Effects Of Capital Punishment In Australia

1485 Words 6 Pages
From its administration in 1967 to its official abolishment in 2010 under the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Act, capital punishment has remained a controversial part of the Australian legal system (Johnson, DT & Zimring FE 2006; Lennan, J & Williams, G 2012). With events such as the Bali bombing, the Osama Bin Laden case (Lennan, J & Williams, G 2012) and the Nguyen Tuong Van drug smuggling case (Indermaur, D 2006), the implementation of the death penalty is continually brought to the forefront of Australia’s attention as to whether the method should be reintroduced. In this essay, I will be arguing that capital punishment should not be introduced into the Australian legal system, except in cases …show more content…
Currently, life imprisonment is the most severe form of punishment in Australia as it allows for flaws within the legal system (Berg, M 2010) and is regarded by the Australian population as a more humane form of punishment (Idermaur, D 2006). Another similar method of punishment is the concept of a virtual sentence where an offender’s sentence exceeds their life expectancy (Villaume, AC 2005). The issue with administering life imprisonment without the option of parole is that there are inconsistent meanings behind the punishment across the different Australian states. In Western Australia and Queensland, life imprisonment can refer to either the natural life of an offender or having the option of release after ten years in Western Australia and twenty years in Queensland (Anderson, J 2012). In comparison, according to Anderson (2012), life imprisonment in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory refers to the natural life of an offender except under exceptional circumstances with the average sentence lasting 12-25 years nationally. The debate for whether life imprisonment is a suitable punishment in the Australian penal system is a controversial debate as there are similar arguments in regards to both capital punishment and life imprisonment. Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘no one should be subject to inhumane punishment’ (United Nations n.d.) which can be used to argue against both life imprisonment and capital punishment. Both forms of punishment prohibit the opportunity for rehabilitation, a basic human right (Anderson, J 2012) and depending on the individual, each form of punishment provides conflicting consequences for the individual, family and community. The Nguyen Tuong

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