As a part of my English units that need to be satisfied, it is required that I create and present a persuasive speech about a topic that has been in the media over the past couple of months. For my speech, I chose a topic that interested me on a large scale as well as one that causes great controversy. I chose to argue 'Capital Punishment should be abolished internationally'. As I live in Australia, a country that does not have the death penalty, it was important for me to focus on other countries, therefore I decided that as Capital Punishment is a medieval act in nature to focus on the whole world. Below is my final speech's script, hopefully it will persuade you, wherever you are in the world to gain a new perspective on the death penalty and why it is critical for it to be abolished internationally.
If I were to tell you, to kill a person whom you’ve never met before, would you do it? What if I told you that this person had a family, perhaps with two children, and a loving husband, mother and father, would you do it? Now, what would you say if I told you that this person had murdered someone else? What if it was because they were caught trafficking drugs? Would you kill them?
Capital punishment is a barbaric, vicious act that should not be a part of our ‘modern’ world. Our society should be above such barbaric actions. The lawful infliction of death as a punishment should certainly be abolished worldwide to create international consistency. By abolishing the Death Penalty across the world many innocent lives would be saved. It would create a global uniformity and save large amounts of money that is being wasted on killing criminals that do not need to be killed. Capital Punishment is an act that be carried out in many means, such as
- Hanged by rope
- The electric chair
- Lethal Injection
- Firing Squad
- And in some countries, being stoned.
Across the world, each country has a leader or government who defines what punishments fit illegal crimes. Capital punishment is a sentence that fails to have global uniformity. Countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom have officially abolished the act all together; whereas countries such as America, Indonesia, Japan, China, and South Korea still deem Capital Punishment as a lawful sanction for criminals. In Victoria, where the death penalty does not apply, you would receive a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the drug trafficking of a large amount of heroin; this therefore leaves a person to be rehabilitated and thus, find redemption. However, if you were caught in Indonesia for the same crime, you would receive the death penalty. Currently in Indonesia, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two Australian’s are facing death by firing squad for attempting to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin out of Indonesia. How is it fair that across two different nations large inconsistencies occur between sanctions for the same crime?
The United States claims to be a liberal democratic leader of a free world. However, by the US still having the death penalty in a number of states it demonstrates how a free country should not still have the Death Penalty. In Texas, Capital punishment is legal however, in an adjacent state, New Mexico, the Death Penalty is illegal. Why is it that two states that are separated by an imaginary line in the land are able to have an inconsistency of either legally killing a person for their wrongs or not?
The Death Penalty is always said to be a less costly sanction of sentencing a person. However, this is not true. Capital punishment inflicts extreme costs on taxpayers, which outweighs the cost of other sanctions such as life in prison. By sentencing a person to death for the crime they have been found guilty of, it can cost taxpayers over 1 Million dollars. This money goes towards;
- Jury selections.
- Long appeal processes.
- The cost of a person being on death row for a number of years while awaiting their ultimate punishment.
- If killed by lethal injection, the cost of the drug used or the tools used for the murder.
Kansas, a state located in the United States, abolished the death penalty, and now it is estimated that for every case in which the death penalty is not given they save about $500,000. The extra money that is going to the death penalty is practically being thrown away. How would you like it if your taxes, your money that could be put towards better things such as a better health system, better education, and better infrastructures were just being thrown away. By killing a person, we are giving them a way out. We are giving them an escape from their guilt through putting an end to their lives instead of letting them think constantly about what they’ve done. Through this easy way out, the government is pending more of our taxes on unnecessary killings.
For a moment I’d like you to imagine this; you’re in prison, serving a 12-year sentence for bank robbery and you get a letter saying that your wife is filing for a divorce. This one letter motivates you to escape from the grim prison with your friend. Then at 2:07pm on Sunday 19th December 1965 you put into action your plan of escape. However, you never planned for anyone to be killed. But during the struggle you raise your rifle that you stole from another guard and point it towards the guard who is chasing you. A bullet goes straight through the guard’s head, front to back.
You are Ronald Ryan, the last person hanged in Australia and the guard that was killed was George Hodson. Ronald Ryan received a state sanctioned murder for this killing, death by hanging. However, in 2007 Peter John Walker broke his silence claiming, “I know the gun had jammed because I bloody well jammed it” along with other letters that were written by Ronald Ryan himself, suspicion circulated that perhaps Ronald Ryan should never have been hanged as he was wrongly accused.
There have been 329 people who, post-conviction have been found to be free of guilt due to DNA in the United States alone. Regularly, countries around the world that do have Capital Punishment, kill innocent people who have been accused of crimes they did not commit. Once a person has been hanged, or has been shot multiple times, there is no ability to apologise and let them free if they were wrongfully convicted. It’s not like we can dig them out of their graves and give them a second chance at life. However, for those who have being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to jail, there are chances for them to be released, cleared of any changes, back into the world and gain compensation if proven innocent.
By endorsing the Death Penalty we are losing valuable money and lives of those who have been wrongfully convicted. The Death Penalty is creating an international inconsistency that is unjust. By having the act of Capital Punishment it is as if we are all playing a game of monopoly, but instead of on board, in real life and instead of with properties, with people’s lives.