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Canada as a country is always in constant change. Whether it is in government, physicality, entertainment, or economy, Canada is a nation that prides on being unique and receptive to change. But when do these advancements, these abnormalities in comparison to neighboring countries, begin to diminish us as a native land? Or is there always an up side to the refinements and revisions Canada continues to make? Would this question be easier to answer if the consequences of our decisions on change were now life or death? To most, it just makes it that much more complicated. However, the topic of capital punishment is a problem that countries have continued to agonize over for decades, including Canada. So in what regards is capital punishment, and the sentencing of execution a good thing, and is there a line in which first has to be crossed in order to categorize the guilty? These questions have spun through the heads of the government and politicians before, and for now Canada stands on the against-side of the incredibly blurred line, but as a country always in constant change, should and will Canada ever bring back the death penalty? The death penalty, also frequently referred to as capital punishment is the sentencing of execution for a crime. The most common crime referred to as a "capital crime" is murder and more specifically, murder in the first degree. In the United States, there have only been two cases in which the convicted was not responsible for a murder (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). In one of these cases, Patrick Kennedy was found guilty in the aggravated sexual assault case of his step-daughter in 2003, and is now awaiting execution for his actions (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). However, as earlier stated, the death penalty almost always refers to those guilty of a crime in which the victim is killed. As of 2008, fifty-eight, about one-third of the world's countries, favor the death penalty, including the United States (Death Penalty Information Center). Currently, thirty-five out of the fifty states, including California, Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, Texas and even Washington, have legalized capital punishment (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). As of January 1st, 2010, 3291 inmates were awaiting their punishment on death row (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). California holds most of them, with 697, followed by Florida with 398 (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). The 2009 FBI Uniform Crime Report showed and stated the South has the highest murder rate of all areas of the country and is therefore directly related to being responsible for over 80% of all executions. Also, consistent with previous reports, the Northeast has the lowest homicide rate of the nation and is only responsible with a small 1% of execution (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). Now, in regards to Canada, the death penalty is a sentencing that the country does not justify. However, it has not always been this way. It wasn't until 1976 that the death penalty was removed from the Canadian Criminal Act, where it was then replaced with the mandatory life sentencing without the chance of parole for the first twenty-five years. This was true for all first-degree murders (Munroe, 2010). Following that date, in 1998 capital punishment was removed from the Canada National Defense Act for such crimes as mutiny as well as treason, and was replaced with the same sentencing of the previous (Munroe, 2010). So if there are so many countries, to which the death penalty is not shone upon, what is it about capital punishments that other countries tend to favor? The argument on capital punishment, like all others, is one that comes with two sides, and a pre-determined set of pros and cons. Arguments that are commonly used to favour the death penalty include deterrence, punishment, and retribution on behalf of the victims and families (White, 2010). Out of the reasons, most people believe that deterrence, or the fear of death is the number one reason to support the death penalty. It is natural for a human being to be scared of the idea of death, and if such was the punishment to the act of murder than it makes sense that the crime would not be committed. It is easy to believe that these circumstances will make the criminal think twice about going through with the crime (Bhatti, 2010). Another argument that is made involves the idea of second chances. The following three cases all include suspects which are repeat offenders, and to whom would have received the death penalty for their initial crime committed. Case 1 involves a woman named Katy Davis in Austin, Texas. She had noticed three men standing outside of her home apartment, and began to brush it off as nothing. Later, when she returned, she was attacked by a man by the name of Charles Rector. Rector was, at the time, on parole for a previous crime of murder. Davis was forced to open the front door and after the men tore apart the small apartment she was then abducted, and taken to a lake. There she was beaten mercilessly, gang-raped, shot in the head, and finally pushed under water repeatedly until she died. The second case includes a string of events and crimes. In 1965, in the small town of San Gabriel, California, Mildred Weiss was murdered by a man named Robert Massie as well as an accomplice. Because Massie had testified against his accomplice during the trial mere hours before his execution, his punishment was revoked and he was instead given the sentence of life in prison. However, due to circumstances unknown, Massie was somehow released and was paroled, only to then rob and murder Boris Naumoff, a businessman from San Francisco only eight months after his release. Finally the third case entails a defendant by the name of Jeffrey Barney. He raped and strangled Ruby Longsworth to death in Pasadena, Texas for the reason being that she called him a "bum". In an interesting string of events, Longsworth had previously met Barney through a prison ministry where she helped him get paroled in an auto-theft incident. Unfortunately, this is how her kindness was returned (Bhatti, 2010). All three of these cases genuinely show how enforcing capital punishment initially could have most definitely prevented the victims from being hurt. The flip side of this entire debate contains valid arguments as well. Amnesty International stated: "The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice. It violates the right to life... It is the ultimate. Cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment. There can never be any justification for torture or for cruel punishment" (White, 2010) In addition to this belief of cruelty and inhumane reasoning, the most common supporting aspect of those against capital punishment is the statistics that such does not actually deter against crime. In fact, in a recent survey of professional criminologists, 88% of them of them believe that death sentencing does not lower homicide rates. Five percent actually said yes, whereas the remaining 7% had no opinion on the subject (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). It has been proven that the homicide rate in "non-death penalty" states has remained consistently lower compared to those that do favour the punishment. Along with this fact, it is understandable that those who do not favour make the argument that this threat of execution will take back-seat in the minds of those under the influence of alcohol or drugs, offenders in them midst of other crimes such as robbery, or offenders suffering from a mental illness (Amnesty International USA, 2010). However, it is now law that exemption of execution be given to people who have been medically diagnosed as severely mentally ill (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). It has been stated previously that people believe that life imprisonment is a terrible alternative to capital punishment. Philosopher Cesare Beccaria however deems that life in prison is much more a deterrent to murder than the death penalty itself, because the pain of death is over in an instant, whereas a lifetime in a cell is a suffering that lasts as long as the convicted does (Jami, 2010). In a diverse country such as Canada, religion can also often play a large role in whether or not one believes in the humanity of the death penalty. Most churches in the country, as well as North America either have mixed feelings on the subject, or are against it completely (Ontario Consultants on Religious Groups, 2001). The most common religion in North America, and the Catholic Church oppose such measures of the death penalty. This is also true for Pope John Paul II as he speaks out against it (St. Anthony Messenger Church, 2010). In finalizing the list of cons, the extreme high cost joins the list. Capital punishment has always been known to be more expensive than a life sentencing due to the fact that the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process and trial. Such measures need to be taken in order to ensure that innocent people are not accidentally being convicted and executed for such charges in which they did not commit. Life without the chance of parole ensures the same security of the public's safety, as well as eliminating the risk of such an irreversible mistake. It is also proven to how much money is saved in comparison to an execution trial. In California, the death penalty system costs taxpayers $114 million per year on top of the costs to keeping such convicts locked up for life (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). It is not uncommon that states suffer from such money gouges in serious cases such as these. In Maryland, each case costs approximately $3 million, and in Florida, much like California, it costs an additional $51 million per year on top of life without parole cases (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). After surveying both sides of such a heated argument, it has come to attention of millions of the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. One point in which most people can seem to agree as a strength for capital punishment, it's the gain of retribution for the victims and their families (White, 2010).
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The Death Penalty in Canada Essay
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The Death Penalty In Canada Essay

Words: 1681    Pages: 6    Paragraphs: 9    Sentences: 80    Read Time: 06:06
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              Canada as a country is always in constant change. Whether it is in government, physicality, entertainment, or economy, Canada is a nation that prides on being unique and receptive to change. But when do these advancements, these abnormalities in comparison to neighboring countries, begin to diminish us as a native land? Or is there always an up side to the refinements and revisions Canada continues to make? Would this question be easier to answer if the consequences of our decisions on change were now life or death? To most, it just makes it that much more complicated. However, the topic of capital punishment is a problem that countries have continued to agonize over for decades, including Canada. So in what regards is capital punishment, and the sentencing of execution a good thing, and is there a line in which first has to be crossed in order to categorize the guilty? These questions have spun through the heads of the government and politicians before, and for now Canada stands on the against-side of the incredibly blurred line, but as a country always in constant change, should and will Canada ever bring back the death penalty?
             
              The death penalty, also frequently referred to as capital punishment is the sentencing of execution for a crime. The most common crime referred to as a "capital crime" is murder and more specifically, murder in the first degree. In the United States, there have only been two cases in which the convicted was not responsible for a murder (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). In one of these cases, Patrick Kennedy was found guilty in the aggravated sexual assault case of his step-daughter in 2003, and is now awaiting execution for his actions (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). However, as earlier stated, the death penalty almost always refers to those guilty of a crime in which the victim is killed. As of 2008, fifty-eight, about one-third of the world's countries, favor the death penalty, including the United States (Death Penalty Information Center). Currently, thirty-five out of the fifty states, including California, Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, Texas and even Washington, have legalized capital punishment (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). As of January 1st, 2010, 3291 inmates were awaiting their punishment on death row (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). California holds most of them, with 697, followed by Florida with 398 (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). The 2009 FBI Uniform Crime Report showed and stated the South has the highest murder rate of all areas of the country and is therefore directly related to being responsible for over 80% of all executions. Also, consistent with previous reports, the Northeast has the lowest homicide rate of the nation and is only responsible with a small 1% of execution (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). Now, in regards to Canada, the death penalty is a sentencing that the country does not justify. However, it has not always been this way. It wasn't until 1976 that the death penalty was removed from the Canadian Criminal Act, where it was then replaced with the mandatory life sentencing without the chance of parole for the first twenty-five years. This was true for all first-degree murders (Munroe, 2010). Following that date, in 1998 capital punishment was removed from the Canada National Defense Act for such crimes as mutiny as well as treason, and was replaced with the same sentencing of the previous (Munroe, 2010). So if there are so many countries, to which the death penalty is not shone upon, what is it about capital punishments that other countries tend to favor?
             
              The argument on capital punishment, like all others, is one that comes with two sides, and a pre-determined set of pros and cons. Arguments that are commonly used to favour the death penalty include deterrence, punishment, and retribution on behalf of the victims and families (White, 2010). Out of the reasons, most people believe that deterrence, or the fear of death is the number one reason to support the death penalty. It is natural for a human being to be scared of the idea of death, and if such was the punishment to the act of murder than it makes sense that the crime would not be committed. It is easy to believe that these circumstances will make the criminal think twice about going through with the crime (Bhatti, 2010).
             
              Another argument that is made involves the idea of second chances. The following three cases all include suspects which are repeat offenders, and to whom would have received the death penalty for their initial crime committed. Case 1 involves a woman named Katy Davis in Austin, Texas. She had noticed three men standing outside of her home apartment, and began to brush it off as nothing. Later, when she returned, she was attacked by a man by the name of Charles Rector. Rector was, at the time, on parole for a previous crime of murder. Davis was forced to open the front door and after the men tore apart the small apartment she was then abducted, and taken to a lake. There she was beaten mercilessly, gang-raped, shot in the head, and finally pushed under water repeatedly until she died. The second case includes a string of events and crimes. In 1965, in the small town of San Gabriel, California, Mildred Weiss was murdered by a man named Robert Massie as well as an accomplice. Because Massie had testified against his accomplice during the trial mere hours before his execution, his punishment was revoked and he was instead given the sentence of life in prison. However, due to circumstances unknown, Massie was somehow released and was paroled, only to then rob and murder Boris Naumoff, a businessman from San Francisco only eight months after his release. Finally the third case entails a defendant by the name of Jeffrey Barney. He raped and strangled Ruby Longsworth to death in Pasadena, Texas for the reason being that she called him a "bum". In an interesting string of events, Longsworth had previously met Barney through a prison ministry where she helped him get paroled in an auto-theft incident. Unfortunately, this is how her kindness was returned (Bhatti, 2010). All three of these cases genuinely show how enforcing capital punishment initially could have most definitely prevented the victims from being hurt.
              The flip side of this entire debate contains valid arguments as well. Amnesty International stated:
             
              "The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice. It violates the right to life. . . It is the ultimate. Cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment. There can never be any justification for torture or for cruel punishment" (White, 2010)
             
              In addition to this belief of cruelty and inhumane reasoning, the most common supporting aspect of those against capital punishment is the statistics that such does not actually deter against crime. In fact, in a recent survey of professional criminologists, 88% of them of them believe that death sentencing does not lower homicide rates. Five percent actually said yes, whereas the remaining 7% had no opinion on the subject (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). It has been proven that the homicide rate in "non-death penalty" states has remained consistently lower compared to those that do favour the punishment. Along with this fact, it is understandable that those who do not favour make the argument that this threat of execution will take back-seat in the minds of those under the influence of alcohol or drugs, offenders in them midst of other crimes such as robbery, or offenders suffering from a mental illness (Amnesty International USA, 2010). However, it is now law that exemption of execution be given to people who have been medically diagnosed as severely mentally ill (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). It has been stated previously that people believe that life imprisonment is a terrible alternative to capital punishment. Philosopher Cesare Beccaria however deems that life in prison is much more a deterrent to murder than the death penalty itself, because the pain of death is over in an instant, whereas a lifetime in a cell is a suffering that lasts as long as the convicted does (Jami, 2010).
             
              In a diverse country such as Canada, religion can also often play a large role in whether or not one believes in the humanity of the death penalty. Most churches in the country, as well as North America either have mixed feelings on the subject, or are against it completely (Ontario Consultants on Religious Groups, 2001). The most common religion in North America, and the Catholic Church oppose such measures of the death penalty. This is also true for Pope John Paul II as he speaks out against it (St. Anthony Messenger Church, 2010).
             
              In finalizing the list of cons, the extreme high cost joins the list. Capital punishment has always been known to be more expensive than a life sentencing due to the fact that the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process and trial. Such measures need to be taken in order to ensure that innocent people are not accidentally being convicted and executed for such charges in which they did not commit. Life without the chance of parole ensures the same security of the public's safety, as well as eliminating the risk of such an irreversible mistake. It is also proven to how much money is saved in comparison to an execution trial. In California, the death penalty system costs taxpayers $114 million per year on top of the costs to keeping such convicts locked up for life (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). It is not uncommon that states suffer from such money gouges in serious cases such as these. In Maryland, each case costs approximately $3 million, and in Florida, much like California, it costs an additional $51 million per year on top of life without parole cases (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010).
             
              After surveying both sides of such a heated argument, it has come to attention of millions of the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. One point in which most people can seem to agree as a strength for capital punishment, it's the gain of retribution for the victims and their families (White, 2010).
Death Penalty Essay 
Munroe, S. (2010). History of capital punishment in canada. Retrieved from http://canadaonline.about.com/cs/crime/a/cappuntimeli
ne.htm

White, D. (2010). Pros & cons of the death penallty and capital punishment. Retrieved from http://usliberals.about.com/od/deathpenalty/i/DeathPenalty_2.htm

Bhatti, S. (2010, October 18). Death penalty pros. Retrieved from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/death-penalty-pros.html

Amnesty International USA, . (2010). The death penalty and deterrence. Retrieved from http://www.amnestyusa.org/death-penalty/death-penalty-facts/the-death-penalty-and-deterrence/page.do?id=1101085

Jami, . (2010, February 21). General deterrence and the death penalty. Retrieved from http://deathpen.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/chapter-5-general-deterrence-the-death-penalty/

Ontario Consultants on Religious Groups, . (2001, January 3). Policies of religious groups towards the death penalty. Retrieved from http://www.religioustolerance.org/execut7.htm

St. Anthony Messenger Press, . (2010). The death penalty and the catholic church. Retrieved from http://www.americancatholic.org/news/deathpenalty/
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