Furthermore, premeditated murders are nearly impossible to stop. It is just a truth that when people have the determination to kill, they will find a way to do just that. The death penalty will not stop a man from doing so, nor will it bring the victim back to life. However, it does give justice to the victim’s family and friends as well as punish the murderer for his blatant crime. For every 1,000 murderers, on average, there are 2,000 v...
The primary questions raised by the death penalty are whether it is an effective deterrent to violent crime, and whether it is more effective than the long-term incapacitation. Defenders of the death penalty believe that by taking an offender’s life is a more severe punishment than any prison term, it must be the better deterrent. “A life term is commonly a short vacation at State expense with nothing to do but eat the fruit of others industry.” (Opposing, p43.) The term deterrence is used to suggest that with the execution of murderers, there will be a direct decrease in homicide rate, due to the idea that potential murderers will fear for their own lives.
Capital punishment has been used in the United States since the execution of Daniel Frank of Virginia in 1622. Since then more than 18,000 convicted criminals have been put to death (Crime and Punishment in American History, 1993, p 317). Many Americans today still feel that capital punishment is a fair and necessary method of punishing their most violent criminals. One argument for the death penalty is the deterrent effect. In a 1985 study, published by economist Stephen K. Layson at the University of North Carolina, he found that every execution of a murderer deters, on average, 18 murders. The study also demonstrated that raising the number of death sentences by one percent would prevent 105 murders. However, only 38 percent of all murder cases result in a death sentence and of those only 0.1 percent are actually put to death ( Pro Death Penalty Online). The JFA or Justice for All reported that in Texas, the highest murder rate occurred in 1981 in Houston, specifically Harris country with an astonishing 701 murders. Since then, Texas has reinstated the death penalty in and has e...
If the death penalty has been declared legal, then the federal and state governments must employ it to its fullest as a means of stopping previous murderers from recommitting their crimes. Since most of the prisoners on death row are there for murder, executing them would ensure that they would never kill again. Obsessive murderers, who know no alternative to killing, need to be executed to protect both prison guards and society. This view is perhaps best illustrated through the words of Judge Alfred J. Talley of New York who explained “If I as an individual have the right to kill in self defense, why has not the state, which is nothing more than an aggregation of individuals, the same right to defend itself against unjust aggression and unjust attack?” (Kaplan 28) About two and a half years ago, my dear cousin, Jaime, became the first victim of a serial killer named Brian Duffy.
For members of society who are retentionists and want to keep the death penalty, its deterrent effects are one of their primary arguments. But there is no conclusive evidence that the death penalty deters would-be criminals from their act of violence. Countless studies have shown that the murder rate in the United States has not gone down since the states were allowed to kill in 1976. In reality, the murder rate has increased, due to the brutalization factor that the punishment creates. There should be no doubt that the death penalty is an expensive, brutal, and ineffective deterrent to crime.
Death penalty supporters believe that capital punishment is the only sure way to deter murderers from committing murders again. “The argument that murderers are the least likely of all criminals to repeat their crimes is not only irrelevant, but also increasingly false. Six percent of young adults paroled in 1978 after having been convicted of murder were arrested for murder again with six years of release” (Death Penalty Paper).
Opposition To the Death Penalty
During the spring semester I read Evangelium Vitae: The Gospel of Life. Paragraphs 27 and 56 of this encyclical prompted a discussion of the death penalty with other students. Their first reaction was that the Pope was against it and that he was saying that the penalty has no justification. There was general resistance to the suggestion that while the Pope's attitude toward the death penalty is, to put it mildly, unfavorable, he did not flat out say that it was immoral, wrong, without justification.
Capital Punishment - It's Fair and Effective
Confronting head-on two of the most prominent objections to the death penalty is the object of this paper: Is the death penalty a miscarriage of justice? And Does it Deter Crime?
It's a miscarraige of justice.
"Common sense, lately bolstered by statistics, tells us that the death penalty will deter murder... People fear nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death... life in prison is less feared. Murderers clearly prefer it to execution -- otherwise, they would not try to be sentenced to life in prison instead of death... Therefore, a life sent...
The Benefits of the Death Penalty
Crime is everywhere. Wherever we look, we find criminals and crime. Criminals have become a part of our daily lives. Does this mean we let them be the darkness of our society? No, definitely not.