A man's life is obviously his most cherished property and the most basic of all fundamental human rights. Nobody has the right to ham or even take away another person's life except as a last resort another in self-defense.
A renowned English advocationist, Henry Thomas Buckee (1893) once said that the society prepares the crime while the criminal commits it.
Richard Under (1902) also said that all human beings are criminals but the difference is the degree. Whichever way we see that, it must be noted that crime is as old as the society itself, and no country, whether advanced or not can absolve itself of crime and also that we do not get involved in crimes of violence does not mean that we are not affected by them.
Since human being are dynamic in nature, it is worthy of note that punishment to a crime can also change since crimes do change from time to time. Under decree number 20 of 1984, at least eleven offences carried death penalty. These are arson, tampering with oil pipelines, import or export of mineral oil, one with intention of defrauding the Federal Military Government, dealing in cocaine, dealing in petroleum products, treason, Kidnapping, Lynching and possession of arms and ammunition. (News watch magazine Jan 20.1986). But today, events have overtaken these decree. It was consequently withdrawn and more suitable ones promulgated to suit the sophistication of commission of crimes, question and because of this varied nature of crimes, the relevant question bother on how to determine the punishment that commensurate with the crimes, since both our more conscience and social justice should also come into play here.
Hence, one wishes to define crime as an act committed in violation of a law prohibiting it or committed in violation of a law ordering it, which are variously punishable by death, impoundment, or imposition of fine or restrictions.
In Enugu State today, the rate at which cases of crimes are being reported needs to be given an urgent attention. We hear over the radio, in news papers and televisions, of various cases of house being burgled, cars being snatched at gun points, houses being burnt, properties being destroyed, people being massacred etc. Some of the things that come to mind are: what are the factors responsible for these atrocities, and how can we reduce the rate at which these crimes are being committed?