Your View: The Death Penalty This report is about people’s views and opinions on the death penalty, something we’ve been learning about in History recently. By Jessica, Maisie and Conor (Year 8) We interviewed a local policeman about his views What do you know about the death penalty? “I know that it was abolished many many years ago. It’s certainly never been around while I have been alive. Not a great deal to be honest, other than I know what it means.” What arguments are there, for and against the death penalty? “I guess you could speak to about 10 different people who would have 10 different opinions, as to whether it was a good or bad thing, I don’t think I actually have an opinion, but I guess it is the ultimate penalty. If you were to bring it back that is it, if we get it wrong, you know if we make the wrong decision, you know we can’t get their life back.” Do you think it should be brought back in this country and why? “No I don’t think so; there is always that risk that we could get it wrong and doing the job that I do you know we get it wrong occasionally and if the criminal justice system gets it wrong in that situation and someone has paid the ultimate sacrifice and that in my mind is not fair. I think that the criminal justice system needs to be revised; there needs to be harsher penalties and those sorts of things, and I think that there are ways perhaps to improve sentencing and punishments without being public death penalty Do you think it was beneficial in the first place? “Times have changed, perhaps all those years ago when the death penalty was around it may have seemed appropriate; that was long before we had the European convention of human rights which is kind of what stopped a lot of it; there was probably nothing wrong with it to some people at the time but arguably some people must of thought there was something wrong cause otherwise they wouldn’t change it.” Useful facts When did the death penalty start? – 1608 When did the death penalty finish, or is it still being used? – The death penalty has not been completely abolished; 28 out of the 50 states in America still have the death penalty. Eighteenth century B.C society first established death penalty laws. Eleventh century A.D – William the Conqueror will not allow people to be hung except in case of murder. Who was the first convicted? 1608- Captain George Kendall became the first recorded execution in the new colonies. He got executed because of mutiny – an open rebellion against the proper authorities, especially by soldiers or sailors against their officers. Who was the last convicted? – The last person in North Carolina was Samuel Flippen, put to death in August 18th 2006, for the murder of his 2-year old step-daughter We interviewed students in Year 11 about their views Maddie “I don’t think it should be brought back because two wrongs don’t make a right in my eyes but I can see that it may help stop big crimes.” Jack “I think it is a terrible punishment and there is no point in having it – you really do need to make sure you have proof. I don’t think it should exist though.” Isabell “I think it is brutal and against humanity. If there has been a mistake and they killed the wrong person then they can’t bring their life back” In conclusion everyone we spoke to tends to disagree with the death penalty and have a strong opinion on this topic.