The case for and against capital punishment Essay

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Capital punishment, also known as death penalty or execution, is the sentence that a criminal must fulfil preceding committing a capital crime. Capital crimes consist of mass murders, treachery and other offenses. The English word ’Capital’ is derived from Latin ‘Capitalis’ meaning the head – ‘caput’ as the sentence was normally served by decapitating the criminal.
The sentence has been in practise for thousands of years, used in almost every society in the world at some point. However, it is used less in retentionist countries – for example, China is suspected to have executed around one thousand seven hundred people but could be up to six thousand in 2009, Iran executed at least three hundred and eighty-eight and Iraq at least one
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However many states in the United States have began phasing out the use of capital punishment, or consorting to alternative, more humane methods of execution. Currently only fifty eight nations of one hundred and ninety five and ninety five have completely abolished the practise, the others unknown, so sixty percent of the world population live in execution countries. In most of these countries, capital punishment is reserved for murder, treason, espionage, rape, adultery, incest, sodomy and military offenses such as desertion, mutiny, insubordination and cowardice. At the start of 2010, at least 17,000 people worldwide were to be sentenced to death.
It is argued by supporters of capital punishment that life imprisonment is not equally effective a deterrent as the death penalty. People who have been given the death penalty and have received it are no longer in society, therefore cannot commit further crimes or be of any threat to the general public if they were released from prison. Although typically a life sentence to prison may be given for capital crimes, some criminals are able to get out of prison before the end of the sentence. Prison is seen as a detention centre but the tax payers are paying to keep the prisoners in prison, where some are given luxuries such as television and comfortable furniture. Prisoners are there to serve a sentence, not to be ‘mollycoddled’. Therefore the death penalty works out a better

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