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An appraisal of the administration of criminal justice of ancient times reveals that death penalty was commonly used in cases of heinous crimes. However, there was great divergence as to the mode of its execution. The common modes of inflicting death sentence on the offender were fructification, drowning, burning, boiling, beheading, throwing before wild beasts, flaying or skinning off alive, hurling the offender from rock, storing, strangling, impelling, amputating, shooting by gun or starving him to death. Hanging the offender by neck till death in public places has been a common mode of putting an end to the life of an offender. These draconian and barbarous methods of punishing criminals to death were justified on the ground that they were the quickest and easiest modes of punishment and at the same time carried with them an element of deterrence and retribution. They have, however, fallen into disuse with the advance of time and modem humanitarian approach to penology. Deterrence has been defined by Dr. Johnson as discouraging the offender by terror or naked fear from repeating his crime and at the same time preventing others from following his path. It must, however, be remembered that deterrence is a relative term, its seriousness depending on the category of the offender. The stigma attached to arrest, trial, conviction and sentence may have little effect on habitual offenders or hardened criminals but may act as a powerful deterrent to an average law-abiding citizen. Undoubtedly, of all the punishments, death penalty appears to be the strongest deterrent for there can be nothing for which a man would be willing to give away his life. At present, the common modes of execution of death sentence which are in vogue in different parts of the world are asphyxiation (strangulation) electrocution, guillotine, shooting, gas chamber, hanging, lethal injection etc. The method of execution by electrocution consists in subjecting the condemned prisoner to heavy charge of electric current. The method was first used at Auburn State Prison, New York on August 6, 1890 and is now being extensively used in USA, UK, USSR, Japan, and other European countries. The use of Guillotine for execution of criminals was introduced in France in 1792. It was a kind of machine erected for execution of criminals in western countries, particularly in France, Scotland and England. Shooting as a mode of execution of a condemned person was used for offences tried in military courts. In Russia, China and some eastern European countries, death by firing squad is the customary mode of execution. More recently, gas chambers are being used in the western world for execution of death sentence. The condemned prisoners are put to death by being stripped in a chair in a sealed gas chamber into which poisonous fumes of cyanide are injected. The method prevailed in USA and was extensively used by Nazi Germany in killing Jews and other unwanted racial minorities. The method of hanging the condemned prisoner till death has been commonly in use in almost all the countries since ages. In India public hanging is now held to be unconstitutional. Death sentence by means of lethal injection is relatively a later development. It was first adopted in Oklahoma (USA) in 1977. The injection is administered intravenously with delicate skilled operation. It is preferred because it ensures instantaneous death without any suffering. It is in use in USA, UK, Canada and other developed countries. In Iran, the offences of murder, rape and sexual assault are punishable with death penalty. The offenders found guilty of these offences are publicly hanged to a crane used for lifting heavy loads and put to death. The unmarried girls are, however, exempt from death penalty even though the offence committed by them is punishable with death sentence. As per the Amnesty International annual report (2004) on judicial execution, nine out of ten executions took place in people's Republic of China which carried out at least 3400 executions to crackdown hard core criminality, particularly those involving in drug trafficking and corruption cases. As a measure of policy against the use of death sentence, the European Union and Council of Europe require abolition of death penalty by the State wishing to join them, but are willing to accept a moratorium as an interim measure. Thus, Russia became member of the Council of Europe although it practices death penalty in law but has never used it since it became a member of the council. So also is the case of Latavia which is a member of European Council.
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he History of Capital Punishment
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He History Of Capital Punishment

Words: 747    Pages: 3    Paragraphs: 14    Sentences: 36    Read Time: 02:42
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              An appraisal of the administration of criminal justice of ancient times reveals that death penalty was commonly used in cases of heinous crimes. However, there was great divergence as to the mode of its execution. The common modes of inflicting death sentence on the offender were fructification, drowning, burning, boiling, beheading, throwing before wild beasts, flaying or skinning off alive, hurling the offender from rock, storing, strangling, impelling, amputating, shooting by gun or starving him to death.
             
              Hanging the offender by neck till death in public places has been a common mode of putting an end to the life of an offender. These draconian and barbarous methods of punishing criminals to death were justified on the ground that they were the quickest and easiest modes of punishment and at the same time carried with them an element of deterrence and retribution. They have, however, fallen into disuse with the advance of time and modem humanitarian approach to penology.
             
              Deterrence has been defined by Dr. Johnson as discouraging the offender by terror or naked fear from repeating his crime and at the same time preventing others from following his path. It must, however, be remembered that deterrence is a relative term, its seriousness depending on the category of the offender.
             
              The stigma attached to arrest, trial, conviction and sentence may have little effect on habitual offenders or hardened criminals but may act as a powerful deterrent to an average law-abiding citizen. Undoubtedly, of all the punishments, death penalty appears to be the strongest deterrent for there can be nothing for which a man would be willing to give away his life.
             
              At present, the common modes of execution of death sentence which are in vogue in different parts of the world are asphyxiation (strangulation) electrocution, guillotine, shooting, gas chamber, hanging, lethal injection etc.
             
              The method of execution by electrocution consists in subjecting the condemned prisoner to heavy charge of electric current. The method was first used at Auburn State Prison, New York on August 6, 1890 and is now being extensively used in USA, UK, USSR, Japan, and other European countries.
             
              The use of Guillotine for execution of criminals was introduced in France in 1792. It was a kind of machine erected for execution of criminals in western countries, particularly in France, Scotland and England.
             
              Shooting as a mode of execution of a condemned person was used for offences tried in military courts. In Russia, China and some eastern European countries, death by firing squad is the customary mode of execution.
             
              More recently, gas chambers are being used in the western world for execution of death sentence. The condemned prisoners are put to death by being stripped in a chair in a sealed gas chamber into which poisonous fumes of cyanide are injected. The method prevailed in USA and was extensively used by Nazi Germany in killing Jews and other unwanted racial minorities.
             
              The method of hanging the condemned prisoner till death has been commonly in use in almost all the countries since ages. In India public hanging is now held to be unconstitutional.
             
              Death sentence by means of lethal injection is relatively a later development. It was first adopted in Oklahoma (USA) in 1977. The injection is administered intravenously with delicate skilled operation. It is preferred because it ensures instantaneous death without any suffering. It is in use in USA, UK, Canada and other developed countries.
             
              In Iran, the offences of murder, rape and sexual assault are punishable with death penalty. The offenders found guilty of these offences are publicly hanged to a crane used for lifting heavy loads and put to death. The unmarried girls are, however, exempt from death penalty even though the offence committed by them is punishable with death sentence.
             
              As per the Amnesty International annual report (2004) on judicial execution, nine out of ten executions took place in people's Republic of China which carried out at least 3400 executions to crackdown hard core criminality, particularly those involving in drug trafficking and corruption cases.
             
              As a measure of policy against the use of death sentence, the European Union and Council of Europe require abolition of death penalty by the State wishing to join them, but are willing to accept a moratorium as an interim measure. Thus, Russia became member of the Council of Europe although it practices death penalty in law but has never used it since it became a member of the council. So also is the case of Latavia which is a member of European Council.
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