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Impact of the Death Penalty Essay

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In the past death sentence was believed as the best punishment for anyone who took another’s life. This was practised in many Nations until questions as to whether it was really an adequate punishment arose. Does killing the murderer really help the situation? The penalty later got attacks for religious groups and people who based their arguments on the morality of the punishment. Questions like, who really suffers when the convict is killed is it him or his family? Other queries would be as to whether killing the murderer benefits the family of the victim.
Rubin (2002) analysed the consequences of death penalty and asked the question “Will an execution have the effect of deterring other potential murders, or will it merely satisfy some desire for vengeance?” In his article Rubin tries to relate the homicide rates and the death penalty in trying to find out whether having the capital punishment actually deters homicide.
Rubin (2002) argued that comparing the homicide rates may not be a good idea because according to him the rates of homicides are totally dependent on other issues like income gaps, racial compositions and urbanisation. He went ahead and argued that;
A state may have capital punishment precisely because it has a higher murder rate and is trying to control this evil. In such a case, observing capital punishment and a high murder rate says nothing about causality, and the deterrence argument is that rates would be even higher if there were no capital punishment. (Rubin 2002).
If his argument is anything to go by, it is easier to conclude that the homicide rates are not determined by the punishment frameworks in place. But later in his paper Rubin described a research he conducted in which he discovered that indeed...


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...lin, Steven. (1978). Deterrence and Social Control Source: American Sociological Review. Vol. 43 (2)
Litwak, Eugene. Three ways in which the law Acts as a Means of Social Control: Punishment, Therapy and Education.
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Overview: Ten Reasons Why Capital Punishment is Flawed Public Policy. Retrieved from http://www.ncadp.org/index.cfm?content=5
Radelet, Michaell and Lacock, Tracil. Recent Developmentss. Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates?: The Views of Leading Criminologists. Retrieved from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/files/DeterrenceStudy2009.pdf
Rubin, Paul. 2002. The Death Penalty and Deterrence. EBSCO Publishing
Steele, Tracey and Wilcox Norma. 2003. A View From the Inside: The Role of
Redemption, Deterrence, and Masculinity on Inmate Support for the Death Penalty Crime & Deliquecy Vol. 49 (2).


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