The question of the death penalty was relevant in varying degrees throughout the whole history of world governments. However, one should not overestimate its importance in today's global environment, which is characteristic of many politicians, legislators and academics.
Aristotle once said: "Only then can we know the essence of things, when you know their origins and development." Therefore, let’s start with a historical perspective.
Historically, the death penalty is "evolved" from the ancient custom of blood feud that is existed in pre-state societies and is expressed in the formula "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." Then do not punish the offender, not revenge, not justice was considered a disgrace, a disgrace to the victim or his relatives (in case of death). With the advent of the state punitive functions are moving to a special state apparatus. Murder of a criminal (the death penalty) becomes public and takes on the status of criminal punishment, executed on behalf of the government. However, the list of crimes covered by this penalty is increasingly expanded (national, religious and other crimes).
Thus, by the end of the 18th century in France, the death penalty is prescribed in 119 cases in England, according to various estimates, from 160 to 250 in Germany - 44. However, the trend of the 19th century has resulted in the reduction of crimes punishable by death. Thus, the German Code of 1872 provided for this penalty only in two cases (attempt on the life of the emperor and premeditated murder). Swedish Code of 1864 - in 23 cases. It abolished the death penalty in the 19th century in Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and some other countries. It should be remembered, however, that there were military law, which was executed at a much greater number of crimes. Thus, it is easy to note that the death penalty has been an integral part of the development of any country. The question is whether it is necessary right now. It is impossible to give a definite answer. This is a question that we cannot say "yes" or "no" to the world. It must be considered separately for each State.
Why do you punish your children? It is not for pleasure (parents always worry when they have to resort to the "repressive" measures against their children), and not to just be parental authority - we put the child in a corner or slap him on the ass, that he forever He learned his lesson and never did so. From the point of view of criminal law, in punishment has three objectives: to restore social justice, correction of condemned and prevention of new crimes. The death penalty may have and helps to achieve two of them (especially preventive), but obviously does not rehabilitate the convict - will agree, difficult to recover from, if you are dead.
China is considered the least corrupt country in the world, as for bribery relies capital punishment. Indeed, the death penalty - a powerful deterrent to criminals: according to criminological research, this type of punishment has the highest ratio of pre-emptive - the fear of death "protects" people from unlawful acts. Moreover, there are cases where the perpetrator of the attempted murder, rescued the victim, because I knew that later he went to the electric chair. Thus, the death penalty - the most important and most effective factor in reducing crime. If people know that for a crime to be punished, why wrongful acts does not become smaller? According to police statistics, only in January 2013. In Russia, there were more than 175-year-thousand crimes, 9, 5 thousand of them - heavy. The average monthly committed 24 kidnappings, 13 bandit raids, 700 facts of intentional infliction of harm, resulting in the death of the victim - as the saying goes, the figures speak for themselves.
Historically, the death penalty has arisen from the principle of blood revenge, "An eye for an eye - a tooth for a tooth": only physically destroying the perpetrator, relatives of the victims feel revenged. Of course, still have murdered, but his family and friends - no, in their grief Eroded brain can not understand why the "Beast", torn to pieces by their son, husband or brother, will live, and even at the expense of taxpayers. At this point in Russian penitentiaries contains 1 832 prisoners to life imprisonment - many relatives of the victims would be happy to lifting the moratorium.
The shooting, hanging, stoning, injection, electric chair, decapitation, the gas chamber - here is a list of species of capital punishment practiced today. Almost every one of them, "gives" instant painless death, but what are moments of waiting "Killer Clown" John Wayne Gacy, raped and killed 33 young people (including some teenagers), terribly afraid of death, so the verdict was decided cause execution by lethal injection. However, things did not go as planned: thiopental successfully lulled Gacy, then I had to move to pancuronium, which paralyzes the lungs, and finally - potassium chloride leading to instantaneous cardiac arrest, but the drug last stood in the tube, which is why Gacy few minutes suffered from severe asphyxiation. But according to the European Convention on Human Rights, "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Gacy's case - the exception rather than the rule, and hardly any of the guards, leads a life sentence, regretted it, knowing that on the eve of a rapist and murderer dined heavily roasted shrimps, chicken, fried potatoes and strawberries, but his latest words were "kiss my ass." Almost all of the species used today of the death penalty is quite humane: for example, when shooting condemned is blindfolded, and then without warning made five shots of lightning in the heart - death occurs immediately. Everyone knows what awaits in places not so remote, for example, a pedophile - prisoners punish him for his concepts. That is why these offenders are placed in solitary confinement, where they face with their main enemy - the loneliness. In 2006, the jury returned a verdict of Zacarias Moussaoui - the terrorist, one of the participants in the events of September 11th of 2001 - six life sentences without parole, Moussaoui is now serving his sentence in a federal prison regime super maximum class Supermax. The terrorists - a tiny concrete cell with horizontal window, stone chair, a bed and a table from which it comes out five times a week for a single half-hour walk. For each step, Moussaoui monitor cameras, and from the lessons he is allowed only to read and write. (NCADP, 2015)
One of the principles of justice is to match the severity of the punishment acts. A couple of years in prison for theft? Let's say, but what is the equivalent of murder? It is unlikely that a life sentence can be considered a fair measure against killers and terrorists on the conscience of which - the hundreds of innocent victims. The answer is obvious: the death penalty - an adequate punishment for such a serious crime as the deliberate deprivation of a person's life. It is believed that a person can consciously commit the crime for which the death penalty is known, in the event that he had lost the will to live and is ready to commit suicide, but is afraid to do it himself. That is the man, as it were "looking for his death." Supporters of this version claim that euthanasia is in fact occurs in the narrow sense of the word, even in countries where it is prohibited. Opponents of capital punishment believe that if it (the death penalty) will be canceled, the number of violent crimes decreased, even though the number of potential suicides. (CNN, 2015)
Humanity as an argument in favor of the death penalty led Churchill in the 1940s. Life imprisonment, in his words, "doomed too many years of terrible hardship and suffering of the mind and soul of those who wanted to do good." In many countries, life imprisonment was introduced as the death penalty and alternative to capital punishment. The offender held in prison 10, 20 or more years at the expense of law-abiding taxpayers. The tragedy of this situation lies in the fact that among those taxpayers are always relatives or friends of the victim offender. Thus, instead of the law of retaliation, they have to pay their own money for the maintenance of their loved one killer. Proponents of this view cite the following arguments in its support: people sentenced to life imprisonment, do not take on any work and life include the expense of taxes paid by other members of society, including the relatives of the killed people criminals. In addition, no matter how small the amount, leaving his or her contents, however insignificant it may become in terms of everyone in the country, still there is a moral issue. Both opponents and supporters of the death penalty in discussing it is reasonable to consider only the person sentenced and very rarely mention the rights of victims. Supporters of the death penalty see it primarily as the fulfillment of the right to revenge. (Religious Tolerance, 1995)
Now the death penalty is seen as something exceptional and only applies wild third world countries and the United States, always have your eyes on issues that seem to other countries of the first echelon has long settled. In fact, the massive wave of failures of the use of "death penalty" occurred only in the nineties of the last century. More in 1991 from the present time on the map 180 countries abolished the death penalty only 60. At the same time, the official cancellation of the legal norm and its exit from the actual practice in most states differed greatly over time, and in fact, in most European countries no executions carried out more than a century. In some of them it was a common practice in other were adopted moratoriums on the death penalty, according to which it is not excluded from the Criminal Code and other regulatory documents should always was replaced by alternatives in the form of long-term or life imprisonment. It is interesting to note that often these steps, as it seems, is not taken under pressure from the people (it happened that the moratorium was introduced, despite the fact that the population supports saving opportunities penalty for serious crimes), and under the influence of some inner sense of legislators. The same is often forced to clothe the concept of the death penalty in vague verbal shell like "capital punishment" or "the supreme measure of social protection," as if the words "death penalty" contain something forbidden, otherworldly. For example, in the late Soviet Union it believed that the death penalty is not practiced as a standard punishment, but can only be used in exceptional cases, as a punishment for especially grave crimes against the state and, in this connection in the documents it was called "exceptional punishment" . Not too far in the history of the care and use of the death penalty only in egregious cases, and implementing it quickly and painlessly. Eliminating obviously invalid in this respect during the Terror XX and XVIII centuries, we find that even in the XVI century in England counterfeiters continue to cook in boiling water and oil, and a century earlier, and is often executed for theft, and other similar misdemeanors. Closer to our time is the practice of public executions. The last of the Implemented in Europe held in June 1939 in one of the avenues of Versailles. The postponement of the execution of public spaces in the prison in France was not a "Humanist Movement" citizens and indecent behavior of the crowd. Although the press had a hand holding up a hefty noise. (DPF, 2015)
Throughout human history, the attitude to death has changed, of course, due to the general development of civilization and law. Thus, in the ancient prison hardly practiced. The whole system of punishments was quite different: for sale into slavery, torture, corporal punishment. The death penalty could be subtly cruel ("qualified"), it is widely used and often for minor offenses, Even the principle of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" was perceived in ancient times quite different. It was first performed at a time when for a tooth could remove the entire head, and so was (albeit primitive in our view) call for moderation, perhaps even to charity. With the development of the prison, system imprisonment has become one of the main types of criminal punishment. In the XIX century, virtually the whole of Europe both opponents and supporters of the death penalty came to the unanimous conclusion that the publicity of its impact on public morals corruption that often flare atrocities happen in those places where you just made a public execution. Executions began to make within the prison fence or early in the morning in a deserted place. (LII, 2015)
In the XIX century widely enhanced desire for control and even a total ban on the death penalty in law. For example, in Colombia, the death penalty is abolished in 1863, in Venezuela - in 1864, in Romania - in 1864, and Costa Rica - in 1880, in Holland - in 1870 (Not always, however, these decisions are not subsequently canceled ). Even in England, where the harsh medieval laws lasted almost unchanged until 1830, since the end of the XVIII century the jury never evaluated stolen more than 39 shillings, as for stealing 40 shillings and more relied death penalty. The death penalty as a means of public punishment dates back to ancient times. It should be noted that in those days, method of execution depended on the social status of the offender. For example, in ancient Greece for a Singles it envisaged dropping off a cliff, poisoned or strangulation. Slaves also have violated the law, drowned and stoned. In ancient Greece, it was known and execution by crucifixion, but the most widely used she received in ancient Rome as a deadly punishment for slaves, pirates and participants riots. As a rule, crucifixion was used only in relation to people who do not have Roman citizenship, but this rule was an exception - the crucifixion punished for treason. Execution by crucifixion existed for many centuries, and was abolished only in the year 337 the first Christian emperor Constantine the Great. Especially popular in Rome, criminals enjoyed baiting wild animals, takes place in the circus. Most often they participated in the persecution of lions, but used and bears, leopards and large dogs. The law provided for this type of penalty for deserters, counterfeiters, poisoners and child abductors. As is the case with the crucifixion, baiting the predators are rarely applied to freeborn citizens, especially - to representatives of the upper strata of the population. The exception was treason, if the offender was involved in incitement to revolt or attempted murder of the emperor. In the middle Ages, the most common types of capital punishment were beheading, hanging, burning, as well as the wheel and quartering. For several centuries, the decapitation with an ax or sword was considered "noble" method of execution: it was used only in relation to the aristocracy. However, after the cold steel was supplanted by fire, "honorable" form of execution was the shooting and death by beheading sentence began and commoners. Important role in the "democratization" of this kind of death played a guillotine - a mechanism for decapitation. The most popular guillotining received in France the French Revolution, but it was used in other countries, such as Scotland and Ireland in the XVI-XVII centuries. Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Guillotin did not invent this infernal machine, he was only legalized this method of killing by offering to do the only legal instrument of the guillotine executions in France. Death by burning we associate with the Inquisition. Indeed, the persecution of heretics and witch-hunt in the public mind are inseparable from the fires of the Inquisition, the burning of heretics at the practice and in Russia. However, the Russian Old Believers are not burned at the stake, and in small wooden frames. Another way death spread, first in the Byzantine Empire, and after its fall - on the former Byzantine territories and in Russia, it was impalement. In the habit of sending their foes, as well as criminals and simply unwanted subjects at this uncomfortable place one of the Romanian rulers of the XV century, Vlad III, earned the nickname Tepes ("Impaler"). By the way, the Impaler, went down in history as Vlad Dracula is said to have liked to diversify his life and other thrills. In the middle Ages, Christianity became the state religion in almost all European countries; the execution by crucifixion is no longer used. Instead, murderers and a robber was waiting for the wheel - a criminal broke every major bone and then tied him to a big wheel and left to die. In Russia, the wheel was legally approved under Peter I. For the most serious crimes against the state people can be sentenced to be quartered, ie chopping the body into four parts and the subsequent beheading. In the UK, quartering was the final stage of a painful punishment, also includes the hanging to death and evisceration. Finally, this version of the death penalty was abolished only in 1870. In Russia, state criminals cut off limbs, and then - down. Newest quartered considered Emelyan Pugachev, who by decree of Catherine II was beheaded first, and only then quartered.
Currently, about 130 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or abandoned it in criminal practice, keeping this kind of punishment only for especially grave crimes committed in wartime. The death penalty continues to be applied in more than 60 countries. In the laws of some States retained such an ancient and cruel form of punishment as stoning. For example, in Iran executed as adulterers. Now the death penalty is used primarily in Muslim countries, traditions that, in addition to what is meant punishment for a number of offenses that are not deemed to those in any other country of the European world, more and recommend a very cruel way of its realization - from the cut-off head to being executed by stones. (Michael Reggio, 2014)
Also, the death penalty is applied in China, where it expects not only the perpetrators of serious crimes, or crimes against the state, but also drug dealers, pimps, corrupt officials, forgers, poachers and those who try to hide their income from the state, wishing to avoid paying taxes. Saved it, and in some non-Muslim countries in Africa (but most of them do not actually applied), in Bhutan, North Korea, Japan and several Latin American countries. In most of these, "exceptional form of punishment" can be used only in wartime or equivalent. The main stronghold of the death penalty, to which can reach outraged human rights activists and fighters for human rights are still the United States. The main forms of the death penalty and the execution are (usually extraordinary if the execution is not possible) hanging. In the United States in first place in frequency of application is the use of lethal injection, followed by electrocution. In some states, convicted (or representative of the court) may be selected as the method of execution in the gas chamber room. In some countries, as mentioned above, still apply stoning and beheading. (Daileda C., 2015)
There are many arguments for and against, but most of them are either just too emotional, or altogether outside the scope of permissible in polite discussion. On their background looks very reasonable and what is important, it is weighted so-called "economic argument for" according to which the price of a criminal act should be made initially unacceptable. Thus, it is the death penalty deters crime factor.
At the same time, it must be admitted that the use of the death penalty as a measure of prevention of crimes related to morality. As in the Islamic countries, or to a wide range of offenses, not only serious crimes, as in China and North Korea, does not carry the same deterrent, because there could potentially be convicted where more people than in Western countries, which means that among them more than those who by virtue of its warehouse more other risk-averse. For these people the possibility of applying the highest measure only fuels interest in unlawful, according to the state act, and in the case of Islamic punishment for adultery and sexual perversion, probably serves as an additional source of excitation. (DPC, 2013)
Decrease if the number of murders in the community, if the killers will face the death penalty? This question is hotly debated. Hundreds of books and articles written about morality, rationality and effectiveness of the death penalty, a lot of empirical research conducted in order to establish whether strongly holding back the threat of the death penalty killers.
We conducted studies of various kinds. Some of them were used in the comparison of the situations (or individual states in the US), where or not to apply the death penalty in practice. In a study of this kind, Thorstein Sellin examined levels of various murders in the United States during the 1920-1958 biennium. He compared the states characterized by its policy against the death penalty, but similar in its geographic and demographic characteristics. Sellin says that the threat of the death penalty, apparently, does not affect the level of murders committed in the state. In states where the death penalty is applied, the average does not commit fewer murders than in states where the death penalty has not been applied. Other studies of the same kind in the majority came to the same conclusion.
Comparisons of the number of killings in various countries also failed in their search when the death penalty lowers the murder rate in the country. Methodologically sophisticated studies were conducted in nine countries that used the death penalty, and eleven, were not used. After verification of the results of such items as the level of industrialization, unemployment and illiteracy, it was found that nations that murderers sentenced to death, the murder rate is the highest.
Other studies have examined the short-term effect, wondering whether the introduction of capital punishment society lead to a reduction in the number of murders at least for a short time. Apparently, this effect is temporary. So, if the media will occasionally widely publish articles about cases of violence or reports about this show, not forgetting to mention that for a crime to be punished usually, it will resemble a potential killer of capital punishment, which can be applied to them if they take away the life of another person. Perhaps because of this they will try to keep their aggressive tendencies - at least for a short time.
DPIC. (2015). History of the Death Penalty. Retrieved from: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/history-death-penalty
Death Penalty. (2015) Amnesty International. Retrieved from: https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/death-penalty/
Religious Tolerance. (1995) Capital punishment: All viewpoints on the death penalty. Retrieved from: http://www.religioustolerance.org/execute.htm
LII. (2015) Death Penalty. Retrieved from: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/death_penalty
DPF. (2015) Death Penalty Focus. Retrieved from: http://deathpenalty.org/
CNN. (2015) Death penalty: Why America needs a rethink. Retrieved from: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/17/opinions/holloway-death-penalty-future/
NCADP. (2015) About the Death Penalty. Retrieved from: http://www.ncadp.org/pages/about
Michael Reggio. (2014) History of Death Penalty. Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/execution/readings/history.html
DPC. (2013) History: Early World and American Death Penalty Laws. Retrieved from: http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org/student/c/about/history/history-1.htm
Daileda C. (2015) American execution: A brief history of the death penalty in the U.S. Retrieved from: http://mashable.com/2015/03/11/history-of-american-death-penalty/