A man stabs a stranger in the back leaving his victim to suffer a slow, painful death. Should this man be killed for his crime? or should he be locked up in a cell for the rest of his life? I believe capital punishment should not be reintroduced in Britain because, in ending the life of the convicted person, we become murderers, and there is always the risk of killing someone who is later proved innocent. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest capital punishment reduces the crime rate any more than a harsh prison sentence. Firstly, if a criminal is convicted and given the death penalty, we are carrying out an act that is as bad as the one we are punishing them for. By stooping to their level we become accomplices to murder.
In addition, somebody has to push the button or pull the lever. how would we choose that person? and what effect would it have on their lives and the lives of those around them? It is hard to imagine how anyone could live with the fact that they kill people to earn a living. It must also be taken into account, that there have been cases when new evidence has been produced after sentencing, which proves the person has been wrongly convicted. No legal system is totally infallible and the risk of killing an innocent person is not acceptable. Secondly, punishment should have a purpose other than revenge in a civilized society the idea of “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is outdated. Moreover, as well as punishing the criminal, their sentence should deter others from a life of crime and make society a safer place to live in.
In some countries, the death sentence is still carried out, such as in some states of America and Malasia, and their crime rate is no lower than that in Britain. Hence it can be seen to be ineffective and demonstrates the need for other forms of punishment. Finally, the victims of crime and those around them suffer for a lifetime, so why should the criminal only suffer for a few seconds in paying for their crime? It is surely more of a punishment to be jailed for life, but life must mean until they die, not a sentence where they can expect to be released for good behavior. Prisons should be divided into two types. The first should be for people who commit minor crimes and are capable of being rehabilitated.
Given the correct training they could become useful members of society, without it they would probably become involved in more serious crimes. The second should be for people who have no prospect of being released and are not for rehabilitation. These prisons would be purely for punishment and should not have any luxuries to make life pleasant. Some people argue that capital punishment should be reintroduced. They believe that money is being wasted in keeping these people alive in prisons that are no more than locked hotels. The facilities in most prisons are very good yet despite this many prisoners commit suicide after being locked up, so the prison regime can’t be as soft as they imagine. It would be easier to make the prisons even less comfortable than to reintroduce the death penalty.
It is also argued that criminals could strike again after they are released. This could be dealt with by giving them no prospect of release. The mental torture of making them live a life incarcerated should satisfy even the most vengeful. In conclusion, I believe that capital punishment is only legalized murder and should not be reintroduced. However, neither I nor any member of my family has been a victim of violent crime, and I can not be certain that my opinion would not change if the situation were different. Despite this, in my opinion, two wrongs do not make a right.