Ian Blyth – It's Just a Thought

My thoughts and opinions

Another Reason the Death Penalty is Wrong

Posted by Ian Blyth on 27 May 2008

Australian man pardoned 86 years after execution

http://uk.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUKSYD2024920080527?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews

People make mistakes but the worst type is the killing of an innocent person based on flawed evidence. It has been shown time and time again that people are convicted of crimes they did not commit. At least if you are sent to jail you just lose some years of your life. If you are executed it is not much use to be pardoned later. The pardon is for the people still alive like the family.

I do not believe in the “eye for an eye and life for a life” philosophy. For a start it makes us all party to murder. If we live in a country with the death penalty and it is used when we are guilty of murder as well. If we were truly civilised we would not lower ourselves to murdering people to punish them. After all we do not throw our excrement out in the street like they did in the olden days so why should we still believe these old punishments.

The second reason is that it does not seem to deter people. In times past people were hung for stealing a loaf of bread. It did not stop them as they needed to eat. The best deterrent is getting caught – not what punishment. It has been shown that police successes are limited (except for catching people who speed in their car). If there is a low chance of getting caught then it does not matter about the punishment as the criminal will never have to face it. And if someone is amoral rather than immoral then the whole right and wrong concepts bypass them.

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