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Mahadeo 1 Nicole Mahadeo Mrs.

Kennedy CLN 4U1 12 December 2011 The Legalization of Capital Punishment Thomas Szasz once said, If he who breaks the law is not punished, he who obeys it is cheated. This, and this alone, is why lawbreakers ought to be punished: to authenticate as good, and to encourage as useful, law-abiding behavior. The aim of criminal law cannot be correction or deterrence; it can only be the maintenance of the legal order.

Szasz clearly

articulated through this quote that the court perceives capital punishment as an unbiased action and can openly enforce it even with the confusing morals that entangle it. This is due to the fact that the death penalty is able to maintain law and order. Capital punishment is the legally authorized killing of a person as a sentence for an unlawful act and nearly all historically recorded civilizations have used execution to punish offenders. Although customs are different today, with just over nine countries having abolished capital punishment, the use of it in Canada is a growing concern for many citizens. After examining the expenditures, morality issues and the societal impact of fear in accordance to the death penalty, one will likely conclude that capital punishment should be legalized in Canada. The implementation of capital punishment can lift a high financial burden off taxpayers and the government, providing well economic reasoning for it to be legalized. The costs that go towards incarceration completely outweigh those of capital punishment, and can be put to better use rather than spent on inmates who may become violent re-offenders. The economical

Mahadeo 2 argument that is always debated upon is the consideration of the cost of death penalty opposed to incarceration or life imprisonment. Prison costs continue to grow as the operating costs associated with housing more people in these institutions increases. There is a total cost to taxpayers of over 1.8 billion dollars each year, and while these expenses increase, education, healthcare and other social services suffer cuts to funding and services. Money is not an infinite resource and the government should spend the nation s limited expenses on education, healthcare, energy etc. rather than paying for a serious offender to have three meals a day, a place to sleep, entertainment and plenty of exercise. The government also dissipates money frequently and spends countless hours on housing violent re-offenders, rather than spending little money at once for a death penalty. In one case, Franklin Shane Dorfer was convicted of breaking into the home of a 69-year-old Victoria woman, raping and robbing her in 1994. Not long after, he broke into another home and robbed a 71-year-old woman. Three years later, while out on parole, Dorfer was incarcerated for only six months for a break-and-enter. Abruptly afterwards, Dorfer was sentenced to two years in jail for a break-and-enter and possession of stolen property. Once again, Dorfer received early parole and is now being accused of breaking into the home of an 89-year-old woman and sexually assaulting her. [endnote] This is only one of the many cases in which someone has repeatedly offended, as a consistent threat to society. An expert writer on an online petition states that, the same pattern repeatedly emerges. A criminal commits a crime, receives little or no jail time, is let out early if he or she does receive any jail time, offends again, once again receives little or no jail time, once again is let out early if he or she does receive jail time and once again re-offends. In some cases, this cycle repeats dozens of times over several decades, creating countless new

Mahadeo 3 victims. [endnote] Imprisonment can only have limited effect in a crime prevention strategy. These violent offenders who are likely to re-offend, should be removed from the community, as it is necessary and effective in lowering crime. The best way to achieve this, where they are no longer a threat or hassle to anyone any longer is death. Through the legalization of capital punishment, society receives benefits due to a lowered financial burden and a safer community, free of constant re-offenders. Capital punishment s legalization provides an equitable and just act of morality, and also adheres to commonly followed biblical principles. It settles the case of criminals forfeiting their own right to life by taking the life of another, therefore contributing to the idea that capital punishment should be legalized in Canada. The court, for now, sees that the government "should stand consistently against the death penalty, as a matter of principle, both in Canada and around the world."[endnote] Capital punishment is currently illegal throughout Canada, while the free choice for abortion is available. By keeping these two constitutions in place, the government is exhibiting that those guilty of murder should live, and the lives of helpless victims should not be spared. Sentencing one to death on the crime of murder is retributive. "People that favor the death penalty agree that capital punishment is a relic of barbarism, but as murder itself is barbaric, they contend that death is a fitting punishment for it" [endnote] says Jayewardene, a former president of Sri Lanka. Eliminating the death penalty for simply murderers today can be seen as morally unreasonable. The Bible, arguably a widespread religious book among Canadians, provides evidence that capital punishment is justifiable through one s actions. Murderers cause pain, sorrow, anger, and the loss of a loved one. Therefore, it seems that the only way justice can be served is if the criminal were to pay with

Mahadeo 4 his or her own life. The book of Exodus in the Old Testament of the Bible states that, if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. [endnote] Even biblical principles once agreed with taking one s life for another, which is exactly what capital punishment for a murder sentencing will implement. In cases such as serial killers where more than one life is taken, the emphasis on capital punishment should be even stronger. From an equitable and biblical viewpoint, capital punishment enforces justice and the value of life, therefore contributing to its legislation. The majority of serious offenders need a source of lengthy rehabilitation, which cannot drive the fear that the legalization of capital punishment can into society in order to effectively prevent individuals from being involved in unlawful actions. Over the endless hours of rehabilitation, it is unknown whether the offender will be able to fit back into society. On January 18th, 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the abandonment of rehabilitation and corrections. The Court cited a Senate report, which "referred to the 'outmoded rehabilitation model' for federal criminal sentencing, and recognized that the efforts of the criminal justice system to achieve rehabilitation of offenders had failed." [endnote] A vast majority of serious offenders will refuse to comply with the rehabilitation environment, being an ineffective method in preventing re-offenders, and lowering crime rate. According to the Violent Crime Act, fear and intimidation is one of the best ways to create moral and obedient citizens. An example of deterrence can be shown during the time New York had a no capital punishment policy. Drug offences, gang related crimes and murders rates were at an all time high due to the fact that Governor George E. Pataki took office and established the death penalty in 1995. He

Mahadeo 5 states, . . . violent crime has dropped 23%, assaults are down 22%, and murders have dropped by nearly one-third. New Yorkers now live in safer communities because we finally have begun to create a climate that protects and empowers our citizens, while giving criminals good cause to fear arrest and conviction (Pataki). Many abolishers also believe that crime deterrence does not work because offenders do not fear death. This is a false statement due to the fact that 90% of criminals, when approached by the police at gunpoint, they obey the police officers directions. This essentially means that fear is not something that people can push away from their life, but rather a nature or instinct that all human beings have. Though the method of crime deterrence does not always work with the death penalty, it is proven to deter crime to some extent. Although statistics on the validity of a deterrence effect cannot be shown, the ineptitude of rehabilitation and the effectiveness of fear enforce more reason for capital punishment to be legalized. After looking at the unbiased pros and cons of capital punishment, the advantages on not only Canadian, but also every society can be put forward. Every citizen has the right to be concerned with rising taxes and national debt. In addition, that money aids us in restraining murder rates, and can serve as retribution to a victim s family. Ridding ourselves of capital punishment on account of its lack of deterrence would be neither decent nor rational. Until humanity finds a better way to deter crime, the death penalty is our strongest defense. Of course its moral value will always be in question; whether it s moral to make payback or immoral to play God. The answer will lie in the future of our ever-changing moral principles.

Mahadeo 6 Capital punishment as a form of sentencing in Canada will reduce useless and unreasonable expenditures, promote a moral and biblical way of life, and contribute to the reduction of crime rate, using the necessary deterrence to effectively discontinue criminal actions.

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Works Cited "Incarceration In Canada." Web. <http://www.acsacaah.ca/Portals/0/Member/PDF/en/documents/incarcerationcanada.pdf>. Pataki, George E. "Death Penalty is a Deterrent." USA Today 1 Sept. 1995. 9 Dec. 2007 < http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Articles/Pataki.htm > "STATISTICS ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT." Filipspagnoli.wordpress.com. Apr. 2008. Web. <http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/stats-on-human-rights/statistics-on-capital-punishment/>. "Arguments for and against the Death Penalty in the USA." Www.capitalpunishmentuk.org. Web. < http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/thoughtsUS.html >. "Violent Crime Control And Law Enforcement Act of 1994." 3/8/95 < http://gopher.usdoj.gov/crime/crm_brf.html > Pataki, George E. "Death Penalty is a Deterrent." USA Today 1 Sept. 1995. 9 Dec. 2007 < http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Articles/Pataki.htm >. The New English Bible; New Testament. [New York]: Oxford UP, 1961. Print.