Dead Man Walking Assigment


Amnesty’s annual report (2012) has China topping list of executions with over 1,000, Iran second with 314, US fifth with 43. The United States only country in the Americas practicing execution.  (see YNet News)

The Amnesty International report says 682 executions in 2012 in all countries other than China  were verified to have been carried out last year —only two more than 2011 —as five countries carried through with the death penalty for the first time in many years…The country that had the highest increase in the number of executions was Iraq, with almost double the 68 killed in 2011. (see Amnesty International)

Canada, on the other hand, does not have a death penalty. (see 35 years of abolition) In most cases, the most serious sentence for murder is life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for 25 years. However, if a person has a long history of violent crime, then they can be declared a “dangerous offender.” With this classification they are given an indefinite sentence with little chance of ever being paroled.

An Angus-Reid poll released in March, 2012,  suggests three out of five Canadians (60%) support reinstating the death penalty for murder. (see Amnesty International)

Sources: Amnesty International  and  Religious


Do some research to find out the arguments for and against capital punishment (death penalty)?  There are some links below to start off with.  Then take a stance on the following statement:

Should Canada reinstate the death penalty for criminals who commit first-degree murder?

This does not have to be in the form of a formal essay, but be sure to support you arguments with factual information.  Include in your discussions, the answers to the following questions.

  1. How does Ezekiel 33:11 apply to the question of capital punishment? “As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live.”
  2. The concept of equal retribution “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deuteronomy 19:21) was actually given in order to control the all-out vengeance that had taken place up to that time. What does Jesus tell us about vengeance?  Read Matthew 5:38-42; Luke 6:27-36; Romans 12:19, and 1 Peter 3:9 to find out.  (Just go to NRSV Bible, and type in the book, chapter and verse.  When you do this, the verse(s) will come up.) How do these scriptures apply to modern day capital punishment?

Here are some links to start off with:

Against arguments:  Catholic Culture and Amnesty International USA

Pro arguments:  Pro death penalty and  Pro death penalty page (keep in mind some of these are websites of individuals, so one has to question their reliablity for statistics, etc.)

Contains both arguments:  Religious Tolerance and  Arguments for and against

Movie Study Assignment Rubric

Dead Man Walking Assignment

Select the page titled, Dead Man Walking Assignment, and execute (no pun intended) the directions provided.  The rubric used to mark this assignment is also found at the right, titled, Video Study Assignment Rubric.  Remember, assignments are worth MUCH more than reflections.

You’ve learned how to write position papers in both English and Social Studies, so I am assuming you know how.  If you don’t, then see me for help.  Your thesis must be clear.  REMEMBER, your point of view is worthless unless you can provide reasons for your point of view and support those reasons with evidence (examples, quotes, etc.).

Here are a couple of websites to help you with writing position papers.

How to write… and  Writing position papers

This may very well be your last assignment, so give it your best effort.  Some of you need to do well on this assignment to up are final mark.


RS 35: At Issue: The Death Penalty

Select one or more of the following articles to read, then answer  the question below.  Once you have completed the reflection question, print it and hand it in for grading.

Albertan on Death Row

Canadian on death row in Iran

Canadian on death row in Saudi Arabia

Reflection Question:

Is capital punishment (death penalty) ever justified?  You must provide reasons for your answer and provide evidence from one or more of the articles from above.  You must also draw upon the concepts (conscience, Kohlberg’s postulates, etc.)  you learned in the ethics unit.  It might be helpful to know the pros and cons regarding the death penalty, so it is worthwhile to visit Balanced for a concise list of arguements.picture-2