I've written a practice LNAT essay and was wondering whether anyone could give me some feedback. It'd be so helpful!!
'Capital punishment should be reintroduced in the UK' Discuss
This essay will argue that capital punishment should not be reintroduced in the UK as it is a weak deterrent for crime, abuse of procedure may occur resulting in potential innocent lives lost and it fails to serve retribution for victims. ‘Capital punishment’ is taken to mean a legal penalty in which a criminal is sentenced to death.
Capital punishment is a weak deterrent for crime as the threat of death may be seen as ‘easy way out.’ Criminals committing heinous acts, such as Lucy Letby who seeked to murder innocent babies, already lack the mental condition of a reasonable person, thus, death will not be seen as a threat. This is exemplified by studies in the US conveying a lack of correlation in states between decreased crime and having the death penalty. Therefore, reintroducing the death penalty is ineffective. Although, it could be argued that the ineffectiveness stems from the current method of the death penalty being too lenient as a lethal injection is commonly used. Consequently, using a more severe method such as torture until death may be a more effective deterrent as a criminal will experience extreme pain. However, this argument fails to recognise that the sanctity of life principle will be violated which creates ethical concerns. Torture until death will be just as immoral as the heinous act the criminal committed. It could be then said that the torturer commits murder as there is a clear mens rea and actus reus. Ultimately, portraying the issues with capital punishment.
A further reason is that abuse of procedure may occur as, historically, African-Americans have been disproportionately punished by capital punishment. This was due to widespread prejudice existing in America. Thus, an innocent life may be taken merely because of an individual’s ethnic background. Evidently, this creates concerns in regard to fairness in society. Although, in consequentialist terms, the majority of those who have been executed are rightfully executed which means this may outweigh the potential loss of an innocent life. As a result, there will be less repugnant criminals who cause a strain on the prison service which is already underfunded. However, this argument lacks appeal as although there may be an economic benefit, the life of an innocent person should be valued more. If a criminal is ordered a re-trial and is found not guilty then they will still have the opportunity to spend the entirety of their life in freedom. Whereas, a capital punishment prevents this possibility conveying that it should not be reintroduced.
A final reason is that capital punishment fails to serve retribution for victims as a lethal injection causes relatively little pain. Therefore, a criminal who has committed murder or rape does not suffer adequately in proportion to their crime. Thus, a victim and their family may not feel justice has taken place as the legal system has failed to provide adequate re-dress. Although, it could be argued that a life sentence does not offer sufficient retribution as a criminal benefits from a right to shelter and amenities such as food and clothing. Currently, there are 274,000 homeless in the UK, thus, a criminal who has committed heinous act may be said to enjoy a better quality of life than others. However, this argument is weak as prisoners tend to suffer from severe mental illnesses and from the threat of violence which is prevalent in prisons. Hence, the quality of criminals’ lives is severely diminished. Although, they do have access to shelter, food and drink, they lack liberty which is a vital component of an individual’s life. Overall, this conveys that a prison sentence serves adequate retribution.
To conclude, capital punishment should not be reintroduced in the UK. This question underpins ethical issues surrounding justice and morality. Whilst, opponents raise a valid argument that society benefits economically, they fail to recognise that capital punishment is a weak deterrent and may result in the potential loss of an innocent life. Furthermore, a prison sentence is a strong form of retribution conveying the lack of necessity for capital punishment.