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Peine De Mort En Anglais!

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Introduction

Death penalty, or capital punishment, has always been a part of human society as a legal system to erase the dangerous criminals from the community.

But, in the course of time, this kind of punishment came to be seen as a immoral and inhuman practice and its legitimity has been questioned.

Nowadays, it still a raged debate due to a huge divergeance of laws on this issue. On the one hand, we can see that few nations such as China, Iran, Japan, Iran, the US preserve the death penalty, but on the other hand, almost all European countries, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have abolished the death penalty.

Although others still have the norm in their legislations, they have suspended unoficially the executions reserved for convicted prisoners. Through this document, I will give a brief overview of the history of the death penalty.

Then I will devote a paragraph to the proponents and one for the defenders.

Finally, I will make a conclusion from what has been said and give my personal opinion.

History

When we talk about the death penalty, we can't say easily as another subject when did it start. The origins are definitely as old as the history of mankind.

There are a lot of methods such as crucifixion, burning, hanging, decapitation, electrocution,...

In Europe in the Middle Age, to chose which method to use, it depended on the social status of the condemned (quick, painless and respactable death for the aristocracy, and more long and painful death for common people).

There were also some special cases as witches, traitors and heretics who were burned at the stake.

Death penalty was of a various kind of crimes, “including robbery and theft, even if nobody was physically harmed in the action” (Wikipedia).

At the time of The French Revolution was introduced a more "human" way to execute the condemned : the guillotine.

It is only on 30 November 1786, that the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II decided to abolish capital punishment, he was the first to do it and he also ordered to destroy everything in his nation in relation with execution such as the instruments. Since 2000, the day of the realisation of this decree became a holiday in Tuscany.

According to the reports of Amnesty International as in the year 2011, 670 people in 20 nations were executed officially. Iran owns about 360 cases from these executions. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/death-penalty-countries-world

In most nations, the capital punishement serves to punish criminals for war crimes or serious crimes associated with physical injury.

In some Asian country like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, it is also used to punish the crimes in relation with drugs.

Lots of International organizations uppheld the call to abolish this kind of punishment becoming a kind of anti-death penalty movement.

For exemple, “the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which among other things forbids capital punishment for juveniles, has been signed and ratified by all countries except the USA and Somalia” (Wikipedia). Organizations like The European Union demand from new candidates the abolition of capital punishment as condition for being a member.

So there is a important pressure on nations to make it disappear.

The two most active organizations against death penalty are Amnesty International and Human Rights.

are two prominent organisations fighting against death penalty.

The issues involved in the discussion of death penalty usually focus around two main parts. First, this punishment is analysed from a purely utilitarian perspective in an effort to find out whether application of capital punishment really helps to deter crime and reduce the risk of recidivism, when criminals commit repeated crimes. The evidence for this is sought in crime rates in regions and nations where executions are carried out. Second, supporters or opponents of death penalty need to find out whether this penalty can be acknowledged on moral grounds, solving the problem of whether human beings are justified in killing other human beings.

Although the arguments stated remain basically the same throughout history of the discussion, evidence can vary, and the findings, although controversial, can tilt the public opinion to one or the other side. Thus, the support for death penalty surges in nations where especially outrageous murders take place. On the contrary, a lower criminal rate reduces the support.

Argument

Death penalty, in my view, has to be supported on the ground of just retribution for murder. Still, I do not believe in death as a form of punishment for drug dealers, however heinous their activities might be, since they did not violate human lives. Political crimes should not be punished with death either, as this would open the way to political repression and physical elimination of political rivals, as it happened in Stalin's times in the Soviet Union. However, when a person murders another person, death is the right kind of retribution. This is analogous to penalties imposed for instance for robbery or theft - the criminal often has to forfeit one's possessions for taking the property of another person. Similarly, it is fair that one who has consciously taken the life of another person should suffer death.

In a research paper “Is Capital Punishment Morall Required? The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs” by Cass R. Susstein and Adrian Vermeule, the authors suggest that death penalty is morally justified on the basis of distinction between acts and omissions. Most opponents of death penalty argue that it is barbaric for a government to take a human life since there is a difference between an act, such as killing a person, and omission, such as refraining from the act. But, researchers argue, by forbidding official penalty, government officials de facto allow numerous private killings that are left unpunished. However, a government that fails to maintain the welfare of the citizens by omitting death penalty from the criminal code will leave citizens unprotected and decrease their welfare “just as would a state that failed to enact simple environmental measures that could save a great

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