PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Rhyno
 
Comments: 39
Article views: 1169
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Rhyno's badges.
 

The death penalty is dead

26 March 2012, 19:50

Ever since the abolishment of the death penalty in 1995, most South Africans, white, black, coloured, Durbanites and everyone in between, have been up in arms, calling for its return as the saviour of  justice and the answer to violent crime as we know it.

Most people are of the view that the death penalty acts as a fear instilling instrument, making any hardened criminal think twice before pulling the trigger, or unzipping his pants with the grin of a school bully about to take his lunch.

However, this assumption, albeit the originating reason for the death penalty itself, is no more applicable than hiding your car keys so an 18 month old child doesn’t take the car for a spin.

What very few people know is that the death penalty was abolished in a landmark court ruling by the Constitutional Court, named S v Makwanyane and Another (CCT 3/94), and not an Act in itsself.

Without delving into various semantics surrounding the case, the bottom line was that the Constitution...our Constitution, granted (and obviously still does) the right to life in terms of chapter 3 of the interim Constitution of 1993.

For those that don’t know, Chapter 2 of the Constitution is the Human Rights Charter, and became the single most important document in the history of this country, and for that matter, any following modern democracy, when it officially replaced the charter in chapter 3 of the interim Constitution.

Be that as it may, there are various reasons anyone would want to implement the death penalty in its entirety, and immediately in this country, but none of those reasons, unfortunately, are vested in logic.

The simple reason is that the death penalty cannot, without changing the Constitution, be a sanction that forms part of our legal system, ever again. Even if we wanted to, no one could, as you would require 75% of the National Assembly, as well as 6 of the 9 provinces to change this.

Why not two thirds you say?

Well, the negotiators were wiser than that in the early 90’s , as Chapter 1 and 2, which are by far the most important, require the larger margin, rather than only two thirds.

By the way, Chapter 1 cements the total authority of the Constitution over Parliament, making us a Constitutional Democracy, and I’ve already stated the worth of Chapter 2 previously.

Now, legalities aside, personally, I think you would open Pandora’s box when even considering to go down that route again, simply because that would totally undermine legal development, and not come close to fulfilling the purpose we may embark on, when attempting such a retrospective step.

Criminals simply aren’t flustered at the death penalty at all, and in most instances, actually prefer the death penalty to lifelong incarceration.     

In my mind, there are only two possible reasons one would want to consider the death penalty in any legal system. The one being the obvious scare tactic, and the other being cost effectiveness.

The former refers to criminals that are unable to rehabilitate, such as psychotics, who will only be a burden on the tax payer in prison, as his or her way to financial freedom is paved until their deaths in a lonely cell in C-Max. There is no reason these people should remain in prison, as it would only be fair to the world, and to be honest, to them, to be relinquished of their right to life, as Mr. Makwanyane and Co was so eloquently granted.

On a serious note, the problem we face is not with the effects of a crime committed, but rather with everything that went wrong until such time as it occurred.

Normally, you would expect violent crimes from disturbed psychotics, but in our case, we have created an atmosphere where young thieves and hijackers are conditioned that the taking of a life is part of “business” and purely a means to an end.

We should thus rather focus on breaking this atmosphere of acceptance of all that is violent and pure evil.

Anyone that knows the story of Pavlov’s dogs, knows that positive reinforcement is far more effective than negative reinforcement, especially in the case of let’s say...China or North Korea (which evidently are some of the last remaining promoters of capital punishment), where the outset in passing laws is to instil fear, and rule autocratically.

Now, I know a lot of people will say our Government is totally incapable of positive reinforcement amongst us all...maybe so, but does that mean we should strive to develop systems around an incapable and hapless Government, so they can at least get something done? The innuendo thereto is just as ridiculous as anyone answering “yes” to such a question!

Maybe, we should look at prevention rather than cure and fix the education system. On an interim short term, heavy jail sentences will have to do the trick, and rehabilitation programs for lesser criminals should be increased to make space for the real bad boys behind bars....but that’s just me.

This sounds like old news, but in reality, there simply is no better alternative. Our violent crime problem is not one of policy, but one of execution of policies, which seems to be the trend in all spheres of governance in South Africa.

The illusion of an incompetent legal system has left people yearning for death to protect them, when in fact the contagion of incompetence is squarely to blame for our current predicament.

Maybe, in time, we will all have the guts to stand up to this nest of incompetence, notwithstanding race, and strike where it hits hardest.

On a ballot paper.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
39 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Terrylin Backpackers
The cheque is in the post

"I hear you are in bond collections. What are the latest excuses people are coming up with these days? I've run out of ideas." Read more...

10 comments 3838 views
Submitted by
Meta
News in the digital age

How do you think that spreading your hate/bigotry and or intolerance helps anybody? Read more...

14 comments 1233 views
Submitted by
Brian Faul
How and why a Dictator is born

One needs to remember looking back in history these hard times is when a dictator is more likely to get born. It is during these hard times that a dictator gets voted into power. Read more...

10 comments 2019 views
Submitted by
Prenisha Naidoo
I will be proactive...

This letter is in response to articles on the death of baby Jamie Naidoo, We have the tendency to be reactive…we wait for something to happen, then suddenly we care, writes a News24 User. Read more...

2 comments 498 views
Submitted by
woadstress
Celebration

Make a list of at least ten things that you can celebrate, and write two or three reasons why you can celebrate those things or events. Read more...

1 comments 185 views
Submitted by
Eric de Castro
Last squeak of the year

 Read more...

14 comments 306 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.