Capital punishment is claimed to scare people from committing heinous forms of crimes including murder. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Throughout the 1990s, our society increased the number of executions, and the number of murders plummeted. Since 2001, there has been a decline in executions and an increase in murders.” (Adler and Summers 1). Thanks to the data gathered, there seems to be a direct correlation between murder rates and the number of executions performed. The authors claim, “The modern refereed studies have consistently shown that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect, with each execution deterring between 3 and 18 murders” (Rubin and Dobbs 1). Most modern studies conducted show the death penalty as a deterrent in crime. However, there are other studies suggesting the opposite. For example, “We show that with the most minor tweaking of the DRS instruments, one can get estimates ranging from 429 lives saved per execution to 86 lives lost” (Donohue and Wolfers 3). With numbers ranging that largely is it is difficult to believe their claim. In fact, states without the death penalty have had lower homicide rates than states without it. According to The New York Times, “. . . homicide rates in states with death penalties roughly mirrored the rates in ...
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...ts executed since 1977 were innocent” (Gross, O’Brien, Hu, and Kennedy 7235). The numbers gathered by researchers gives some insight on the possible percentages of innocents being put to death. Based on the research gathered I came to the conclusion that capital punishment is flawed and that there is the possibility of an innocent person executed.
The death penalty has been used throughout history as a common form of punishment, but recently has been banned in many countries. With 1,440 executions in the United States it is time to reevaluate it. Capital punishment is claimed to reduce crime, save taxpayer money, and execute the worst criminals. Based on my research the death penalty does not live up to its promise of reducing crime, saving taxpayer money, and only executing criminals who deserve it. The system is extremely flawed and must be brought to an end.
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