Capital Punishment is a strange concept. It is considered the ultimate punishment by many and disapproved of by more.
I think it is the escape of the hypocritical. It’s been in the news recently how Amnesty International have protested against two inmates in America being held in solitary imprisonment for murder, yet I fail to hear any news about the violation of human rights that is capital punishment.
It has always seemed to me a strange idea. It’s very much ‘You took someone’s life, so I’m going to take yours’, an eye for an eye, which seems very medieval. Surely you are just as bad as a murderer, if you murder him. Many would disagree, say that you are making things right. But what Amnesty International have made clear is that they consider solitary confinement much worse than death, and maybe this should be kept in mind for future convictions. If someone has done something truly awful, be that murder or rape or similar, death is a quick option for punishment and I feel, inappropriate. Surely long-term imprisonment in solitary conditions would be more acceptable and less hypocritical.
The way forward? Eliminate capital punishment from America and in Britain improve the conviction rates to the standards on 50 years ago, and make sentences unnegotiable, even with the best behavior. Taking a life is one way of dealing with it, but letting them live it out in a prison cell is another.