Wednesday, June 27, 2018

C2 Sample Essay 21 (Capital Punishment)

Writing at C2 level (Proficient User) on English language examinations is the same no matter the awarding body when it comes to writing essays. If you are a candidate giving an exam in English, make sure you read my earlier post What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog? to get the most out of the sample essays provided on this blog. 

If you are not taking an exam but need ideas on whether capital punishment should be abolished, then read on and note down what you deem useful. If you intend to use this essay as part of an assignment, remember to paraphrase so as not to plagiarize.

The topic is similar to what candidates would expect in any other C2 level examination in that examiners want to see a well-organized, coherent and cohesive discussion of the issue with arguments, explanations and examples.

Capital punishment is in some societies a fact of everyday life. In your opinion should it be abolished or not?

It is an undeniable fact that the legal system of each country brings out the best and worst in us, as centuries of revision of statutes has shown. One such fact, which also happens to be the most controversial to date, is the existence of the penalty of capital punishment imposed around the world in a number of countries. Many are those who would be relieved to see it abolished while others advocate it is a cornerstone upon which a country’s law and order rests.

The latter group of people, firstly, base their reasoning on two fundamental arguments. The first of these  lies in the simple fact that the families of victims, who in other instances being the legal survivors to the victim’s estate and rights as a whole, have the privilege to make decisions as to whether to donate organs, money, and the like in the event of there not being a will. If they have these rights, why can they not have the right to vindicate the death of their loved ones? Why is it that they cannot ask for the justice that the victims themselves would certainly have asked for had they the chance? In short, supporters of the death penalty demand that the families of victims deserve the relief of knowing that justice has indeed been done, that the death of one person is balanced out with the death of another. 

The second argument concerns the decrease of the crime rate in countries where the death penalty exists. This is quite clear in countries such as Saudi Arabia where public executions are, according to some people who live in the country, an effective preventive measure that up until now seems to be working.

On the opposite side of the spectrum there are those who maintain that capital punishment is a blasphemy to what mankind has come to name civilization. If we consider ourselves to be civilized, it would be hypocritical of us to take away someone’s life merely because a judge and jury find them unworthy of living, incapable of repenting, unable to become part of society again. Everyone should have the basic right to life, regardless of how that life is to be lived. The strongest point in favor of the abolition of the death penalty is the multitude of cases that only through dedicated investigation proved that inmates on death row were in fact not guilty of the crime they purportedly committed. One dares not hint at the thought of the number of cases where capital punishment was wrongly imposed.

This last point leads to the inevitable conclusion that if we weigh the probable decrease of crime in a country alongside the prospective death of an innocent human being, we will be led to do away with the death penalty once and for all. Courts are not in the business of executing people, but of meting out justice, and in this case, it would be a far worse penalty to enforce life imprisonment on a criminal than to have him pass away quickly.

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