The data on the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent seems unclear. However, in New York State, violent crime decreased by 23%, assaults declined by 22%, and the murder rate dropped by 32% after the death penalty was reinstated in 1995 (Pataki, 1997:53). Although this data supports that capital punishment does deter crime, there is data that shows the opposite. There are roughly 20,000 homicides a year in the United States ( van den Hagg 1986:266). If any of those deaths are prevented because the potential perpetrator was fearful of the death penalty, then capital punishment has fulfilled a portion of its duty.
One more recent story was the “Sniper” story, wher... ... middle of paper ... ...le this system is very good for a single murder and should be implemented, it falls through in the case of multiple murders. Thus so far there are no alternatives to the death penalty. The only reasonable excuse against the death penalty is the execution of an innocent person. None the less, while in the past Techniques such as DNA testing did not exist, frequently police agencies are more precise in their accusation as well as their methods of finding the guilty party. As a society we must grant our trust into the hands of authority.
Recently in the United States, there has been 875 prisoners executed, but not one has been proven innocent. The death penalty provides justice to the families involved in the worst crimes (Jacoby). “The execution of a murderer sends a powerful moral message: that the innocent life he t... ... middle of paper ... ...es, but we do not tear the lighthouse down’” (qtd. by Sharp “Death Penalty Paper”). We believe that the death penalty should be enforced because it can be used as a way to put fear into criminals and decrease the murder rate throughout the world.
Ernest van den Haag, a professor and author of “Punishing Criminals:Concerning a Very Old and Painful Question” wrote about the issue of deterrence: “…capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else. They fear most death deliberately inflicted by law and scheduled by the courts…the threat of the death penalty may deter some murderers who otherwise might not have been deterred. And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard, or offenders about to be arrested and facing a life sentence.” Ernest van den Haag stated that capital punishment or the death penalty is the strongest deterrent that society has against murder, which has been proven in many cases. “Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder... ... middle of paper ... ...dant with a nonblack victim, regardless how severe the murder committed. Black-on-black crimes is less likely to receive a death sentence, followed by crimes by other defendants, regardless of the race of their victims.” It is important to note that in these cases, race may more easily become the deciding factor in who lives and who dies.
Capital Punishment as a Form of Deterrance and Permanent Incapacitation Society has always used punishment to discourage “potential” criminals from unlawful action. Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder, it should use the strongest punishment available to deter murder. The death penalty is arguably the strongest deterrent for murder and the strongest punishment for other unspeakable crimes. If murderers are sentenced to death and executed, potential murderers will think twice before killing for fear of losing their own life. For years, criminologists analyzed murder rates to see if they fluctuated with the likelihood of convicted murderers being executed, but the results were inconclusive.
In an article about advantages of the death penalty, Luther Avery states, “The punishment should always fit the crime” (Avery 1). This means that the more severe the crime, the more severe the punishment. The death penalty is the best option of punishment because it serves justice. Cruel murders deserve the death penalty. If a murderer was given a different punishment other than the death penalty, the human live(s) that perished would become less and less important.
The death penalty deters potential criminals as well as serves retribution to criminals, and is in no way immoral. The arguments against the death penalty often do not hold up when examined more closely. The death penalty can be an extremely useful tool in sentencing criminals that have committed some of the worst crimes known to society. It is imperative that we begin to pass legislation making capital punishment legal throughout the U.S. so that justice can be served properly.
Retentionist are, “those who want to retain the death penalty as part of a system of legal punishment, who believe that sometimes capital punishment is warranted.” (348). Kant ‘s retributivism is, “the doctrine that people should be punished simply because they deserve it and that the punishment should be proportional to the crime.” (351). I feel that Kant’s retributivism is a good law to follow when deciding how to punish a guilty person to some extent. I feel that retributivism should be used to the fullest extent if the crime is murder or stealing; however, I feel that retributivism should not be used in the exact form as stated when dealing with other crimes such as rape. I feel that to have someone rape a rapist would not be moral or fair to the both parties and that life in prison
The death penalty has also impacted law enforcement by focusing the investigation on compiling the necessary evidence and witness accounts in order to correctly gather all the necessary information. The death penalty has always been controversial in history, but the arguments for and against the abolishment of the death penalty is critical in establishing a correct punishment for the crime committed. The death penalty has been backed by statistical analysis that has provided arguments for and against the sentencing based off deterrence methods. People against the death penalty have documented states that do not have the death penalty and have shown a decrease in murder rate. David Cooper’s statistical article provides information for non-death penalty states showing lower murder rates by stating, “When comparisons are made between states with the death penalty and states without, the majority of death penalty states show murder rates higher than non-death penalty states.
However the principle of just deserts is understood to require that the severity of punishments must be proportional to the gravity of the crime, and that murder being the gravest crime deserves the severest punishment, then the principle is no doubt sound. But it does not compel support for the death penalty. What it does require is that crimes other than murder be punished with terms of imprisonment or other deprivations less severe than those used in the punishment of murder. Criminals no doubt deserve to be punished, and punished with severity appropriate to their culpability and the harm they have caused to the innocent. But severity of punishment has its limits -- imposed both by justice and