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Word Count: 837
With the passage of time there has been softening of Penal Cod Not long ago death penalty was inflicted fron numerous offences In England death by hanging was a legal punishment for no less than two hundred offences even for such minor offences as stealing a sheep poaching or pick-pocketing With the dawn of modern civilization a realization has dawned upon the people that severity of punishment is a relic of barbarism It was Sir Robert Peele the British Home Secretary who revised the Penal Code in 1923 and slashed the number of capital offences to only two murder and treason In countries like Holland and Italy capital punishment has been abolished altogether In France and Belgium it ha not been enforced over the last so many years The main argument of those countries which have abolished it or ontend to do so is that it is irrevocableNo judge howsoever honest or conscientious he may be can claim to be infallible Terrible blunders are likely to be committed by even the most seasoned judges in sensitive cases like murder or treason The alleged culprits have been condemned to death and executed whi afterwards but too late proved to be innocent If life-imprisonment had been awarded for murder the victims of these miscarriages of justice could at any rate have been released and compensated for wrongful conviction But nothing can be done when the convicted person has been hanged There are some people who hold that the abolition of capital punishment would encourage the criminals to commit murders with impunity The softening of the penal code would lead to an increase in the incidence of crime But the crime situation in Italy and Belgium where death penalty has been done away with is rather on the decline Indeed over-severity has often increased crime by marking criminals desperate Those who are in favour of retaining capital punishment say that the death penalty is logical
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