Capital Punishments And Its Effect On Capital Punishment Essay

1396 Words Oct 25th, 2015 6 Pages
The two sources I will be analysing and comparing are both in favour of a de-crease in capital statutes but for very different reasons and together they are repre-sentatives of a change in mentalities towards capital punishment in the first half of the nineteenth century.
The first primary source under study is an extract from the Report of the select committee on criminal laws. This committee was set up in 1819 by the House of Commons and was expected to publish a report on the state of criminal law but especially on the capital punishment and give their recommendations in an official report. In 1819, the British criminal justice system was characterized by the Bloody Code and its numerous capital statutes. The excerpt of the report I am focusing on deals with capital punishments and tries to convince the government that capital statutes need to be reduced remain effective. The select Committee on Criminal Laws was created within a growing reformist tendency in the government and its appointment despite government opposition show that the reformers were gaining ground in Parliament. The report was published at a time when pressure from the reformers was growing on the government and this extract presents one of their main concerns, namely to know whether having capital punishment was necessary or effective to prevent crime. Indeed, at the beginning of the nineteenth century many people were not satisfied with how death penalty was carried out and it was believed that…

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