I believe that capital punishment has its benefits and can prevent murders when used and
The death penalty given to people judged to have committed extremely heinous
crimes such as murder has been a practice since before the beginning of Christianity.
Since the 1800s most executions have resulted from convictions for murder. The United
States is the only Western industrialized nation that still proceeds in capital punishment.
War crimes, spying and murder are the only three offenses that have the possible penalty
of the death sentence. In recent years, capital punishment has become a very
controversial issue in the United States and other countries.
Opposition to the death penalty says that states that have capital punishment have
a very high crime rate. What they do not take into consideration is that all the states are
different and have different populations, different numbers of major cities, and different
crime rates. There is currently no capital punishment in Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine,
Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and
Wisconsin. –Almost all have lower populations and a low crime rate. In otherwords, the
states that have capital punishment have it because of the high crime rates, not the other
Studies have shown that capital punishment deters murders. In 1985, a study
published by economist Stephen K. Layson at the University of North Carolina showed
that every execution of a murderer deters, on average, 18 murders. The study also showed
that raising the number of death sentences by one percent could prevent 105 murders. It
does not seem fair to me that a murderer can live while innocent people are dying,
especially when it can be prevented.
Violent crimes are capable of being deterred by lethal consequences for their
actions if only on a sub-conscience level. If the death penalty were just as consistent,
lethal, and as unstoppable as the AIDS virus, criminals would have reason to back down.
Following on from that, is the fact that abolitionists may claim that most studies show
that the death penalty has no effect on the murder rate at all. That is only because those
studies have focused on inconsistent executions. Capital punishment like all other
applications must be used consistently to become effective. There should not be any
question in the mind of a killer, if you commit murder, then you will be equally punished.
Abolitionists say that there are alternatives to the death penalty. It is in their
opinion that life in prison without parole serves well. Which it does, if you ignore all the
murders criminals commit within the prison when they kill prison guards and other
inmates, and also when they kill innocent citizens if they should escape. This is why for
people who truly value public safety, like myself; there is no substitute for the best in its
defense, which is capital punishment. Once a murderer is put to death, he or she is not
able to kill again.
Another argument against capital punishment is the combating of violence with
more violence, or that “you can not fight fire with fire.” The problem with this is that
there is a difference between violence and law-enforcement.
Some people ask: “Why do we kill people to show that killing is wrong?”
Therefore setting executions equivalent to murder. The term murder is specifically
defined as the crime of unlawfully killing a person. So, logically, the word murder cannot
be used to describe executions since the death penalty is the law. Secondly, comparing
execution to murders is like comparing a policeman speeding after a speeder to enforce
speeding laws. Nineteenth-century English philosopher and reformer John Stuart Mill,
“One displays a serious lack of moral judgment
to believe that just because two practices share
a physical similarity means that they are morally identical”
There is a claim that it is more expensive for the state to execute than to
incarcerate a murderer for life. The actual figure estimates that a Life without Parole’
case would cost $1.2 million – $3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases. A
Life without Parole’ prisoner faces, on average, 30 – 40 years in prison while the annual
cost of incarceration is $40,000 to $50,000 a year for each prisoner.
Abolitionists say that the death penalty is un-constitutional’ by quoting the eighth
amendment which forbids cruel and unusual punishment’. The Supreme Court has held
that the death penalty is not cruel or unusual, and is a Constitutionally accepted remedy
for a criminal act. In Trop v. Dulles, Chief Justice Eark Warren, no friend of the death
penalty said, “Whatever the arguments may be against capital punishment, both
on moral grounds and on grounds and in terms of accomplishing the
purpose of punishment the death penalty has been employed throughout
our history, and in a day when it is still widely accepted, it cannot be said
to violate the concept of cruelty.” So the constitution does allow capital punishment.
As for the penal system accidentally executing an innocent person, that is a
problem with the court system not capital punishment. It is up to the jury and judge in a
murder case to decide whether or not a person is guilty or innocent, and if the murderer
should be put to death.
So capital punishment is very capable of deterring murder if we allow it to, but
the legal system is so slow and inefficient, criminals are able to stay several steps ahead
of us and gain leeway through our lenience. Several reforms must be made in the justice
system so the death penalty can cause positive effect.