Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment - Jessica E. Tilley Political Science...

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Jessica E. Tilley Political Science 101 Janice Murphy October 3, 2006 Does Restitution mean a Life for a Life? Should a convicted murderer continue to live the rest of his life in jail or be subjected to capital punishment? This has been one of the most controversial and frequently debated topics since the beginning of the 19 th century. Is lethal injection too painless for someone who ruthlessly took an innocent persons life and was found guilty? Are the electric chair and hanging too inhumane for someone who disregarded another person’s right to live? Is housing someone in jail for the rest of their life more expensive then the death penalty? All of these questions have been given different answers depending on an individual’s political affiliation and personal beliefs. Ultimately the decision of which punishment the criminal receives is up to the judge with suggested level of punishment up to the jury of twelve. If given life in prison, who is to say parole will not be given for good behavior? If murderers are sentenced to life without parole, will living in jail be a harsh enough punishment? What kind of restitution is gained from criminals sitting in jail? They have already been convicted of taking a life; does that grant our judicial system the right to take the rest of their life? When this topic was brought before a man named John Stuart Mill, he addressed the Parliament on April 21, 1868 in favor of the death penalty. When there has been brought home to any one, by conclusive evidence, the greatest crime known to the law; and when the attendant circumstances suggest no palliation of the guilt, no hope that the culprit may even yet not be unworthy to live among mankind, nothing to make it probable that the crime was an exception to his general character rather than a consequence of it, then I confess it appears to me that to deprive the criminal of the life
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of which he has proved himself to be unworthy--solemnly to blot him out from the fellowship of mankind and from the catalogue of the living--is the most appropriate as it is certainly the most impressive, mode in which society can attach to so great a crime the penal consequences which for the security of life it is indispensable to annex to it. (Mill, 2) Mill believed that the punishment of death for an atrocious crime was just. He believed that not inflicting the punishment of death was equal to giving up the attempt to suppress murder altogether (Mill, 2). A recent tabloid headliner is a man named Scott Peterson.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POSC 101 taught by Professor Nam during the Spring '08 term at Salisbury University.

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Capital Punishment - Jessica E. Tilley Political Science...

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