Is there a place for the death penalty in our society?

With all the senseless murders on our TV screens, debate has turned to the death penalty and whether it is still a fair punishment. Yesterday we spoke about murder in our country and it had a huge reaction – everyone is up in arms about these horrific crimes and want to government to help out. But should it be with capital punishment?

Over in the US yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave her thoughts on the death penalty and while she disagrees with it, she fell short of saying it should be abolished altogether.

At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Ms Clinton said, “I do not favor abolishing however, because I think there are certain egregious [cases] that still deserve the consideration of the death penalty”, reports the Guardian.

“We have a lot of evidence now that the death penalty has been too frequently applied and very, unfortunately, often times in a discriminatory way,” Clinton said.

She also noted that several states are “beginning to pull back from either applying the death penalty or narrowing the scope of the cases where it can be applied”.

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“I think we have to be smarter and more careful about how we do it,” Clinton said.

Australians have heavily debated the death penalty earlier this year when two of our men were killed by firing squad in Indonesia, causing a huge uproar. Thousands gathered around Australia to share their views on the issue and the way it is used so ruthlessly, particularly as punishment for non-violent crimes.

 

Perhaps one of the most passionate crusaders for abolishing the death penalty is lawyer Julian McMahon, who represented both Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan in the lead up to their deaths. Now, the barrister has been named as Victorian Australian of the Year for his tireless work, reports the Herald Sun.

Going back to the murder cases that have been circulating in the media, it begs the question: is the death penalty ever acceptable? Is it an eye for an eye? Or should people who murder or rape be locked up in prison for the rest of their days?

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