British MP asked Justice Minister to reintroduce the Death Penalty

The MP John Hayes asked the justice secretary in a written request in Parliament to “make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to reintroduce the death penalty to tackle violent crime”. The response from the justice minister Edward Argar was that the government “opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and has no plans to reintroduce it”. Mr Argar also explained  that the UK is campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty globally, he said: “There is no evidence that capital punishment acts as a deterrent to violent crime. Furthermore, the reintroduction of the death penalty would bring with it the very real risk that some innocent people would die.”

Capital punishment ended in the UK in 1965. The last people to be hanged were Peter Allen and Gwynne Evans, who were executed for the murder of John West in Seaton, Cumberland.

This 10 minute video from BBC Teach is just for GCSE students as the content is for older teenagers, and shows you the arguments for and against the death penalty. Or you can read about it on BBC Bitesize. Below are some slides which give the basic arguments for and against having the death penalty (capital punishment) as a method of punishment:

non religious

christian against

muslim against

christian images

muslims for

Washington state gets rid of Death Penalty

Now only 30 states in the USA still have the death penalty after Washington state’s Supreme Court said that it was “invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner. Given the manner in which it is imposed, the death penalty also fails to serve any legitimate penological goals.”

The-life-of-David-Gale-Stills-23-400x266

There are numerous arguments for and arguments against the death penalty, most of which are centred around the 6 aims of punishment. Which side are you on?

Death-Penalty-Graphic-11

 

He leaves a trail so he can prove where he’s been

The story of Anthony Ray Hinton is one which highlights the risks of the death penalty and the racism which means that even though African American and Hispanics make up just 36% of the population they make up 56% of the prison population in the USA. He spent 28 years on death row for two murders he didn’t commit.

When you have to give the different points of view about capital punishment (the death penalty) an often mentioned argument is that innocent people might get unjustly killed. Anthony Ray Hinton’s story gives much weight to this opinion.

Watch TV to help your Crime and Punishment knowledge

My parents were strict on how much TV we could watch. This was pre-Internet days, so the biggest thing to pull us away from doing the homework, household chores, doing sport or practising the flute was TV.  Only being allowed to watch 30 minutes TV a day felt like torture so when I chose to do Media Studies GCSE the joy of being able to say “I’ve got to watch A, B and C for homework” was a welcome passport to TV heaven.

So what is out there in the realms of television that might help you relax from over zealous revision and increase your knowledge of crime and punishment at the same time?

Making-a-Murderer-Logo-Netflix

Up there as a number one priority for people trying to learn about crime and punishment has got to be Netflix’s Making a Murderer. Filmed over 10 years, the real-life thriller follows a DNA exoneree who, while exposing police corruption, becomes a suspect in a grisly new crime. It will have you gripped from start to finish.

The Independent lists an excellent collection of documentaries that those people suffering from the demise of Making a Murderer can turn to when wanted to continue following real life storylines about crime.

Focusing on the death penalty you might watch Redemption with Jamie Foxx playing Stanley Tookie Williams or Let Him Have It with a young Chris Eccleston playing Derek Bentley.

Or perhaps you’d prefer some fictional characters. Broadchurch has recently finished on Series 3 with its police investigations, causes of crime and court scenes. Whereas Line of Duty can offer police corruption with some intermittent court cases too.

Human Rights and Amnesty International

We’re lucky to have an Amnesty International Youth Group at school where students on Wednesdays after school in Room 8 can meet, discuss, learn and take decisive action on Human Rights issues happening all around the world.

aimy-udhr-poster

If you’re feeling that world events are spiralling in to a dangerous position of racism, discrimination and intolerance, perhaps a visit to the Amnesty group might allow you a place to safely voice your fears and learn how to take action.

One of the issues that Amnesty International‘s works tirelessly on is the treatment of refugees.  They do however also get involved in debates about any issue which affects human rights such as the death penalty, the Hillsborough disaster and North Korea.

 

Turkey Planning to Reintroduce the Death Penalty

Turkey is trying to join the EU, however since last summer’s uprising by groups in the military they have said they are going to re-introduce the death penalty which should automatically bar them from joining.

Wading into the debate is the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who told the room of EU Foreign Ministers that some EU states had previously taken time to abolish the death penalty in the 1980s and 1990s – and that this had no been an automatic bar on membership.

These comments might sound a bit whiffy considering Johnson used to complain about Turkey joining the EU and often used it as a strong reason for Britain leaving the European Union. Now he’s saying that Turkey should be allowed to join even if it’s planning to start the death penalty again. The answer for this turnaround might lie in Turkey’s important position in regional conflicts like Syria and the fight against ISIS. Politics, eh!

amnesty-hanging-numbers

You can investigate whether it is ever morally acceptable to have the death penalty on a BBC Ethics guide to the topic. Moreover the BBC also has Christian opinions on the topic in its GCSE Bitesize pages. On BBC Three they have a 28 minute documentary called Death Row and Forgiveness which has some upsetting scenes. If you are more interested in History, the BBC made a documentary called the History of Capital Punishment which has an interesting perspective.

revenge

Revising for your Morality Mock Exam

Keep an eye out over the coming week as more and more resources and information is posted on here to help you prepare for your GCSE Mock Exam in late November.

Ms Strachan posted numerous articles which will help you revise and learn about IVF, transplants, euthanasia, drugs, crime, and capital punishment on her previous wordpress: tkchum.wordpress.com. Just type into the search engine the topic you want to revise, or GCSE, and numerous articles should pop up. At her previous school they did Edexcel rather than AQA exam board so some of the references to units or sections won’t be quite right but the facts and knowledge will be!

These are the topics you’ll need for the Morality Mock exam:

  1. Matters of Life
  2. Elderly and Death
  3. Drug Abuse
  4. Crime and Punishment

On the exam paper there are 6 topics, but you only need to answer 4 (phew) and we’ve chosen the first 4 of the exam paper to keep things straightforward for you.

If you want to look at past exam papers and other information about the course check out AQA’s website. The past paper you’ll be interested is Unit 3 Morality and they’ve got them for 2013 – 2015.

TrueTube has some simple short videos which you can revise from:

I’ve checked out YouTube too:

  1. It might be an OCR video but it discusses what IVF is
  2. 8 minutes of questionable music choice and speedy facts about Elderly and Death
  3. For 8 minutes a teacher talks through the Drug Abuse part of an exam paper.
  4. Crime and Punishment 45 seconds

Below are links to three useful revision guides for three of our topics:

  1. We’re missing topic 1 sorry
  2. revision-guide-elderly-death-2014
  3. revision-guide-on-religious-attitudes-drug-abuse
  4. revision-notes-on-crime-and-punishment

And finally, if you didn’t believe me when I repeatedly said how important the 6 mark statement response question is then why not watch another RE teacher banging on about answering it with religious arguments!

Please leave a comment if you are finding these links useful and you’d like more of the same. Or more importantly if you’d like different revision resources get in contact.