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Should Capital Punishment Be Abolished?

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Pathos Essay – The Abolishment of Capital Punishment
Desmond Tutu, a South African activist, once famously said, "To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice." I cannot emphasize enough how much I concur with his statement, and how much I feel against the death sentence. After all, it clearly sends out the wrong message: Why kill people who kill people to show that killing is wrong1? The use of capital punishment, frequently known as the death penalty, has extended to the beginning of recorded history. Used by nearly all societies, it has served as a punishment for the most heinous of crimes; ranging from murder to rape, from treason to espionage and even corruption2(Yes, in China!). Through the years, capital punishment has evolved and there were extensive movements towards a less painful and more humane execution. However, can the use of capital punishment ever be justified? There is no doubt it has served its duty of crime deterrence(partly), but I deeply believe that it is time we walk out of the dark history of mankind and into civilisation. As a Singaporean, I am ashamed to say that capital punishment is still legal in my country. Just last year, four people were sentenced to the gallows; two for murder and the other two for drugtrafficking. Despite pressing calls from the public to abolish the death penalty, the government has repeatedly reiterated its position, saying that ‘it is only reserved for very serious crimes3.’ Until the time when capital punishment is abolished, we can hardly even call ourselves a first world country. I understand the argument that the death penalty provides closure to the victim’s families who have suffered and grieved tremendously. But sometimes, I feel that as a society, we have to move away from the “eye for an eye” revenge mentality if civilisation were to advance4. Dishing out the death penalty to the…...

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