We can all agree on one thing, crime is bad, and minimising it benefits society in all manners of life. This makes the upmost of sense and is logical in every way. So, it begs the question, does the death penalty need to be placed in modern day Australia? Globally human rights organizations campaigned to put an end to executions as a form of punishment in 1972, whilst some countries maintain the death penalty as a valid means of criminal justice. Australia abolished the death penalty in 1973 with the last person ever executed in 1967. There are a number of arguments that favor the death penalty, such as the belief that the only fair way to punish someone for taking another person’s life is to lose theirs. It can also be determined that by doing this it will, in turn, deter criminals from committing serious crimes like murder, thus making Australia a safer environment. As well as this, it also prevents criminals from reoffending out of fear. We need to be ‘tough on crime’ and if that means reinstating capital punishments to make day to day life safer, then it is a no brainer.
First and foremost, recent statistics have shown that over a quarter of Australians favor capital punishment as a means of criminal justice (aph.gov.au). The people studied in this poll that favored capital punishment believed that for someone to take an innocent souls’ life was for the criminal to face the same outcome. This makes the greatest of sense and can become a defined deterrence against reoffending criminals. Martin Bryant is a key example of a convicted criminal who remains alive and breathing in Hobart, Australia. He is convicted of 35 life sentences for causing the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania and murdering 35 innocent civilians and well as injuring 23 others. So why should people if you can even call them that, be allowed to sleep comfortably in a prison cell, eating, drinking and living of tax payer money not undergo capital punishment. For them to have the audacity to kill another innocent person without any true serious repercussions should really demonstrate to the Australian public that things need to change, and show offending and reoffending criminals that crime is no joke and will not be tolerated in Australia.
On the contrary, Australian taxpayers are also victims of convicted criminals. In Australia, the cost of placing one convicted criminal behind bars for one year, no matter the crime, costs tax payers around $110 000. In 2015 a study found that incarceration rates are growing rapidly with 36,000 prisoners in Australia, up from 39 per cent a decade ago (abc.net.au). This is an obscene amount of money that hard-working Australians earn, to be only used on socially degrading, dangerous criminals. There is no reason that we should contribute to this and allow for killers, rapists etc. to experience a place to sleep, eat and live every day without strong consequences. For instance, if a mother were to lose her son to a murderer for mere pleasure, then knowing that the killer had experienced capital punishment would give great amounts of closure to the mother and family of the victim. This in turn could reduce overpopulation in prisons, and from this require less money from society and tax payers.
Finally, we can refer to the Bible, Exodus 21:23-25. The principle of an ‘eye for an eye’ raises the idea that a person who has been injured by another person returns the offending action to the originator in compensation, or that an authority does so on behalf of the injured person (crosswalk.com). It is stated in the scripture that “But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe”. This has incredible historic significance and has been the leading relevance in our modern-day court systems. This concept is still practiced today, with many countries still abiding by the belief of “an eye for an eye”. Indonesia is a key example of a country that practices the ‘eye for an eye’ belief. The Bali Nine were a group of nine Australians who attempted to smuggle 8kg of heroin out of Indonesia in April 2005. It was estimated at a worth of 4 million and was bound for Australia. They were caught and trialed for drug smuggling under Indonesian law. Two of the ringleaders were sentenced to death with the others experiencing life behind bars. It sent a shockwave of fear into society and in turn has significantly helped reduce drug smuggling in Indonesia. Drugs are a leading cause of death and in Australia kills an Australian every five hours. So why should drug suppliers receive any less of a punishment.
To summarise, Australia must bring back the death penalty for convicted criminals. This should be applied to those who have done the upmost of crimes such as murder, rape, drug and pedophilia. It will reduce overpopulation in prisons, give closure to families, deter reoffenders, and punish someone for taking another person’s life. It will reduce taxpayers costs and make Australia a safer place to live in the future.