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The Death Penalty: The Ultimate Punishment

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There are many different reasons why Capital Punishment was abolished in 1972 and even I, a firm believer in the death penalty, can see the legitimacy of some of these reasons. Yet this still does not justify letting someone who has wrongly taken the life of an innocent person. “In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable tv, family visits and endless appeals. For justice to prevail some people just need to die” (Robert Macy, 1991)

When a serious crime occurs and someone is put on trial and found guilty we should have the option as a society to execute them. Morality is a large part of Capital punishment. Along with morality is retribution. Retribution is basically what the criminal owes society. It is his or her punishment for disturbing the peacefulness of society. Retribution is not to be confused with revenge, because retribution is only used a deserved punishment and is not done out of anger. Finally, capital punishment can also be used as a deterrent against crime.

We do not want people fleeing to Canada from the US because they think they can get away with murder here. The death penalty is the ultimate punishment and we need to be able to use it on our country’s worst criminals. Capital punishment is a just punishment and should be available to our justice system because of morality, retribution and deterrence.

High profile murder cases like the Victoria Stafford Case and Luka Magnotta Body Parts Case have the power to shake up communities and even stir up trouble internationally. Many people become affected by such a case, even if just from hearing about it on television. Parents, other family members and friends are forced to hear gruesome details, stories and videos about the horror that occurred to their loved one is just unfair. These people should not have their tax dollars spent on the murderer of their loved one being allowed many privileges. All the family and friends have left of the victim is pictures and fading memories of the one they used to love, and the victim buried six feet under in a cemetery or worse their body never recovered.

Serious crimes like first-degree murder; aggravated sexual assault causing death and kidnapping resulting in death should have the choice of using the death penalty as punishment. Ending the life of someone who has wrongly taken the life of another seems just and fair. Paul Bernardo, Robert Pickton, Clifford Olson and Luka Magnotta (Note: Magnotta has not yet been found guilty and is waiting for extradition from Germany on murder charges and dismembering the body of a Chinese college student). These are some of the worst criminals in Canada’s history. These men do not deserve to live out the rest of their lives enjoying what their victims cannot.

The worst criminals deserve to leave this world in the same way their victims did. Paul Bernardo a sexual sadist and murderer, killed 3 women in the Scarborough area. Robert Pickton murdered 49 women and buried their dismembered bodies on his pig farm in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Clifford Olson sexually assaulted and murdered 11 children and youths in the BC area. No one who has violated another person in such a way that deserves to sit in our prisons taking up space and spending money.

I do not think that you can argue cruel and unusual punishment in giving someone lethal injection, when they have tortured, raped and murdered many people. Why should we show any mercy on those who have not shown any on Kristen French age 15 (murdered by Paul Bernardo), Simon Partington age 9 (murdered by Clifford Olson) and countless others. By leaving these terrible men alive in our prisons is an insult to the memory of these victims. For justice to truly be served these men need to taken by the death penalty.

Deserved punishment. That is what capital punishment is. Yes, there is the chance of error but in a justice system that relies on human testimony that is to be expected. To uphold human honour and respect, cases that are pushing for capital punishment should be held in higher standards then those arguing for life in prison without parole. With advances in forensic and DNA evidence this can be made possible. Should the chance of a wrong verdict stop us from serving justice to those who deserve it?

Not having the death penalty because the system could make a mistake is like passing a law saying riding in cars is illegal because of the chance of getting into a fatal car accident, its absurd. For a jury to make the final decision that a person is guilty and is going to be executed there should be strong evidence against that is more then just a witness. By reinstating Capital Punishment we are choosing to do what society deserves. When horrible crimes are committed they are robbing society of peace.

When a criminal takes away peace, liberty and the worldly goods of another for his or her own benefit they are doing a great injustice. Depending on the severity of the crime a just punishment is what the criminal deserves. Clearly if you rob a convenience store prosecutors are not going to try and argue the death penalty. Making the punishment fit the crime should be one of the main goals for any justice system around the world. That is why we, as a society, deserve to have the option of the death penalty.

One of the most used arguments about Capital punishment is deterrence. There are many points for both sides of the argument but I think Robert Carrington said it best in this quote taken out of his book “Neither Cruel or Unusual”

“Although some of the studies suggest that the death penalty may not function as a significantly greater deterrent than lesser penalties, there is no convincing empirical evidence supporting or refuting this view. We may nevertheless assume safely there are murders, such as those who act in passion, for whom the threat of death has little or no deterrent effect. But for many others, the death penalty undoubtedly, is a significant deterrent. There are carefully contemplated murders, such as murder for hire, where the possible penalty of death may well enter the cold calculus the precedes the decision to act.”(Carrington, 1978. P87).

What Carrington is trying to say is that Capital Punishment is an unknown deterrent. It stops murders from happening before they happen so these murders have no effect on the crime rate because they never actually happen. Of course the death penalty is not going to stop a crazed serial killer from doing what he was biologically programmed to do, kill. Nothing is going to stop someone like Clifford Olson from killing it is just his nature. What the death penalty could stop is things like honour killings like the recently publicized Shafia murder case, drive by shootings and people hiring someone to kill someone else.

In section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms it says, “Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.” When the victims of Paul Bernardo, Robert Pickton, Clifford Olson and many others were taking their last breaths I’m sure they were thinking about the cruel and unusual punishments that was going to take their life. To me there is nothing else you can argue. An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, limb for limb. Capital punishment is a just punishment and should be available to our justice system because of retribution, morality and deterrence.

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