The Abolition of Capital Punishment in Canada

They believe in the notion that capital punishment is a cruel act and it does not allow the rule of law to implement execution, which is what most Europeans perceive. Often people put the onus on the shoulders of ‘Capital punishment’ to execute innocent individuals. However, what they don’t realize is the fact that banning execution is one thing and executing innocent individuals is another. Capital punishment is the death sentence of ‘hanging’ or ‘executing’ the culprit, not the innocent. If for some reason, the culprit has been set on the loose and the innocent is sentenced, this is the injustice done on behalf of the court or judge. In such a situation where an innocent is wrongfully proved to be a criminal, then this situation represents the feeble implementation of law and order in the country. It has nothing to do with the law of capital punishment, which has been in a continuous process of ‘reintroduction’ and ‘abolishment.’ This clearly presents that rule of law acts as a ‘toy’ in the hands of that nation.

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Being a defender of capital punishment, I would categorize myself as a ‘retributivist.1’ because in order to build up a disciplined society, death punishments are justified. (Sunstein & Vermeule, 2005) Unlike ‘consequentialists’ who believe the death penalty is an unobligatory concern, there is a concern for defenders and offenders of capital punishments, and the concern simply requires the defender to put themselves in the shoe of the victim’s close ones.

Ban the death penalty on the basis of fears of wrongful convictions or on the issue of ‘human rights’ have failed to decrease the homicidal crime rate in European nations, particularly in Canada. According to the facts, the overall homicide rate in Canada increased by 12% in 2004 (The Daily, 2004), while in 2005, the homicide rate went up to 20%. Though the homicidal statistics show a 10% decrease in 2006 and 2007, one cannot ignore the fact that up till now, in Canada alone, Capital punishment has been reintroduced and abolished several times.

All the above statistics clearly elucidates the failure of the death penalty elimination in 1976, which was completely implemented in 1998. Since then, the traditional method of capital punishment, i.e., ‘hanging’ is not followed at all. However, from 1998 to 2007, the Canadians have been voted many times in favor of and against execution.

Soon after the increasing crime rate in Canada due to the failure of reintroducing capital punishment in 1987, the public realized the need of reintroducing capital punishment. So, when in June 1995, a national poll was conducted, 69% of Canadians favored the reintroduction of the death penalty (Warren Mark, 2005). This proved that violent crime could not be controlled by abolishing capital punishment introduced by letting loose the culprits. After all, it is the innocent victim who suffers and the culprit who conducts the crime. Since then, Capital punishment has been abolished several times, but every time the dramatic increase in crime rates reintroduces the punishment.

The religious aspect of capital punishment does not allow a state or a nation to abolish the death penalty, as it is the only means of maintaining peace, law, and order in the country. The bible and the Ten Commandments strictly define the death penalty as a model of self-defense and protection of the weak, according to which all are treated by fair means. All the religions of the world have prescribed execution or suggested the death penalty as a fair means to acquire justice for the murder.

Punishment serves as a dual purpose of enabling peace and harmony in a society. Firstly, the death of the culprit provides justice to the victim or, in case the victim is murdered, the victim’s family. Secondly, the ‘death penalty is the lesson for the rest of the criminals who are set free in society. At least the rest of the criminals would think twice before committing an offense. This would not only protect those citizens of the society who are seeking security and protection of their life and property but would also set a lesson for other homicidal planners. Death of the culprit is the best means of discouraging criminal’s aims and objectives.

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Saudi Arabia and the Middle East is the best example of implementing capital or corporal punishment where per capita homicide rates are the lowest, i.e., 0.00397456 per 1,000 people. (Nation Master, Saudi Arabia) This clearly depicts the situation in which capital punishment is allowed.

Instead of keeping the criminals and homicidal in jails for decades, it is better to set a strict and ‘cruel’ rule of law so as to build a better nation free from criminal activities and homicides. For all those who favor ‘abolition’ of capital punishment, I pose one question. Consider yourself as a close relative of the victim, say, brother, father, or son. How would you seek justice? Would you like to see the homicidal let loose by the police, law, and society? Or would you prefer to choose ‘death’ for him the same way in which he murdered your loved one? Just think, and you would get the answer!


“A very Cardinal Dulles and His Critics: An Exchange on Capital Punishment” In: Magazine Title: First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life: (2001) p: 7.

Sunstein R. Cass & Vermeule Adrian, (2005) “Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? Acts, Omissions and Life-Life Tradeoffs” In: Stanford Law Review. Volume: 58. Issue: 3 p: 703+. Stanford Law School;

Nation Master, Saudi Arabia. Web.

The Daily, “Crime Statistics” (2004). Web.

Warren Mark, 2005. Web.

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1 Those who follow Immanuel Kant and believe that morality of death for a homicidal is required, rather necessary.

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