Death Penalty

Kategorie: Angličtina (celkem: 879 referátů a seminárek)

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 05. července 2007
  • Zobrazeno: 1551×

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Death Penalty

Generally speaking, there is not a vast difference between the countries, discussed in the book One Language, Different Cultures. Evidently though, they have different history, customs and traditions; however, they dispose over a corporate language, which has become during the last decade, the most desirable language to be learned by foreigners. Yet, there is still a huge difference, which in a certain sense casts a shadow on the humanity and morality of the nation, where that particular issue is being used. I am speaking about the death penalty, which is officially recognised in 38 states of the USA. Much support for the death penalty is based on genuine fear. Alarmed by light sentences for murder, many people believe that capital punishment is the only way to ensure that murderers will not be out on the streets again to claim more victims. However, The death penalty expresses the absolute power of the state; Governments have far too much power over the citizens they are supposed to serve, There have been many, many cases of police brutality with suspects, perjury, and conviction of the innocent. There are questions of basic competence, too. Some officials seem incapable of securing evidence or arranging a court schedule. Do we really want them to decide matters of life and death?
There is no way to remedy the occasional mistake that results in execution of the innocent. When the mistake is discovered after a man has been executed, what can we say to his widow and children? Should we erect an apologetic tombstone over his grave? These are not idle questions. There is grave doubt about the guilt of some people who have been executed. And a remarkable number of prisoners on death row have been released after new evidence cleared them. Sometimes they have been saved when they were only days--or even hours--away from execution.(7)
There is economic and racial discrimination in application of the death penalty. The best lawyers money can buy ensure that there are very few wealthy people on death row. It is true, of course, that some death-row prisoners are poor precisely because they are criminals (and unsuccessful ones). Not all were reared in poverty. But many were, and they tend to be poorly educated and to be represented by public defenders or court-appointed lawyers, some of whom are plainly incompetent. African Americans make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population--but 43 percent of death-row inmates.

Some say this is because their murder rate is far higher than that of whites. Studies have shown, though, that murderers of any race who kill white people are more likely to receive the death sentence than those who kill African Americans.(14)
The death penalty gives criminals publicity they do not deserve, gives them psychological power over victims' families, and prevents reparation. Murderers are not the kind of people most parents want their children to see on television. Yet Gary Gilmore, Ted Bundy, Linwood and James Briley, Timothy McVeigh, and Juan Raul Garza received reams of publicity as their executions drew near. It is hard to imagine men less deserving of an audience. It is nearly impossible to imagine worse role models for teenagers.
9. There is no good way to kill someone; all of the methods are appalling. The condemned probably undergo their greatest suffering in the time between the passing of the sentence and its execution
In recent centuries, there have been efforts to find methods which are less painful and more "humane" than such horrific punishments as implement, crucifixion, and breaking on the wheel. Now death-penalty supporters have settled on lethal injection as the best way to kill people. The long search for better ways to kill other human beings suggests that some death-penalty advocates themselves are uneasy about executions. Another sign of worry is the practice of having an execution team and giving one member of it a blank bullet or dummy switch or even dummy drugs. The team members are not supposed to know who has the blank or dummy, so that each may believe that he or she did not do the actual killing. This evasion is morally meaningless, except that it suggests the deep-seated human aversion to killing other humans. If the death penalty is a right, not a wrong, why are we so troubled by it?
12. If we abolish the death penalty in the United States, we can be more effective in defending political and religious prisoners who face it abroad. Dictators often use the death penalty to repress political and religious dissent. The fate of an entire nation may depend on whether political protest is even possible without the ultimate retribution of the firing squad. The more rare executions become, the more those nations using the death penalty for political repression will stand out.

They can then be a focus of more intense pressure from other governments, including our own, and from human rights groups such as Amnesty International.
What solution could we possible offer? The punishment for premeditated (first-degree) murder should be life in prison without possibility of parole. Murderers should do productive work in prison in order to pay for their room and board and to make financial restitution to the families of their victims. We should return to the notion of "life at hard labor." It should not involve the cruelty of meaningless work--breaking big rocks into little rocks--but productive labor and an effort to make amends. Such an effort can restore to a family at least some of the financial support it lost when a parent was murdered. In the case of a murdered child, it might enable the family to establish a scholarship fund or other memorial so the child will not be forgotten.

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