Death sentence received!
April 13, 2008 11:19pm CST
The modern era has seen increasing numbers of extremely violent crimes which the general legal justice system does not seem to address appropriately. On April 28, 1996 in the historic town of Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australian, 28 year old eccentric, Martin Bryant went berserk, killing 35 people and injuring 37 others in the formerly peaceful seaside town. Bryant later pleaded guilty to the crime and is now serving 35 life sentences in prison with no hope of parole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia) But is this enough? Certainly Bryant will spend the rest of his life in prison but in Western society today, prison has become little more than a home away from home for prisoners. A place where they have the comforts of home, no responsibilities, no financial worries etc. The death penalty was officially completely abolished in Australia in the year 1973 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Australia What do you think? Should the death penalty be reintroduced? If your country has the death penalty, should it be abolished? Personally I believe it should be reintroduced in Australia... but should only be used in cases where solid evidence convicts the perpetrator, such as several eye witnesses, dna evidence, gunshot residue on hands etc. It should not be used in cases where circumstancial evidence is used to convict a person just in case the person happens to be innocent. Do you think the death penalty is too merciful on perpetrators? After all, it does end their miserable existence and perhaps they should be made to pay for their crime in misery. Would it be better to sentence them to heavy labour to give them time to regret their actions? And should mental illness make a difference to the sentence? If a person is showing signs of severe mental illness prior to committing the crime, should the justice system go easy on them because of it? Personally I believe that many criminals who plead guilty on grounds of insanity do so only to avoid the wheels of justice. What is your opinion on this topic?
• United States
14 Apr 08
And should mental illness make a difference to the sentence? If a person is showing signs of severe mental illness prior to committing the crime, should the justice system go easy on them because of it? Yes I do think mental illness makes a difference. As I sit here in my right frame of mind. I know I would hate to commit a crime. That could be any crime imaginable. However,If one day I were to just loose it over anything. I would not want to be prisoned with hardened criminals. I have a mental disorder. I am fine when I am on my meds. Sometimes I can't get a refill so quick. I could very well be on the news for a crime at that time.
14 Apr 08
I am inclined to agree with you on this. I only put the question in to get other peoples perspective on it. If there is already a history of mental illness of a kind that could result in such behaviour, or if the person were showing signs of such illness then I believe that it should be taken into consideration in the trial. However, people who simply claim insanity with no previous evidence should be thoroughly assessed by psychiatrists before allowing the plea of guilty on grounds of insanity. Of course this is not to say the people who suffer mental illness should think it's okay to go out and commit violent crimes then blame it on their condition.
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• United States
14 Apr 08
I agree 100% with this. I also know if a person were to be confined to a mental hospital that is just as bad. I was there three different times in my life. All of them I had admitted myself. I could not live there either for 25 years.
14 Apr 08
I can't say I blame you on that one either. Being in a mental hospital would probably exacerbate milder conditions... just being around the ones who are severely mentally impaired. So what do you think should happen to perpetrators who suffer from mental illness? One way or another they need to pay for the crime committed... even if they weren't in their right mind at the time. Should they be given more lenient jail sentencing and forced to undergo rehabilitation and counselling or what?