Friday, September 23, 2011

C2-LEVEL STUDENTS' DEBATE: THE DEATH PENALTY

The C2-level learners of our school who have been attending lessons for some months should be familiar with the story of Troy Davis who was on death row, as it has been brought up in our recent classes. Even though there was no solid evidence against him, this man was executed in the U.S. on 22 September. We now urge our students to read about the whole story here and then find out more about other controversial death row cases.

Keeping all the information in mind concerning both sides of capital punishment, they should try to answer this question: 

When is the death penalty the right answer? Does it constitute an efficient crime deterrent or should it be abolished? 

Here is also a variety of links on the issue along with two interesting quotes that can serve as a springboard for further discussion: 

Capital punishment is a barbaric remnant of uncivilized society. It is immoral in principle, and unfair and discriminatory in practice. It assures the execution of some innocent people. As a remedy for crime, it has no purpose and no effect. Capital punishment ought to be abolished now.
 ~American Civil Liberties Union

I believe that the weight of the evidence--aggregate statistical analyses, evaluations of experiments and quasi-experiments, and studies of individual behavior--supports the view that the rate of crime is influenced by its costs. This influence is greater--or easier to observe- for some crimes and persons than for others.
 ~James Q. Wilson, "Thinking About Crime: The Debate over Deterrence," The Atlantic Monthly, September 1983

Students can double-click on words they do not know on this blog.
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