Capital Punishment

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT



 



The Debate over the merits of capital punishment has endured for years,



and continues to be an extremely indecisive and complicated issue.



Adversaries of capital punishment point to the Marshalls and the Millgards,



while proponents point to the Dahmers and Gacys. Society must be kept safe



from the monstrous barbaric acts of these individuals and other killers, by



taking away their lives to function and perform in our society. At the same



time, we must insure that innocent people such as Marshall and Millgard are



never convicted or sentenced to death for a crime that they did not commit.



 



Many contend that the use of capital punishment as a form of



deterrence does not work, as there are no fewer murders on a per- capita



basis in countries or states that do have it, then those that do not. In



order for capital punishment to work as a deterrence, certain events must



be present in the criminal\'s mind prior to committing the offence. The



criminal must be aware that others have been punished in the past for the



offence that he or she is planning, and that what happened to another



individual who committed this offence, can also happen to me.



 



But individuals who commit any types of crime ranging from auto theft



to 1st-Degree Murder, never take into account the consequences of their



actions. Deterrence to crime, is rooted in the individuals themselves.



Every human has a personal set of conduct. How much they will and will not



tolerate. How far they will and will not go. This personal set of conduct



can be made or be broken by friends, influences, family, home, life, etc.



An individual who is never taught some sort of restraint as a child, will



probably never understand any limit as to what they can do, until they have



learned it themselves. Therefore, capital punishment will never truly work



as a deterrent, because of human nature to ignore practised advice and to



self learn.



 



There are those who claim that capital punishment is in itself a form



of vengeance on the killer. But isn\'t locking up a human being behind steel



bars for many years, vengeance itself? And is it "humane" that an



individual who took the life of another, should receive heating, clothing,



indoor plumbing, 3 meals a day, while a homeless person who has harmed no



one receives nothing? Adversaries of capital punishment claim that it is



far more humane then having the state take away the life of the individual.



 



In February 1963, Gary McCorkell, a 19 year old sex offender, was



scheduled to hang. But just days before his execution, the then Liberal



cabinet of Lester Person commuted McCorkell to life in prison.



 



Less than 20 years later, McCorkell was arrested, tried, and convicted



for the kidnapping and rape of a 10-year old Tenessee boy. He was sentanced



to 63 years in prison. Prior to leaving Canada, he was sought by Metro



Police in the attempted murder of an 11-year old boy.



 



What has been gained by this? Had McCorkell been executed in 1963, two



boys would never have had to have gone through the horror of being sexually



abused. These individuals may themselves become sex offenders, as many sex



offenders were sexually abused as children.



 



McCorkell may have been a victim of sexually assualt in the past, but



that does not justify what he did. He did not do this once, he killed two



boys, and assaulted two others, leaving one for dead. He knew exactly what



he was doing. What right does this man have to live? He has ruined the



lives of 4 children, what will he do in life that will compensate for that?



What kind of a life would the state have been taking away in this case? An



innocent life? A forgiving life? No, a life that was beyond the realm of



reform, and did not care to be.



 



We must be careful. We must be very careful to never, even when



suspicion may cause considerable doubt, send an innocent person to be



executed. It could have happened to David Millgard, it could have happened



to Donald Marshall. It probably has even occured numerous times in the



history of the earth. But with proper police investigations, and where the



evidence shows that the individual is a threat to the peace of society as



long as he or she is alive, capital punishment must be used.

Category: Law