capital punishment

950 Words2 Pages

Capital Punishment and Deterrence Abstract Capitol Punishment has been around since the beginning of mankind; eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. Since then the public have debated for or against capital punishment revolving around issues of deterrence, retribution, discrimination and Irreversibility. Leaving us with the responsibility to analyze the factors surrounding capital punishment. A number of studies have also been done specifically on the deterrent effects of capital punishment. Many officials believes that capital punishment not only prevent s the offender from committing additional crimes but deters others as well. The research of Franklin E. Zimring and Gordon J. Hawkins demonstrated that punishment is an effective deterrent for those who are criminally inclined. Another research has been to examine murder rates in given areas both before and after an execution. Clear and cole(2000) have examined more than 200 studies evaluating the effectiveness of the death penalty in deterring crime. A recent study found that a significant deterrent effect is associated with the increased use of capital punishment since 1977 ( Dezhbakhsh, Rubin and Shepherd, 2001). Michael Radelet and Ronald Akers attempted to determine if having the Death Penalty indeed act as a deterrent on criminal homicide. Is the theory of “Just Deserts” (Bedau, 1978; Finckenenauer, 1998) in anyway credible? It is also often argued that death is what murderers deserve, making criminals reap what they sow. Most believe that in order to assure deserts, the punishment should always fit the crime. It would require us to rape rapists, torture torturers, and inflict other horrible and degrading punishment on offenders. It would require us to betray traitors and kill multiple murderers again and again, punishments impossible to inflict. ( Bedau 1978). 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

More about capital punishment

Open Document