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PA 2 - Alicia Deal CJ 530 Primary Abstract 2 Capital...

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Alicia Deal CJ 530 04-07-04 Primary Abstract 2 Capital Punishment: A global perspective Roger Hood: All Souls College, University of Oxford Punishment and Society July 2001 Vol. 3(3) Hood outlines the movement to abolish capital punishment in countries around the world. He also discusses whether the “trend” of this movement has now come to an end since the “retentionist” countries, those who impose capital punishment, are not likely to budge anytime in the near future. It is interesting to note how Hood is so blatantly opposed to the death penalty, while Turow is neither strongly opposed nor strongly supportive of capital punishment. Turow believes that capital punishment criticisms by Western European countries are unwarranted because “Europeans generally overlook how different their circumstances are from ours (42).” “The murder rate in the United States is about four times that in the European Union. It is probably not fair that Europeans judge us without living in a society as divided as ours, as fractious and dangerous, a society where fear, grief, and outrage that murder inspires are far more prevalent (42).” He also states that because the US, unlike Europe, has not been overrun by dictators during its short history. European democracies have “proven fragile” unlike the US, whose “American opinion about capital punishment is subtly dependent on the extraordinary stability of our democratic institutions (42).” Hood states that there are four objections to the death penalty. First, it “violates the fundamental human right to life.” This objection served as the basis for the Council of Europe and European Union declaration that “the death penalty has no legitimate place in the penal systems of modern civilized societies, and that its application may well be compared with torture and be seen as inhuman and degrading punishment...” Secondly, Hood argues that there is no evidence suggesting that capital punishment is a deterrent. “It has not proved to be a more effective deterrent than the alternative sanction of life or long-term imprisonment.” The third objection Hood argues a legal stance in that capital punishment cannot be “administered without an unacceptable degree of arbitrariness, inequity, and discrimination.” Lastly capital punishment, most notably argued by Cesare Becarria,
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Alicia Deal CJ 530 04-07-04 Primary Abstract 2 “legitimizes the very behaviour—killing—which the law seeks to repress.”
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