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
Death is easily considered the most ultimate punishment that our government can impose on an individual. Not only because of its violence, but because it is final, and ends all future human potential. Attitudes toward capital punishment vary. Some believe practicing the phrase “an eye for an eye,” as others is totally against it, no matter the circumstances. A number of countries are abandoning capital punishment and following the more human punishment of imprisonment for life, as other countries are increasing its use. The United States is the most prominent of this, executing far more citizens than any other nation such as: Canada, France, Romania, Poland, Italy, Germany, and many others (Kronenwetter, 2001).
...l punishment as a just and morally sound method of justice. After all, "An eye for an eye" seemed to be a rationale that many embraced as fair. Now there is an era of closer examination of what is truly just and morally ethical, as well as economically sound. A consequence needs to be fair, humane, and effective. Does capital punishment meet these criteria? There are compelling reasons to change the system we have blindly acclaimed. Hopefully we are in the process of implementing a new way of dealing with an age-old dilemma.
The usual justification for capital punsihment is that it deters crime. It is by no means obvious whether capital punishment deters crime more than life imprisonment. However, a legend says that in Victorian, England, at the site of public hangin gs of pickpocketers, other pickpocketers frequently practiced their trade among the crowd. Although the threat of execution was taking place right in front of their eyes, the deterrence in its strongest form was ineffective (Streib 3). On the other hand , in 1970 and 1971 the Los Angeles Police Department surveyed persons whom they arrested for a violent crime, but did not use their weapon, did not carry a weapon, or carried an inoperative weapon. Of the ninety-nine criminals who responded to the questi on about why they had not killed or put themselv...
...New England area and northern-more Middle West area, and the higher rates found in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Sellin grouped the states according to geography but made sure that the populations of each group also had similar social and economic conditions. Within these groups he found it impossible to distinguish the abolition state from the non-abolition states according to crime rates. Therefore, he found the homicide death rates of these grouped states to be similar, no matter their position on the death penalty. The inevitable conclusion is that all things remaining the same, executions have no discernible effect on rates of homicide. This study sparked debate and lead many other researchers to conduct their own analysis of data at different points in time up to the present in order to support or contradict Sellin’s findings in accordance with their own views.
In Martin Perlmutter's essay "Desert and Capital Punishment," he attempts to illustrate that social utility is a poor method of evaluating the legitimacy of it. Perlmutter claims that a punishment must be "backward looking," meaning that it is based on a past wrongdoing. A utilitarian justification of capital punishment strays from the definition of the term "punishment" because it is "forward looking." An argument for social utility maintains that the death penalty should result in a greater good and the consequences must outweigh the harm, thereby increasing overall happiness in the world. Perlmutter recognizes the three potential benefits of a punishment as the rehabilitation of an offender, protection for other possible victims, and deterring other people from committing the same crime. The death penalty however, obviously does not rehabilitate a victim nor does it do a better job at protecting other potential victims than life imprisonment. Since a punishment must inflict harm on an individual, deterrence is the only argument that utilitarians can use to defend the death penalty. The question then ari...
People often get caught up in the idea of capital punishment and what it means to others. For some individuals, it is a good feeling to see others suffer for their crimes. Meanwhile, others view the consequences as quite horrendous. I believe if an individual commits a serious crime, he or she should prepare to suffer the consequences. So strong is the desire to make others suffer for their crimes, we loose sight of what is right and wrong.
On July 2, 1976, almost two hundred years since the United States of America passed the Declaration of Independence, the Supreme Court legalized capital punishment (Appendix 1). Capital punishment executed for the crime of theft. Since then there have been an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 people lawfully executed(Espy pp.194). In the eighteenth century, England would punish by death for crimes such as pick pocketing and petty theft. After the 1650's colonist could be put to death for denying the true god or cursing their parents advocates.
In most states, a person convicted of first degree murder has the potential to be given the death penalty. Capital punishment is a subject that can be counted upon to stir emotion and controversy into any conversation or argument. The very concept provokes a profusion of valid questions and opinions. Today's daily world of crime and violence calls for punishment of a severe nature, and many citizens argue that the punishment necessary is the death penalty. These people quote passages such as the "an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" concept from the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian bible.
The death penalty has been around for centuries. It dates back to when Hammurabi had his laws codified; it was “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Capital punishment in America started when spies were caught, put on trial and hung. In the past and still today people argue that, the death penalty is cruel, unusual punishment and should be illegal. Yet many people argue that it is in fact justifiable and it is not cruel and unusual. Capital punishment is not cruel and unusual; the death penalty is fair and there is evidence that the death penalty deters crime.
Today American correction facilities experience a crisis of epic proportions. United States prisons and jails house inmates in record numbers with no relief. This situation leads many to suggest that overcrowding in prisons constitutes an important issue facing American correction reform today. One way to deal with overcrowded prisons is to enforce the death penalty. According to David Davis, infliction of the death penalty for certain secular crimes, such as murder and robbery, associates historically with the rise of the modern state (23). He also states, in England the death penalty was rationally defended as a means for protecting the king’s peace (23). Capital punishment dates back to 1787, where tactics were used such as decapitation, firing squads, and hangings. Just recently death penalties were carried out by means of electrocution and lethal injection. Enforcing capital punishment ensures a means of reducing recidivism for those who commit heinous crimes. Heinous crimes that consist of proven murders, terrorist situations, and rape deserve the death penalty. Increasing capital punishment promotes the reform of prisons by reducing recidivism, increasing deterrence, and decreasing prison population.
The use of capital punishment has progressively become problematic since the very first day it was put into practice. There are many great arguments both for and against capital punishment, but in my opinion the benefits of capital punishment outweigh any possible negative aspects. Although capital punishment sounds extreme, sometimes it is necessary when people execute extreme crimes. I would like to argue that in certain situations the use of capital punishment is morally acceptable.
When you think of an extreme crime you think of murder. When you think of an extreme punishment you think of the death penalty. Crimes of such severity sometimes deserve an equal punishment and we as a society accept this. However, Supreme Court Justice William Brennan argues that society seriously questions the appropriateness of the death penalty. It is true that over the years since the death penalty was first implemented it has undergone some changes but this does not suggest that we believe that the death penalty is unacceptable.
“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is how the saying goes. Coined by the infamous Hammurabi’s Code around 1700 BC, this ancient expression has become the basis of a great political debate over the past several decades – the death penalty. While the conflict can be whittled down to a matter of morals, a more pragmatic approach shows defendable points that are far more evidence backed. Supporters of the death penalty advocate that it deters crime, provides closure, and is a just punishment for those who choose to take a human life. Those against the death penalty argue that execution is a betrayal of basic human rights, an ineffective crime deterrent, an economically wasteful option, and an outdated method. The debate has experienced varying levels of attention over the years, but has always kept in the eye of the public. While many still advocate for the continued use of capital punishment, the process is not the most cost effective, efficient, consistent, or up-to-date means of punishment that America could be using today.