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Crime And Punishment In Various Countries

1426 words - 6 pages

The effectiveness of the United States' criminal legal system has been questioned and scrutinized by the media and legal analysts for decades. Even with laws to lengthen sentences and to try younger offenders as adults, the overall crime rate in the nation is still on the rise. But why is it that in places like Iceland and Singapore crime rates are so low yet both countries have very contrasting criminal laws? It has been brought to my attention that Congress will attempt to create an entire new criminal legal system for the states to adopt in an effort to finally make the streets of America safer for its citizens. Assuming that all states will forfeit their own policies to take up the ...view middle of the document...

Under the Constitution's eighth amendment, Americas are protected against cruel and unusual punishment. While it does not clearly define what punishment is deemed 'cruel and unusual,' several campaigns argue that capital punishment is cruel and unusual and is a direct violation of human rights. Organizations like Amnesty International, a worldwide human rights group, claims that capital punishment is not only inhumane, but it does not deter crime more effectively in comparison to other punishments not involving death. (Amnesty International) Other studies have proven that it in fact costs up to three times more to put a person to death that it does to sentence life in prison with no parole. A Texas death penalty case costs an average of $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for forty years.(Hoppe 1A)Yet, with all the polls, statistics, and studies conducted to discourage the practice of the death penalty in the United States, other nations have found the death penalty, as well as other harsh punishments, is not a violation to human and civil rights, but an effective tool in keeping public safety. Singapore's criminal laws are some of the most extreme and consistent laws found in all of the world. Its government still employs the use of corporal punishment for some offenses that would receive a mere parole sentence in the U.S. Singapore's citizens have stated that even though its punishments are severe and outrageous to some, their streets are safer, cleaner, and the quality of life in Singapore is valued more because of these punishments. In this country the punishments that undergo heavy crossfire in the U.S. are swiftly carried out and as a result, crime in Singapore is significantly lower in comparison to the U.S. crime rates. (Father's Manifesto) There is a consistent mandatory death sentence for narcotic offenders. A death sentence is also immediately carried out for anyone who opens fire while committing an unlawful act - whether or not you shoot anyone or anything is not taken into consideration. (Singapore Law FAQ) Caning is another form of punishment carried out for crimes such as vandalism and sex offenses. Convicts are strapped to a trestle and the exposed buttocks of the offender are flogged by a martial arts expert. The caning is usually coupled with a prison sentence. Singapore's officials argue that its strict laws and swift, severe punishment are what sets it aside from a crime-ridden place like New York City. (Father's Manifesto)Of course, opponents to CP (corporal punishment) argue that this is also a cruel and unusual way to deter crime. However, those that argue this only need to compare the crime rates of Singapore to those of the United States. Whipping or caning is indeed stressful and painful but it is Singapore's alternative to costly long-term confinement. This way criminals are quickly reformed and released back into society as law abiding...

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