Governments have manipulated statistics to hide the fact that Canadian society is becoming more and more violent, with less and less regard for the sanctity of human life.
Those who advocate abolition of the death penalty advance several spurious arguments:
- They say that murder rates didn’t increase after abolition.But they did. Abolition was made legal in 1975. But in 1965, all death sentences were commuted by Cabinet—which was de facto abolition. A comparison of the decade before the last execution and the commuting of sentences (1955-65), with the decade after de facto abolition (1965-75) shows a spike in culpable homicides. Again, in the decade after (1975-85) the homicide rate, without deterrent, continued to climb.
Year Number 1955-1964
2080 1965-1974 4236 1975-1985
Murder Rate, 1955-1985The Canadian Murder Rate, by decade, from the decade prior to the abolition of the death penalty and for 2 decades there after Indeed, from 1926 until 1964 the homicide rate remained fairly static. During that period homicides averaged 158/yr or 1580 per decade—no where near the rates that we have seen since sentences were commuted in 1965 and the death penalty repealed in 1975.
2 – They say capital punishment is not a deterrent.
But it certainly deters that particular offender, which is the proper objective of justice.
3 – They say we are inconsistent if we are pro-life for babies and anti-life for convicted killers.
Those who advance such arguments should take their quarrel to God, who mandated capital punishment for willful murder. In fact, it is because life is precious that God declared that those who disregard the sanctity of life must answer with their own.
4. – They say it’s better to let a guilty murderer go free than to risk executing one innocent person wrongly convicted.The CHP’s criteria for the actual application of capital punishment carefully preclude the execution of an innocent person: it requires at least two credible witnesses, plus the unanimous agreement of all 12 jurors and the trial judge that the crime is so heinous that only the ultimate penalty can bring justice. Under these regulations, only three cases in the last 30 years could have qualified: Bernardo, Homolka, and Olsen. None of the celebrated cases of people wrongly convicted (e.g., Milgaard, Marshall, Morin, Truscott) could have been sentenced to death under CHP criteria.
5 – They allege that capital punishment is barbaric and uncivilized; today, they say, we have better remedies that show more respect for life; e.g., life imprisonment.The evidence shows that even though all executions ceased, after Parliament abolished the ultimate sentence, the “more humane” penalties for murder continually diminished because the public perception was a diminution of respect for human life. At first, the alternative was life imprisonment; then it became life with parole at 25 years; then 15 years; then 10; and now seven.
Restoring the ultimate sentencing option—even if it is never used except for the most heinous crimes, and only with two or more credible witnesses—will help to arrest the “slide” in sentencing.
Finally, it should be noted that more than 70 innocent Canadians have been killed by convicted killers on parole, day passes, mandatory early release or the completion of their sentences. Are the lives of the killers of greater value than of those innocent victims? Even when convicted murderers are given real life sentences, too many have subsequently taken the lives of prison guards or other penitentiary personnel.
Current Government and Opposition Strategy: (and how it falls short)
Both are identical: those are the parties that supported abolition, and continue to endorse a “bleeding heart” position that places a greater value on the life of convicted killers than on the lives of their innocent victims; or the protection of the lives of innocent Canadians. All have adopted a leftist ideology which sees perpetrators as victims of society, rather than responsible, accountable individuals.
The CHP’s Better Solution:
The CHP advocates the restoration of capital punishment as the ultimate sentencing option, with two criteria necessary for its application:
1 – There must be a minimum of two credible witnesses, to eliminate the possibility of mistaken identity;
2 – The trial judge and all 12 jurors must unanimously agree that the crime is so heinous that only capital punishment will restore justice.