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Death Penalty Debate

Length - 01:35
Published - Feb 2007
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

Death Penalty Debate – A dramatised debate presenting the pros and cons of having the death penalty in the UK. The debate considers the rights of the perpetrator, the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent, and what happens when the courts make a mistake. Is the death penalty barbaric? Or a sensible response to murder?

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:


Component 2 - Religious, philosophical and ethical studies in the modern world: Theme E - Religion, crime and punishment - The death penalty –
Ethical arguments related to the death penalty, including those based on the principle of utility and sanctity of life.


Area of Study 2 - All religions - Section 2: Crime and Punishment - Religious attitudes towards the death penalty: the nature and purpose of capital punishment; religious teachings about capital punishment, non- religious (including atheist and Humanist) attitudes towards the use of capital punishment.


No link to exam board


PART B - Theme 2: Issues of Good and Evil - Crime and Punishment PART B - Theme 2: Issues of Good and Evil – Forgiveness PART B - Theme 2: Issues of Good and Evil- Good, Evil and Suffering


Component 1 (Route A) Religious, Philosophical and Ethical Studies in the Modern World Theme 3: Issues of Good and Evil - Crime and Punishment

Death Penalty Debate

S1            I think we should have the death penalty back in the UK. All this violent crime, increasing murders, gun crime, the system isn't working.

S2            What? Now we can't bring back the death penalty. How can we say it's wrong to kill people and then kill them?

S1            Yeah, but it's lawful killing. It's different. What about the victim? What about the victim's family? They need justice.

S2            That's not justice. That's revenge. This kind of punishment doesn't give people a chance to change. You know why? Because they're dead.

S1            But why should they have the right to change, if they've taken someone else's life?

S2            Because they're human beings. The state can't sink to their level to punish them. What kind of message does that send to society?

S1            Well, it sends a message that if you kill someone, you give up the right to life. Which might make someone think twice before committing a crime.

S2            But what about when the courts get it wrong? We know people have been wrongly convicted and executed. You can get let out of prison, but you can't get let out of the grave.

S1            Yeah, but now we've got this new DNA and forensic evidence to stop that happening.

S2            What are you on about? There's always room for error. We all make mistakes. From the scientists to the lawyers to the jurors. We're all human.

S1            Nah. We need to make a strong stand against serious crimes and show it won't be tolerated in our society.

S1            The death penalty is not something that a civilised society should be using. It's from the Dark ages. It's barbaric.