Corporal Punishment in Legislation of Australia

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Most of the western country’s population don’t often know about the punishments used around the world and in most cases just assume that punishments and sentences are the same or similar given out in their states, but that can’t be further from the truth. Occasionally, there’s a story that makes headlines in the media about an offender who has been convicted with cruel sentencing for an insignificant felony but the low chances of going into the further investigation to find out that the same issues happen repeatedly in countless countries around the world. 

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A study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BCSR, 2019) found that 83.4% of crimes in developing countries are considered brutal sentences This study also showed that some sentences can even play a role to less serious crimes such as willingly engage in a homosexual act in public, stealing $5 worth of goods from a shop or a minor offense such as gambling.

There is currently only one significant form of punishment in Australia as of 1967 when the death penalty/capital punishment was abolished, and corporal punishments are no longer used. (Law Council of Australia, 2017). Capital punishment which can also be known as the death penalty is a government-approved punishment where a person is killed by the state due to their inhuman criminal act. There are many ways were of the death penalty, for example, lethal injection, electrocution and gas chambers. It has been 51 years since the last state execution in Australia, on 3rd February 1967, Ronald Ryan was ‘hanged by the neck until dead' at Pentridge Gaol, Melbourne for the murder of prison guard George Hodson (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2017). 

Therefore, the only legal punishments that are currently in place in Australia is imprisonment, as well as community corrections such as community servers, parole, and probation. Prison labour is considered as a punishment, but some can argue it’s a redemption for a better way of life after getting out of prison. Prisoners are expected to be involved in numerous categories of work to be able to earn up to $0.82 per hour (Wikipedia, 2019).

Despite Australia abolishing capital punishment, there are still many countries that practice this form of punishment. Over 60.2% of the world’s people live in countries where the death penalty is used (The Telegraph, 2018). The countries that still perform the death penalty are China, India, the United States (not all states), Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and many Islamic countries (Wikipedia, 2018). 

However, according to Amnesty International 142 countries have either abolished the death penalty in law or practice and that in the past 5 years 33 countries have carried out no more than 2 executions, also 29 of the countries that have the death penalty law haven’t executed anyone in the past 10 years (Amnesty International, 2018). In most cases, the death penalty is given to offenders who have committed murder. Nevertheless, there are still many executions carried out each year. China is on record to have executed more people than all the countries combined. 

At least 1,336 people have been known to be under sentencing for the death penalty by the end of 2018 in China (South China Morning Post, 2018). China remains the world’s leading executioner country as of 2019 (Wikipedia, 2018). The death penalty is undertaken in an extremely private manner. When it comes to less serious crimes corporal punishments plays a significant role. 

Corporal punishments are widely used in several Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates. These punishments can be used on men, women, and children depending on the felony they have committed (The Sydney Morning Herald, 2019). There are many types of corporal punishments used around the world, but the most common ones are;

The defining of flogging is when a person is beaten with whips or a rod. This punishment is often taken in a public surrounding for 2 reasons, one is to display the punishment aiming to make people fearful of committing the same crime again and the second reason is to humiliate the offender in front of his community. 

This corporal punishment is used for a verity of different felonies such as not completing schoolwork/misbehaving in school to crimes such as theft. A well-known story about a Saudi man named Rafi Badawi who was given 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison for “insulting Islam” on his online blog this shows how people can be punished for a not act that typically shouldn’t be punished for (Index, 2019).

Like flogging, caning is a form of punishment where a person is beaten with a cane. The hits from the cane can be extremely painful and, in some cases, can cause breaks in the skin and scarring. Caning has been used in many countries around the world even with all the backlash to abolish this cruel punishment, it remains a form of punishment given to offenders. 

One of the most known countries to use this form of punishment in Singapore. In 2012, Singapore carried out 2,203 caning sentences which were mostly given to immigrants (BBC, 2017). Two Germans students who were studying in Singapore were also sentenced to nine months in prison and three strokes from a cane every day after they were caught spray-painting on a train in 2015 (IBT, 2015). Till today flogging us used as a punishment for criminal acts.

When it comes to punishments, we often consider the ones which cause physical pain as the worst kind of methods used. However, there is another form of punishment that can inflict the same or more amount of pain without having to physically hurt the offender. This form of punishment is called solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is used to mentally and psychologically harm who is experiencing it. When in solitary confinement the prisoner is in total isolation from the rest of prison. This method is for only the worst criminals and those who are dangerous to the rest of the prison population (Mobile, 2014). 

Those convicted often spend from 22-23 hours alone in a cell, with only an hour or so for outdoor recreation. Solitary confinement is considered one of the less brutal punishments given only due to the fact the prisoner isn’t being physically injured. The most comment country that uses this form of punishment in the United States with over 100,000 inmates being put in solitary confinement in 2018 alone (Wikipedia, 2019). According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are more than 80,000 men, women, and children in solitary confinement in prisoners across the United States’ (American Friends Servers Committee, 2018).

Stoning is a form of punishment in which a group of people throws stones at a person who has been convicted of a crime until they pass way. Unfortunately, this terrifying form of punishment is still used in some of the world population. Stoning is a legal form of execution in Iran, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Yemen. Although it is technically illegal, it also is occasionally used in parts of Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, and Malaysia (WLUML, 2014). 

Adultery is the crime which in most cases receives the punishment of stoning. However, it is known that females are much more likely to be suspected and convicted of adultery and therefore, females make up most of the stoning victims. In one mainly horrific case, a young girl was stoned to death in Somalia in the presence of over a thousand people (Independent, 2008).

Perhaps the most horrific means of death is death by burning which was once a popular type of execution. Shockingly, death by burning is still a form of punishment that is continually used in countries around the world but now it is less frequently used because of its huge outback from media. Many countries that continue these practices are located in the Middle East In 2014, a terrorist group named ISIS burnet of a 26-year-old men alive, a captured pilot from Jordan because of his horrific display of cruelty, when the pilot stood up against the terrorist group for their wrong ways he then was suddenly another victim of death by burning (CBS news, 2015). 

There has been reported at least 7 death by burning in Saudi Arabia in 2018 this number has dropped massively then in 2017 where it was estimated that over 26 people were killed by burning (Oman Medical Journal, 2016). This form of punishments can by giving out to vary of different felonies such as rape, murder, kidnapping and in some cases for speaking negatively about Islam (Wikipedia, 2018). There are many different options from people around the world about the use of corporal punishments. Even though corporal punishments were only put in place to punish the offender for the criminal behaver there is always a question that is going to go around on should corporal punishment be abolished.

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