawful and inhumane. The sixth commandment states “thou shalt not kill”, which is one of the first set recorded laws made. How do you justify killing one person over the next? Two wrongs don’t make a right. Also, every individual is different. There mental state, family background, upbringing, and personal issues that may trigger them to commit a serious crime. A man that rapes and murders a child should not have the same sentence as a man that killed someone to protect his daughter from being murdered. In 1998; 48 percent support, and 47 percent of Canadians oppose capital punishment. Leaving the 6 percent unsure whether to support or oppose.
Some people believe capital punishment is a just punishment for serious crimes, others believe it’s cruel and inhumane. The majority of Canadians want to bring back capital punishment, and the rest of us just want world peace.
News, CBC. "Canada's Wrongful Convictions." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 14 Oct. 2010. Web. 25 June 2012. .
"International Polls and Studies." Death Penalty Information Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 June 2012. .
Warren, Mark. "THE DEATH PENALTY IN CANADA: FACTS, FIGURES AND MILESTONES." THE DEATH PENALTY IN CANADA: FACTS, FIGURES AND MILESTONES. Amnesty International, Ottawa, 25 Apr. 2005. Web. 21 June 2012. .