Canada of a prison guard in Quebec. He was

Canada had hanged 710 people since capital
punishment was enacted in 1859. People of the time really had to watch their
act because back in `59, almost every criminal act was punishable by hanging.
From the first human to walk this earth to the everyday person on the streets
today, fear will always be with us and it plays a huge part in out
decision-making process. In a sinful and dangerous world, the only thing to
fear was God and the law, although there were people who disobeyed both. They
were almost always brought to justice and hung in front of the population of
the town.

            The
last two people executed in Canada were Ronald Turpin, 29, and Arthur Lucas,
54, convicted for separate murders, at 12:02 am on December 11, 1962 at the Don
Jail in Toronto. The last woman to be hanged in Canada was Marguerite Pitre on
January 9, 1953, for her part in the Albert Guay affair. The last person
sentenced to death was Mario Gauthier on May 14, 1976, for the murder of a
prison guard in Quebec. He was reprieved as capital punishment was abolished
for all common crimes on July 14 the same year.

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            The
first method of Capital Punishment was “hoisting” in which a rope
would be thrown over a beam and the convicted person would then be hoisted into
the air by others pulling on the rope. The slip knot would then tightly close
around the neck until strangulation. A variation of this included the person
with a rope around the neck to stand on a cart and then it would be pushed from
under him. This led to the development of suspension in which “the
drop” caused by jerking something from underneath the offender became the
main component of the execution. Executioners experimented with the length of
the rope for the drop. They discovered new ways of causing instant
unconsciousness and quick death upon hanging. In 1872, the length of a drop
extended to nearly five feet which dislocated the neck perfectly.

The last two people executed in Canada were
Ronald Turpin, 29, and Arthur Lucas, 54, convicted for separate murders, at
12:02 am on December 11, 1962 at the Don Jail in Toronto. The last woman to be
hanged in Canada was Marguerite Pitre on January 9, 1953, for her part in the
Albert Guay affair. The last person sentenced to death was Mario Gauthier on
May 14, 1976, for the murder of a prison guard in Quebec. He was reprieved as
capital punishment was abolished for all common crimes on July 14 the same
year.

Bill C-84 was narrowly passed in 1976 for the
public Capital Punishment to be abolished but it was not until 1998 until Canada
had wiped out all references of the death penalty out of its military roots. Canada
is openly against the death penalty in recent years, refusing extradition
requests to the U.S. unless there are assurances the U.S. prosecutors won’t
seek the death penalty. Not only are we protecting the lives of our citizens,
but we are also trying to spare the lives of those who seek refuge in Canada.

There have been many reasons for the abolishment
of the death penalty in Canada, the abolishment of the death penalty is a development in the advancement
of human rights. “Everyone’s right to live in Section 7 of our Canadian Charter
of Rights and Freedoms.”  (50 years of human rights, 2015) People say that in
some cases it was a moral problem. If they showed aspects of being not guilty
and had somewhat of a believable alibi, it puts a weight on your shoulders
knowing that your putting someone to death, but you still have that little shred
of doubt.

In an episode of Last Week Tonight with John
Oliver, they were on the topic of the death penalty and the moral questions we must
ask ourselves. After diving into full details, John states “4 in 100 men who
have been brought to death on death row have been later found not guilty” (Oliver, 2014) and that’s a terrifying
fact. That’s where we come back to the moral questions, the judges who sentenced
those men fell under hash scrutiny from the public after finding that the man sent
to die was innocent all along. Questions come up about what they missed and how
they could have let an innocent man slip through their fingers.

On top of morals, there was a huge cost with running
the Judicial Execution Program. Keeping an inmate in maximum security for a
life sentence costs roughly $11.5 Million dollar, and running the (JEP) costs
roughly $137 Million per inmate, per year “which is also the same amount of money
it took to make the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy.” (Oliver, 2014) Canada couldn’t afford
to keep up with the running cost of holding an inmate “On roughly a 15 year
waiting list” (Death Row, 2018)

Is it worth it though? We spend so much money
on making sure that our streets are clean with Garbage Disposal, Cleaning
Services and Policing. Now these services do so much work to keep the streets
clean and to put the people who need in custody behind bars, but what are we
doing to keep the ones who are behind bars safe? Every time we hear the word
convict what do we think of?  A convict
is “a person found guilty of a crime and sentenced by a court” or
“a person serving a sentence in prison”. We think of a person who has
spent time for committing a crime that causes harm to someone. But that’s not
always the case, someone could have spent time because they couldn’t pay bail
for something small like a traffic violation.

There is a problem with removing the Death
Penalty, say you have a serial murderer, you give them life in prison. what will
stop them from breaking out of prison, and continuing their murder spree? What
will stop them from killing other inmates, including those that were sentenced
because they either couldn’t pay bail, got mandatory minimum for a severely low-level
drug deal, or are mentally ill. Every second an extremely dangerous and
homicidal individual is alive in prison is another second they are using to
plan their escape and continue their killing. Its not just the killings that
have taken place outside of the bars, “54 out of 100`000 inmates processed are
murdered by their fellow inmates” (Palmer, 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

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