The Abolition of Capital Punishment in Australia

1014 WordsJun 24, 20185 Pages
Since the last execution in Australia in 1967 of Ronald Ryan and the abolition of capital punishment in Australia in 1973 imprisonment has been the only option as a sanction for murder. A survey conducted in 2009 demonstrated that a clear majority of Australians (64%) believed that imprisonment should be the punishment for murder as opposed to 23% stating the death penalty should be used and 13% did not wish to comment. The death penalty is not an effective punishment for all cases and there has not been any solid evidence stating that it is a more effective deterrent than imprisonment. Furthermore capital punishment possesses the risk of executing the innocent, which has happened or almost happened numerous times in the past such as…show more content…
In fact, implementing capital punishment is much more expensive than life imprisonment. In a government with capital punishment, both the trial and appeal process are much more expensive in comparison to noncapital cases as the trials are generally longer and more complex. Australian lawyers estimate that a single capital punishment case could cost taxpayers around $5.5 million while life imprisonment approximately costs $1.5 million.2 Saving money should not be an argument in retaining capital punishment. If Australia re-instated capital punishment, Federal and State taxes would need to be increased, all community services would be drastically cut, more hidden taxes would be introduced and finally all essential services and local government costs would also increase. This exemplifies how life imprisonment should be the only option for offences as it not only costs millions less, it also still ensures that the public is protected and the money saved could be spent on programs that actually improve the communities in which we live. This highlights how international jurisdictions for various reasons should, in majority of cases, follow Australia’s example and abolish capital punishment for murder and all crimes, however in some cases including repeat offenders such as Peter Dupas capital punishment could be a more effective punishment. Although in majority of cases capital punishment should not be an option worldwide, some offenders have too high of a chance
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