Capital Punishment is wrong Full Stop

I decided to be a little controversial as you can tell (like all my other opinion pieces aren't, he he!) and thought I'd get you all ready to shout at me or cheer me on right from the word go; hence the title. I'm writing this because last week I was in an argument at work about this very subject and I need to get all my ideas down on paper so I can sort them out in my head. So.here goes, don't get mad before you've finished reading it.

I am getting a little sick of arguments people spout out in favour of capital punishment; it seems that Britain is forgetting why we got rid of it in the first place. It's barbaric and cruel and damages society and individuals the world over. People are very welcome to disagree with me on all those points but please don't sit on the fence and say 'well, for some people.you know, that deserve it' with that pathetic little smile. Please don't say 'Well repeat offenders that have killed more than once.they deserve it' or even 'rapists and child-molesters' because then I will say to you: 'Where will you draw the line!' It's all very well saying that but every case is individual, every offender is a person and all of them have questions that need to be asked like 'How did this happen?' 'Why are they like the way they are?' 'How can we stop this happening again?'

I'm going to give you the usual arguments against capital punishment like. . The justice system makes too many mistakes and even forensic evidence is
never perfect and could have been tampered with. . Justice should not be the same as revenge. . If we kill them then we are as bad as they are.

However, I'm going to add a few more that are to do with my personal beliefs.

Firstly, I do not believe that anybody is born evil. No baby ever intends to hurt anyone, no child wants to grow up to be a killer - anyone who kills or rapes for pleasure is sick. I mean really sick and they need help because this is a disease and we must change society to vaccinate against it and cure, not punish, those already in its grasp.

Secondly, it doesn't just harm the individual who dies. It also harms the victim and society in general. Any victim of such a traumatic and harmful experience is going to have deep mental anguish which they need to work through - not understanding why it happened, blaming themselves, thinking they triggered the attack believing that they could have prevented it, being ashamed (particularly in rape victims). If we kill the person responsible then we are saying that their crime had reason and sanity behind it. Only by understanding the motives or illness of the aggressor can we progress and help the victim understand that it was not their fault; it was just unfortunate that they were there. Far easier to believe the man or woman who hurt you was sick, deranged, ill than to believe that they were logically picking on you because of some fault, weakness or feature that you possess.

Thirdly, it's too easy. If we discover the day after the execution that the person was innocent, who takes the blame? The man who pulled the switch can say 'But I was just following orders' (The same excuse many Nazis used when called to justice). The Judge can say 'I was following the letter of the law'. The Jury can say 'we judged on the evidence before us and we didn't decide the punishment'. There is no one to take responsibility for the loss of a person's life. No one to stand up and say 'we were wrong' so no one will pause to ask the vital questions that need to be asked. Again it comes back to 'How did this happen?'

We need to find out why, in a 'civilised' society these things could happen. What traps a person so badly that they have to take it out on the world and on people they never knew? Capital punishment doesn't answer these questions; in fact it gets in the way and stops us pausing to think. Capital punishment isn't a deterrent because it hasn't stopped crimes like this happening.

Yes make life mean life. Yes catch these people and keep them from being a danger to others and themselves But don't do anything for revenge's sake.

'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind'

Mahatma Ghandi