capital punishment

Category: Education

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Slide 1: 


The theories of punishment ; why does the State punish criminals? : 

The theories of punishment ; why does the State punish criminals? Vengeance Retribution Deterrence Incapacitation


VENGEANCE vengeance is a raw, human emotion that is normal in family members of murder victims, but it can never be used to justify a public policy given that policies are supposed to be based on reason and empirical science.  Additionally, the state is technically/legally the victim when a crime occurs and is incapable of feeling vengeance.  A careful analysis of the entire Bible, taking the whole Bible in its historical context, does not provide a mandate for capital punishment, even for murderers.


RETRIBUTION Retribution is a state sponsored, rational response to criminality that is justified given that the state is the victim when a crime occurs.  The government is justified in pursuing justice when it is harmed in order to re-balance the scales of justice that were tilted to the benefit of the offender when he or she broke the law.  In reality, however, the death penalty does not generally achieve retribution because it is so rarely applied to murderers (less than 2% of aggravated murderers are sentenced to death and FAR LESS than 1% of all killers are sentenced to death)

Deterrence : 

Deterrence Deterrence is the notion that by administering punishment to offenders, the state can cause fear in both the offender (special or specific deterrence) and in others (general deterrence) so that they will not want to commit crimes in the future.  Obviously, capital punishment cannot achieve special or specific deterrence because once the offender is dead, he or she cannot be afraid of future punishment.  The available scientific evidence with regard to general deterrence suggests that the death penalty is not a deterrent to murder and cannot be for the simple reason that the most important element of punishment is missing -- certainty.  Punishment must be certain in order to deter, whereas the administration of the death penalty is so rarely applied and so unlikely to be applied to any individual that to even suggest that the death penalty is a general deterrent is a very weak claim.

Incapacitation : 

Incapacitation Incapacitation means taking away a person's freedom so that he or she cannot commit another crime.  The typical form of incapacitation is incarceration (in a jail, prison, etc.).  The ultimate form of incarceration is death.  As with retribution, this is a legitimate justification for the administration of punishment because the primary responsibility of government is to protect its citizens from harm, and one of the goals of our justice systems is to reduce criminality.  Unless you believe in reincarnation, you will agree that the death penalty achieves these objectives, but only for those few that we execute.  Like with retribution, we generally do not meet this objective simply for the fact that the death penalty is so rarely applied (less than 2% of aggravated murderers are sentenced to death and FAR LESS than 1% of all killers are sentenced to death).

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Slide 8: 

“Men are not hanged for stealing horses ,but that horses may not be stolen” GEORGE SAVILE


HANGING hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", it formerly referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain "hanging". For lack of a better term, hanging has also been used to describe a method of suicide in which a person applies a ligature to the neck and brings about unconsciousness and then death, by means of partial suspension or partial weight-bearing on the ligature. This method has been most often used in prisons or other institutions, where full suspension support is difficult to devise.

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BEHEADING Decapitation, or beheading, is the removal of a person's head from their body. Political prisoners and serious criminals often had their heads removed and placed on public display for a period of time. If the headsman's axe or sword was sharp and his aim was true, decapitation was a quick and relatively painless form of death


LETHEL INJECTION I refers to the practice of injecting a convicted criminal with a fatal dose of drugs A gurney that prisoners rest on during an execution by lethal injection.


POISON GAS It consists of a sealed chamber into which poisonous or asphyxiate gas is introduced. hydrogen cyanide carbon dioxide


ELECTRIFICATION An execution method originating in the United States in which the person being put to death is strapped to a specially built wooden chair and electrocuted through electrodes placed on the body It was first used in USA in 1924, last in 1976

Shooting (Death by firing squad) : 

Shooting (Death by firing squad) person is shot by one or more firearms. It is the most common method of execution worldwide It is used in about 70 countries with execution by firing being one particular form. In most countries, execution by a firing squad has historically been considered a more honorable death and was used primarily for military personnel though in some countries, single-executioner shooting is still in use


STONING Stoning, or lapidation, refers to a form of capital punishment whereby an organized group throws stones at the convicted individual until the person dies. Stoning has been used throughout history in a number of places, both in the form of community justice and also as a judicial form of capital punishment . The practice is referred to in Islamic shariah, as well as Christian and Jewish texts of antiquity


GUILLOTINE The guillotine was a device used for carrying out executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame from which a blade is suspended. This blade is raised with a rope and then allowed to drop, severing the victim's head from their body. The device is noted for long being the main method of execution in France and, more particularly, for its use during the French revolution, Nevertheless, the guillotine continued to be used long after the French Revolution in several countries.

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"We kill guilty people who killed innocent people to show that killing innocent people is wrong."

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Capital punishment is supposed to be for the protection of society, and for the reformation of the wrongdoer. Death penalty prevents future murders Capital punishment permanently removes the worst criminals from the society

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"We kill guilty people who killed innocent people to show that killing innocent people is wrong."

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Two wrongs do not make one right if killing is wrong, then killing by the state as a form of punishment is hypocritical The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights The convict has no chance for refinement The chance for innocent people to be killed is very high and no judiciary can ever rectify the error

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