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Capital punishment in Australia

Discuss about the Business Law for Death Penalty.

It has been seen that the death penalty has got contradictory reactions from different people residing in different parts of the world. For some, it is correct to punish a person who had committed grave offenses in a deadly manner and for some it is wrong because nothing is above human life and it should be respected and should not be ended in an arbitrary manner. Many countries in the world’s most western countries have abolished the capital punishment and in a couple of countries it is still prevailing. However, if we look at it from a broader angle it has been suggested by distinguished jurists that it is wrong to kill a person to teach him and the society not to kill anyone.

In the era of the nineteenth century in Australia when the population was in thousands and lacks the statistics says that about 80 persons were being given a death sentence in the year. The debate on capital punishment is endless. The last person who was hanged till death was Ronald Ryan and that too in the year 1967. Like other western countries, Australia has abolished capital punishment and now the severest punishment should be given life imprisonment. Due to the abolition of capital punishment, the conviction rate has raised and acquittals have come down. After all, the people deciding the fate of offenders are also human beings and they generally favor saving lives. All the discrepancies were done away with the passing of Abolition of the death penalty Act.

It has been observed that more than half of the domestic fight result into homicides. The capital punishment has been abolished because it is believed that human life should be given the utmost respect. There are a huge number of human rights available and all these are made to respect human life and to keep humans safe. If so many efforts are made to help people to live a dignified life, then capital punishment runs totally opposite to it. The step of abolition of capital punishment has led to the development of human rights. Justice Kirby quoted once that by abolition of this punishment, we have come to a path from where we can see our nation progressing[1].

The neighboring nations of Australia still support the death penalty, so there are chances that Australians can be on death sentences. Due to some reasons, there are possibilities that they may have to face a sentence of capital punishment in foreign countries.  500 while providing assistance in various criminal investigations, the response of the Australian government is very important because it somehow exposes the persons to the risk of capital punishment. 

Protection of citizens from death penalty

After asking a huge bunch of people about their views regarding death penalty, it is inferred that people have contradictory views on the basis of crime for which punishment is inflicted. Some hold sympathy for offenders and some wants, deadly punishment. One section of people is of the view that this is a retributive punishment and people deserve to die who have killed other people. Others hold the view that killing people unnaturally is wrong and arbitrary in manner. No man in the world has a right to take the life of another person and this includes jury, judges, other higher officials[2]. 

For example: Many people showed sympathy in case of the death sentence of Nguyen Tuong but 52% people was of the view that the death sentence should have been imposed on him. 

After the rise in terrorism, many people not only in Australia, but also in other parts of the world who were against the death penalty have started favoring it. This issue is debatable and one of the countries where this issue is regularly debated upon is India. The last person who was hanged till death in India was Ajmal Kasab.

But Australia is the country which holds the view that if we kill the convict then we will work as per the saying that is an eye for an eye and it will only make the whole world blind. There are many other punishments which can have deterrent effect which should be used to deal with offenders. The terrorists hold the view that hanging them till death is a way which leads them to martyrdom. If the country is against capital punishment and has abolished it by passing the Act, it doesn’t mean that the State is promoting the actions of criminals who do not hold any respect for human life, but it means that the State considers that nothing is above life of human and saving human lives is sacred.

Australia is against death penalty and it is a consistent view and it doesn’t matter which crime the criminal has committed; to which nationality or country he belongs. Australia is looking for the opportunity to lead the other nations in the abolition of capital punishment. This punishment is considered to be very cruel and it humiliates the human lives. Nobody is allowed to go against the course of nature and take actions. In a public poll conducted in 2010, 53% of the public said that our law is supreme, but the law which cannot respect the human lives cannot expect from us to do the same. Firstly, there is a need for the law to stop taking the lives of people. The crimes done by the criminals always have some intention or motive and when the crime is not intentional, it becomes a mistake which is generally not punishable. But if we see the broader picture, the judiciary itself may kill the person intentionally and committing an act of homicide[3].

Contradictory views

There should not be any place of the death penalty in the present criminal justice system. At present, over 140 countries have abolished the capital punishment and many are on the verge of abolishing it. The countries which have abolished it are helping the other countries to end it too, but some of the remaining countries are executing the death sentence of people at a disappointing alarming pace. Till now we have not found any evidence which shows that capital punishment has a deterrent effect on the criminals and other punishments do not. After the abolition of capital punishment, the homicide rate has come down by 40%. [4] 

The cases are decided by human beings because in the end, judges are human beings and humans tend to commit mistakes. Sometimes innocent people are punished to death due to unintentional mistakes committed by judges. This is an important reason behind the abolition of death sentence. In the United States of America, about 170 prisoners who were given death sentence were released out of prison because the evidence of their innocence came into light later. This happened in the year 1973[5]. Some prisoners were very close to the execution of their death, but got released due to the evidence. 

There are instances where people have been tortured to confess which is against the law and many people who were innocent were put to trials and death sentence and those trials were influenced politically. Such punishments are often given to people who are poor and powerless because the powerful people have the means to escape from such punishments. The international human rights treaties are totally against putting the people who are under 18 years to death sentence. But still there are countries which give capital punishment to child offenders[6]. The countries which gave the death sentence to child offenders in the year 1990 are China, USA, Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia.

Amnesty, Indonesia and Human Rights organization have made joint efforts to bring out what are the steps which should be taken by the Australian government to start fighting against the death penalty to create awareness among the other nations. The Australian government asked the Parliament to outline the steps which can be taken by Australia in helping the people of other nations and save them from the death sentence[7]. 

Available information provides us that China is the country where thousands of people are given the death sentence and an exact number is not available from the country keep it a secret. Every year in Asia, a number of people are sentenced to death and many are put into after being tortured or after unfair trials influenced by political aspects.

No place in criminal justice

In the year 2016, Nauru replaced the death sentence with the punishment of life imprisonment. It is another effort towards abolition of death sentence. This has made the country falls on the rank of 103 to abolish the capital punishment. Once a death penalty is served, it is impossible to revert it back. There are always chances that the evidence is found later and then it is impossible to undo the mistake. This happened with a Texas individual named Cameron who was executed in 2004 for death sentence for setting fire to the house and killing his three daughters and later it came into light that he did not set fire to the house. Killing will always remain inhumane if it is done by the criminals or by innocent judiciary. The act of killing cannot be justified. 

Conclusion

Giving death sentence to humans is inhumane and many countries do it publicly adding more to the cruel and inhuman aspect. The death penalties increased in the year 2015 but then the balance was maintained because in 2016, abolition of the death penalty was done by many countries. The 2020 Amnesty International Australia is sworn to do a few acts which are protection of people from death sentence and inspire the remaining countries who haven’t abolished the death penalty yet. The death sentence has never been beneficial for anyone. Taking lives of people has never benefitted anyone. It is important for the law of the country to teach people the value of life and not killing of people. Sanctity of life is important to be understood. 

The countries like India, Pakistan, Iran is still debating on this issue to reach a conclusion but failed to do so. India gave the death sentence to 4 people in last twenty years, which is a big reason to worry. There are countries who are giving thought to reinstate the capital punishment because they want to punish the offenders belonging to other countries who are imprisoned in their countries. This is a way of handling grudges by various countries which is totally arbitrary and unreasonable. The punishments should be given on the basis of evidence and not on other issues. This is not acceptable in today's era. Australia is against the death penalty and it is a consistent view and it doesn’t matter which crime the criminal has committed, to which nationality or country he belongs. Australia is looking for the opportunity to lead the other nations in the abolition of capital punishment.

The arbitrary manner of punishment and even if it is capital punishment is against the justice and can have a bad impact on the individuals and society as a whole. People will start losing faith in the criminal justice if such practices will be continued by the countries. This punishment is considered to be very cruel and it humiliates the human lives. Nobody is allowed to go against the course of nature and take actions. It is important to note that law is made in favor of humans and for the protection of their lives and hence, any law which takes lives of human beings is wrong and invalid and should be abolished. People hold this view is taking human lives is in itself inhumane. Australia is one of those countries which abolished capital punishment long time ago. With the ever growing population, it has been witnessed that people are coming with different views, but the majority of people are against death sentence and also the government and judiciary of the country is also against this cruel punishment. The human beings should know the value of life. The criminals should be changed in ways so that they can contribute to the society and they should not be killed by high authorities because this will only promote killing.

References

Death Penalty Information Center, (2016). Public Opinion About the Death Penalty. Retrieved from https://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/public-opinion-about-death-penalty

Doussa, H. (2006). The Death Penalty - a matter of principle. United Nations Association Of Australia. Retrieved from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/death-penalty-matter-principle

Feser, E. (2016). Top 10 Pros and Cons: Should the death penalty be allowed? Retrieved from https://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002000

Langley, S. (2017). End the death penalty. Retrieved 24 January 2017, from https://www.amnesty.org.au/campaigns/end-the-death-penalty/

Osborne, S. (2016). Philippines signals it wants to bring back death penalty just so it can execute Australian alleged paedophile. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/peter-scully-philippines-bring-back-death-penalty-australia-paedophile-child-rape-a7324606.html

Potas, I. & Walker, J. (1987). Capital punishment (pp. 1-6). Retrieved from https://aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/tandi_pdf/tandi003.pdf

Republican Views, (2014). Republican Views on the Death Penalty. Retrieved from https://www.republicanviews.org/republican-views-on-the-death-penalty/

Robertson, J. (2016). Seventeen Australians on or facing death row a year after Bali Nine deaths. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/28/andrew-chan-and-myuran-sukumaran-seventeen-australians-on-or-facing-death-row-a-year-after-bali-nine-deaths

Robinson, B. (2016). Capital punishment: All viewpoints on the death penalty. Retrieved from https://www.religioustolerance.org/execute.htm

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