The Death Penalty Doesn't Deter Crime

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I would characterize the public opinion on the death penalty as being an uninformed opinion. More people are in favor of the death penalty, now then back a few decades ago. People are not well informed on the statistics of the death penalty, like the number of prisoners, or the racial discrimination etc. I think that if more people were informed that some opinions would be changed. It has been shown that men over women, whites over blacks, and Republicans over Democrats, conservatives over liberals are in favor of the death penalty (Bedau 90). These statistics have been found all through the whole period that the data was collected. It doesn't really seem as though people have formed exact opinions of why they support or oppose the death penalty, it’s more of just choosing a side and sticking by it. Most people’s attitudes toward capital punishment are basically emotional (95). Some people feel that killing is wrong so they oppose the death penalty. On the other hand people will feel that the only way justice will be served is to punish by death, so retribution seemed to be a big reason why they would support the death penalty, cause people more so someone would seek revenge for a loved one. People’s opinions are also based on the costs of imprisonment, or what crimes they think should be punishable by death. I don't think everyone really wants people to die though. Polls have shown that when people were faced with the question of either the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole, that support for the death penalty dropped substantially (117). So it would seem that people really don't want an execution they just don't want the criminal to one day have a chance to roam free, or some migh... ... middle of paper ... ...citated he would recidivate. I believe that life in prison without parole would serve the same purpose because if your in prison for life they cannot commit further crimes in the outside world, or if there contained in one room and don't have contact with anyone they aren't a harm to anyone else. If I had the opportunity to tell the president something about deterrence, I would make them aware of the studies proving that deterrence has no effect. I would tell them to take a stand, and say what they know is right not just what everyone wants to hear. Or at least if they insist on capital punishment to make changes so that it actually does what it was meant to do or don't have it at all. Conclusions I have drawn from these materials is that deterrence is useless and changes need to be made, that its time to stop hiding from the truth and do something about it.
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