The Death Penalty

by andrewmarcotte on February 16, 2014 - 11:30am

Should we have the death penalty in Canada?

The article that I chose was on the topic of capital punishment (death penalty) in short what this article talks about is the removal of the death penalty in Canada.  They talk about the leaders that were in place and what they did to remove the death penalty. They also talk about how in fact we did use the death penalty and what we did to the person that was getting executed.

The main question we ask yourself is, is it right to execute someone even though what they did was wrong. Well everyone looks at it differently because we all have a different point of view. Some people may view this as morally wrong because even though he did in fact kill a person he does not deserve to die. These people would much rather have him sit in jail and rot there. The other people feel that his death is justifiable and is morally right because how they see it, is like the ancient civilisations “an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth as the saying goes” Hammurabi’s code. No one can say which one is right and wrong. But the government decided that it was in fact wrong to they got rid of the right to execute people.

The government as stated in the article “Death Penalty in Canada” they stated that since “1867, all civilian executions in Canada were conducted by hanging (military executions were traditionally by shooting)” (Amnesty international, 2013) they got rid of this because we are past what many people would call the stone ages.

In today’s society people don’t agree on many things such as the death penalty. Here is my view on the death penalty and I will give you both sides to my opinion. First let’s start on why the death penalty is morally wrong. Firstly even though he may have killed someone the act of killing another human being is not right in any way. Also for us to use the death penalty costs a lot of money because of all the trials and as well as the fact that if that person is later proven innocent then we can no longer bring the person back so mistakes can and have been made. 

The opinion that I feel the strongest about is that we should actually kill the person because that way they can reflect on what they did as they walk to their deaths. Because what they did is wrong and they should not be allowed to live that way the family will still be at a loss but at least they can sleep at night knowing that this person will never be able to do this crime ever again. I feel that if the family can rest at night knowing this that the death penalty is worth it because that person ruined there life’s so why shouldn’t his be ended?

Do you think we should bring back the death penalty? If so why?




"Amnesty International Canada." Death Penalty in Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.


I chose to comment on this article because I think this debate has robust arguments on both side. In my opinion, I definitely disagree on bringing back the death penalty. First, if we take a look at our neighbour, the United States, which allowed the capital punishment, they still make mistakes about the accused person. Some innocents have been life sentenced to death. This upsets me because it cannot be rectified. Second, let’s think about the family members and friends of the prisoner. They are, also, affected by the capital punishment. They did not do anything to deserve to pass through the death of this person. Thirdly, death penalty cost a lot of money to the country. It costs far more to execute a person than to keep him/her in prison for life. Our economy does need these expenses for reason that I think that is morally wrong. Everybody should have the right to live whether he/she commits a crime or not. It could also be ironic to execute someone who murders a person. I do not understand the point of removing the right to live to a human being because she/he did the same. As it is mentioned in the post, the capital punishment is “an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth as the saying goes” like in the ancient civilization. Did we move on since that time? I think we did. There are so many other alternative to death penalties that we can figure out as a modern society.

I agree with Claudia, I disagree on bringing back the death penalty. In the past, too much people abuse the use of death penalty and kill innocent people without any proof. Plus, mistake could be make and the wrong people could be killed. also, I find that prison for life is a bigger sentence than death penalty because the prisoners have more time to think about what they do. I found that giving them the death is like facilitation their life because they do not have to assume or thinks about the consequence of their acts. Sentence for life is big because they cannot go out sooner and they have to past there entire life in prison thinking about what they have done. plus the condition in prison are bad , so it is more hard they just being killed. I do not think that death is a solution because it makes us not better than the accused who committed a crime. What do you think?

Even if it wasn't used in decades now, death penalty is still really alive in our laws. The only case in which it could be brought up (but i doubt it will because of public opinion) is for high treason.

I am for the restauration of the capital punishment in a broader sense. Of course justice made many mistakes about it in the past, but I think that since then science have made some serious advancement notably on DNA evidence which would greatly reduce or even almost eliminate the risks of errors.

Plus I wouldn't restore it for all murderers, only those showing proudness of their act like Anders Breivik for example.

I would also extend it to some rapists. Remember rape was the only absolute no we came on agreement with. I think sometimes some people disqualify themselves has being human by doing too much inhuman things.

Capital punishment is not about "an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth" or revenge. It's about how we has a society we value freedom and life itself, how do we handle "people" who have proven being monster? Is life sentence really a punishment for them or a benediction and a privilege? But most important of all, I think we should never close this debate whatever the side the population stand for.

I personally do not believe that the death penalty will have much of an impact on reducing crime. As a Canadian society, we have been allowed to prosper under the knowledge that there are no executions. And who exactly are we to judge whether an individual has the right to live or not when looking at this subject through a religious standpoint. Some people may argue with the fact that humans do not have the power to make decisions such as these. It would arguably be better to isolate criminals in prisons in order to reflect on the damage they have caused their victim, the victim's family, and the friends. And doing so would give the opportunity for the criminal in question to repent his sins and find peace with his God. If not looking it through a religious standpoint, I can argue that making the criminal suffer behind bars for a substantial duration of his life would be more of a punishment instead of helping him escape through death.

This topic is very relevant in the sick and twisted society that we have.
An argument that was brought up against the death penalty was that it was not cost efficient. I do not believe that keeping someone in prison for life is much more economic? If not, these flaws of the law should be corrected in order for it to be cost worthy.

As of the ethical point of view, I do believe that the capital punishment is still relevant nowadays. I'm not sure about the persuasive argument; but I believe there are absolute wrongs that must be severely punish. Serial rapists and killers; which will never be admissible in the society, are just consuming our hard earned tax for three meals a day and a bed at night. Justice and equity should serve them. It should be applied only to the worst criminals with sufficient evidences, with our justice and law system. Although it has its flaws, we cannot generalize on exceptions of bad judgement in order to save people that do not deserve to live.
From another point of view; if my family was to be concerned with a rape or murder, I might prefer that the person guilty ends up in prison. I could pay my hard earned money for someone to rape that person, repeatedly, on a daily basis for the rest of his miserable life.
From this perspective, do you believe that death penalty really is the absolute punishment or a life sentence is worst?

Hi andrewmarcotte. I like the way you structured your post; the two points of view were clearly explained. My answer to the question is no, I do not think we should bring back the death penalty to Canada. I disagree with you on this because I do not think executing the defendant is necessary to maintain order in a society. According to your beliefs, if a person murders another person, they deserve to have their life taken away because they took someone else’s. This, however, is not why capital punishment exists. It is not a vengeful sentence that is meant to ease the hard feelings of the victim’s loved ones, although many people see it that way. It is merely a precautionary act to ensure the safety of the society. The fact that it is called capital “punishment” suggests that in may indeed be used as punishment, but this does not change the fact that it not meant to be vengeful. You also mentioned that families of the victims will sleep better at night knowing that the defendant will never commit a murder again, but could this not be achieved with a life sentence in jail? Must a person really have to die for there to be justice? And in that case, when is execution justifiable, and why are all murderers not executed? The article provided explains why some inmates actually prefer execution to a lifetime in jail.

Your point was well defined, and I agree with a lot of what you mentioned. I agree that the death penalty should be abolished as well. Deontology is the ethical position based on a set of rules, and when one acts upon duty. Deontologists may believe as a “rule” no matter what, we shall not kill. Abolishing the death penalty would be following this deontological perspective. As a society we know it is not right to kill, having a death penalty we are going against that idea. In my opinion, death should not be a penalty. As you mentioned, by having this death penalty you could be killing the innocent, which I believe is not right. Although the article you read does mention that there must be full proof before the criminal is killed, I still do not believe it makes it okay. You also brought up a very good point; being in jail is not a luxury. Death may even be better than living a lifetime in jail. Just because there is no death penalty this doesn’t mean the criminal is not being punished for their actions by being jail. Furthermore, I think that it should not be anybodies decision to decide if someone should be killed for his or her actions.

I like how you engaged in both sides of the argument and finished your opinion piece with a question. Morally speaking, I'm against death penalty because you simply do not punish someone by taking his/her life for committing crimes. To me, the death penalty should have no place not only in Canada, but in all democratic societies. My major concern with death penalty raise from the imperfection of our criminal justice system, which has the capacity to yield wrongful convictions. What that means is that there are number of people who are currently locked up in prison did not commit crime but were wrongfully convicted by courts either due to lack of forensic evidence ( eg. DNA) or false/misleading expert testimonies ( eg. Charles Smith). In fact, number of people who were wrongfully convicted in Canada spent years in jail and were exonerated years later ( eg. Donald Marshall Jr, William Mullins-Johnson,David Milgaard). Imagine if Canada did not abolish the death penalty, most of people who were wrongfully convicted and later exonerated would have been executed by now. Also, having death penalty does not necessarily deter criminals from committing crimes because factors such as intersectionality and social-economical background of the individual also play a role in the analysis of why people commit crime.