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Capital Punishment - Essay Example

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This paper will analyze the morality of the death sentence and the credibility of the evidence which is provided at the court of law on the basis of which capital punishment is awarded. The paper would also examine the different alternatives practiced around the world for death penalty. …
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Capital Punishment
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Download file to see previous pages The history of death penalty dates to very ancient times. The earliest recorded evidence of this law comes from the fifth century B.C Roman law of Twelve Tables. This was followed by the Draconian Code of Athens in the seventh century B.C which made death the only sentence of every crime. The history of capital punishment also shows that this law was practiced in England as well. In England, one ruler who is famous for practicing this law was King Henry the eighth who sentenced a lot of people to gruesome death sentences. He did not even spare his wives from this punishment. It is established from history that in every civilized society there has always been a law of death in order to maintain law and order.
The verdict of capital punishment has always been a matter of controversy generally because of the way a case is dealt at the court of law. A recent post by the Orlando Sentinel suggested to the state of Florida to change the way a death sentence is practiced. It suggested that instead of the existing law where a meek majority of the jury is sufficient to suggest a death sentence to the presiding judge, it would be better that a unanimous decision would be required to award the death sentence to the convicted person. The report highlights three cases in which individuals were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes which they did not commit. It took at least thirteen years before post-conviction DNA test cleared them from the charges. Such cases where innocent people are sentenced to death raises questions as to whether the individuals who were awarded death sentences in olden times truly criminals as the DNA testing techniques were not developed in those times.
(Sepia 2011). Another issue which is raised with regard to death penalty is that whether the death penalty should be exercised or not in this day and age when a lot of emphasis is laid upon human rights. The ongoing case of Bradley Manning is an example. Bradley Manning leaked classified information relating to possible war crimes of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan in WikiLeaks. The government of the United States has charged him for aiding the enemy which is a dealt with giving a capital punishment in the country. Now a letter has been sent to the president of America, Barack Obama which has been signed by more than 50 European Parliament members. They have stated their demands that Bradley Manning should be put to trial officially rather than being subjected to torture. Furthermore, they have demanded that he should not be given a death penalty (Guardian 2011). There are different places around the world where a ban has been placed on capital punishment. This includes the state of Oregon in the United States. The governor of Oregon John Kitzhaber has declared suspension of the death sentence and would halt any execution till he is in office. The governor even declined two volunteers who were in death row and were willing to die. Mr. John Kitzhaber stated that this system was wrong and he clearly stated that “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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