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Bedau begins by arguing that the death penalty fails as a deterrant. A punishment can only be a deterent if it is consist and prompt. But only 1 out of every 3 murders are eventually sentenced to death. Furthermore, the death penalty takes considerably longer to judicate than other crimes. And finally, criminals aren’t actually deterred by deterrence. Irrational criminals, people who are committing murder because of an irrational motivation such as a mental derangement or psychosis or perhaps overwhelmed with too many emotions at a single given time aren’t going to be stopped by rational conserderations of punishments. But what about rational murderers? If the death penalty stopped them then it may be worth having. But let’s consider their motivations, does a rational murderer intend to get caught? If the answer is no, he or she intends to commit murder and get away with it. Then are they more likely to be deterred by any punishment? It seems likely that they won’t be deterred no matter how severe it is because they don’t plan to get caught, in fact, they don’t plan to get punished at all. They think they will get away with it. It doesn’t matter if they are actually smart enough to actually get away with it. Many murderers commit murders thinking they are going to get away with it and then get caught. Weather they are or not doesn’t matter, most believe they are actually smart enough or not, they will always believe they can outsmart the system and that is all that matters. But what about murders who don’t plan to get away with it? Who intend to commit a murder and then decide to just sit down on the sidewalk and wait for the police to come and arrest them. Well it seems that these murderers don’t care about the punish...

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... to forfeit your life. The fact of the matter is, by the way the death penalty is carried out in our country, isn’t equivalent to murder. Most murders are relatively short, they are relatively quick, the victim does not see them coming or does not see them coming for long. Whereas men or woman who are on trial for murder, the murder trial can drag on for upwards to a decade. The person is often in jail at this time and are put into solitary confinement or in a separate part of the prison so they don’t get much interaction with other humans. So capital punishement trails are more like prolonged kidnapping in which the kidnapped victim is constantly threatened with death but is not actually killed for a very long time. This is, of course, torturous. And therefore it looks as if these consequences are out of purportion with the somewhat more benine defence of murder.
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