Reporter: Bradley Hoath
Death, it’s the end of everything, but it doesn’t always come naturally.
There are several ways to die, whether it is murder, accidental death, natural causes, or government issued.
In Canada we punish severe crimes such as rape and murder with imprisonment for up to 25 years without parole. I think that the punishment is not severe enough compared to the crime.
The high cost of containing criminals is devastating to Canada’s economy. Invoking the death penalty would lower these costs, with a shorter death row term of five years in order to allow time to over-turn wrongful convictions as well as cut costs for the country.
However, in order to convict someone to death we must be certain beyond a doubt that the accused is indeed guilty. Credible eyewitnesses would be required in order to ensure no wrongful deaths occur.
To date 25 people have been wrongfully convicted of murder, according to the University of British Columbia’s Law Innocence Project, including such high profile cases as Guy Paul Morin, James Driskell, and David Milgaard. These cases resulted in wrongful conviction due to abuse of police authority, lack of evidence and misleading of juries.
Guy Paul Morin was convicted of the murder of Christine Jessop, a nine-year-old girl, in 1984. In 1995 he appealed the case and was exonerated by new DNA evidence. Morin was convicted due to mistakes by the police, prosecutors and forensic scientists, according to CBC news.
James Driskell was convicted of the murder of Perry Harder in 1991, a year after the murder. The RCMP matched hair samples in Driskell’s van to Harder, this evidence alone was enough to convict of murder.
Driskell was released in 2003 due to new testing that proved the hair was not a match. He was wrongfully convicted due to the unreliability of a key Crown witness, according to CBC news.
Perhaps the most famous wrongful conviction case is that of David Milgaard, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1970 for the murder of Gail Miller. Milgaard sat in prison until 1997, when DNA evidence proved his innocence. Milgaard served 27 years in prison due to lack of DNA evidence.
These are all examples of why it must be proven beyond a doubt that the accused committed the crime before receiving the death penalty. By looking at our country’s past mistakes it proves that it is essential to prove without a doubt the guilt of the accused.
In 2010 there were 523 reported murders in Canada, according to NationMaster.com. For every murder victim, there is at least one murderer. These animalistic creatures need to be caught and punished.
I feel that in Canada we should punish repeat offenders, child molesters, and any serious offender who uses excessive force and or death threats to commit their crime.
Being raped can cause serious mental conditions, including eating disorders, self harm, panic attacks and other issues, according to the Rape Crisis Online Encyclopedia.
In Canada there were 24, 350 reported rapes in 2010, which in turn is one out of every 1, 300 people.
However, an estimated 59 to 73 per cent of rapes are not reported. This means that approximately between 36, 000 to 45, 000 people were raped in Canada last year.
People who commit such acts should not be given the luxury of a rent-free living space with three square meals a day. At the taxpayers expense.
In 2005 the annual cost of incarcerating a federal male prisoner was $87, 665, according to prisonjustice.ca.
Over a 25-year sentence taxpayers will pay almost $2.2 million to keep a male federal prisoner incarcerated. A similar cost is incurred to keep a prisoner on death row in the U.S. for 25 years, according to the Death Penalty Information Centre.
It is ridiculous that taxpayers have to pay out of pocket to house and feed murderous lunatics.
By cutting the waiting time on death row to five years it would save the U.S. over $1.5 million per prisoner.
Severe crimes deserve severe punishment, punishment that does not cripple a country’s economy. The death penalty, with a shorter death row waiting period, would be beneficial for Canadians as a whole.