Author Tutor Course Date Capital Punishment Introduction Capital punishment has been a controversial subject. Since time immemorial, debate has been ranging as to the efficacy of capital punishment and how ethically right it is. Of course there are those who feel that the sentence is justified in a number of instances…
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Whatever the reasons they put forward for their proposal, on very few instances will you have individual to be hanged thought of as a human being like any other. Many people actually think of him as an object (Moore 3). Very few people think of the individual as having a conscious. It is this aspect of the individual to be hanged that George Orwell brings to our attention, in his story, “A hanging”. The story details the last moments of a small Indian man just about to be taken to the gallows. His hands bound tightly to his body and guarded by strong warders who guide him gently to his death there are three interruptions of episodes that take place, which pique the interest of the writer as to the conscious nature of the prisoner. At the beginning, a dog rushes to him and jumps to lick his face. The individual also side steps a puddle on his path as he is led to the gallows while the third instance happens as he has the hangman’s noose around his neck. He calls out to his god with the words “ram, ram, ram”. However as all these things go on, the wardens and the other prisoners go on their business as if there is nothing absurd about it. In fact, later on they seem to be celebrating the life just terminated. The fact that they do not seem to think that the same fate will befall them is ironical more so after they are seen to be laughing and in a jovial mood a short moment after the Hindu has been hanged. George Orwell connects the reader with the man just about to be hung and strikes the mind of the reader to think more of him (Orwell 2). He makes us realize that the man is not just another object but rather a living human being whose body processes are taking place like in any other person. It is a call to rethink the capital sentence. II) Body Interruptions before the hanging: 1) The dog This comes as the first interruption to the hanging of the Indian man. It is as they lead the man to the gallows that a dog appeared in the prison’s yard. It hounded around the procession or the group and in the words of the writer “wild with glee at finding so man human being together”. Everyone is surprised when it suddenly dashed to the small Indian prisoner and “jumping up tried to lick his face”. The inclusion of the dog in the story is of great significance to the theme of the whole story. It goes on to prance at the prisoner just about to be hung and wanting to lick his face. The fact that it does not discriminate the prisoner from the wardens goes on to affirm the thought that the Indian man is like any other living being. 2) The puddle The second episode even sinks the perception of hanging as evil even more. It involves a puddle that lay on the path to the gallows. The man would have been expected to not to care about the puddle and just walk through it instead since he was just about to be hung anyway. However, what happens proves one incredible truth. Orwell states that “in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path”. This episode opens the eyes of the writer as to the meaning of destroying a conscious and healthy man. It goes on to show the inappropriate nature and the mystery surrounding the termination of the life just when it was “in full tide”. The fact that the man was conscious jerked the mind of the writer (and consequently the reader) as to the fact that he was alive the same way that they were alive.
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Some raise questions over ethical acceptability of the issue as well. The societies have in the past punished the criminals by sentencing them to death but now with the modernization of the world, there are many nations which have abolished the death penalty.
Sustein and Vermeule (704) points out that most refutations to capital punishment are based on the points that it is “inherently cruel and barbaric”, and cannot be imposed in any way possible that adheres to the rule of law, and as it is administered currently, it could lead to the execution of some innocent people.
This unusual situation can take place when the decision is made to support a moral justice or a greater good. This paper will concentrate on capital punishment or the death penalty, a practice that some people consider as morally right while others disagree.
As a result, society developed systems of punishing those who commit serious crimes such as killing, stealing felony among others. One such way of punishing offenders was death penalty. Ideally, the authorities came up with procedures to be used in determining the crimes that warrant death penalty, the steps to be followed while executing individuals among others.
By contrast, the abolitionists see the impact of executions as a statement of pervasive importance about the relationship between the government and the individual. Abolitionists in the United States view capital punishment as a fundamental political issue; proponents usually assert that the question is neither fundamental nor political.
According to Robert Ruby’s “Capital Punishment’s Constant Constituency: An American Majority,” capital punishment has long since been a heated topic of debate of fairness and of constitutional rights and ethics. Between the years of 1972 and 2007, the Supreme Court has gone through many moments of indecision in concerns of the capital punishment.
Supporters of capital punishment are of the view that in the absence of capital punishment, people may engage in more criminal activities. In their opinion, crime rates cannot be controlled without strong
The practice is not uniform across the states in the US. Some of the states do not allow capital punishment while others have the law permitting capital punishment. However, execution procedures may differ. As of May 2013, the District of Columbia and 18 other States have abolished the capital punishment for any kind of crime whatsoever.
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