The first is that there is a possibility of error. However, the chance that there might be an error is separate from the issue of whether the death penalty can be justified or not. If an error does occur, and an innocent person is executed, then the problem lies in the court system, not in the death penalty. Furthermore, most activities in our world, in which humans are involved, possess a possibility of injury or death. Construction, sports, driving, and air travel all offer the possibility of accidental death even though the highest levels of precautions are taken. These activities continue to take place, and continue to occasionally take human lives, because we have all decided, as a society, that the advantages outweigh the unintended loss. We have also decided that the advantages of having dangerous murderers removed from our society outweigh the losses of the offender.
The second argument against capital punishment is that it is unfair in its administration. Statistics show that the poor and minorities are more likely to receive the death penalty. Once again, this is a separate issue. It can’t be disputed sadly, the rich are more likely to get off with a lesser sentence, and this bias is wrong. However, this is yet another problem of our current court system. The racial and economic bias is not a valid argument against the death penalty. It is an argument against the courts and their unfair system of sentencing.
The third argument is actually a rebuttal to a claim made by some supporters of the death penalty. The claim is that the threat of capital punishment reduces violent crimes. Opponents of the death penalty do not agree and have a valid argument when they say, “The claims that capital punishment reduces violent crime is inconclusive and certainly not proven.”
The fourth argument is that the length of stay on death row, with its endless appeals, delays, technicalities, and retrials, keep a person waiting for death for years on end. It is both cruel and costly. This is the least credible argument against capital punishment. The main cause of such inefficiencies is the appeals process, which allows capital cases to bounce back and forth between state and federal courts for years on end. If supporting a death row inmate for the rest their life costs less than putting them to death, and ending their financial burden on society, then the problem lies in the court system, not in the death penalty. As for the additional argument, that making a prisoner wait for years to be executed is cruel, then would not waiting for death in prison for the rest of your life be just as cruel, as in the case of life imprisonment without parole.
Many Americans will tell you why they are in favor of the death penalty. It is what they deserve. It prevents them from ever murdering again. It removes the burden from taxpayers. We all live in a society with the same basic rights and guarantees. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with equal opportunities. This is the basis for our society. It is the foundation on which everything else is built upon. When someone willfully and flagrantly attacks this foundation by murdering another, robbing them of all they are, and all they will ever be, then that person can no longer be a part of this society. The only method that completely separates cold blooded murderers from our society is the death penalty.
As the 20th century comes to a close, it is evident that our justice system is in need of reform. This reform will shape the future of our country, and we cannot jump to quick solutions such as the elimination of the death penalty. As of now, the majority of American supports the death penalty as an effective solution of punishment.
“An eye for an eye,” is what some Americans would say concerning the death penalty. Supporters of the death penalty ask the question, “Why should I, an honest hardworking taxpayer, have to pay to support a murderer for the rest of their natural life? Why not execute them and save society the cost of their keep?” Many Americans believe that the death penalty is wrong. However, it seems obvious to some Americans that the death penalty is a just and proper way to handle convicted murderers.
The Death Penalty is NOT an Effective Deterrent Essay
2050 Words9 Pages
The issue of the death penalty has been of great concern and debate for a number of years now. Prior to 1976, the death penalty was banned in the United States. In 1976, though, the ban was lifted, and many states adopted the death penalty in their constitutions. Currently, there are 38 states that use the death penalty, and only 12 states that do not. The states that have the death penalty use a number of ways to go about executing the defendant. Thirty-two states use lethal injection, 10 use electrocution, 6 use the gas chamber, 2 use hanging, and 2 states use a firing squad (Death Penalty Information Center, 1997). The 12 states that do not have the death penalty are Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,…show more content…
In contrast, the question of deterrence can be answered objectively using common sense and statistics. By analyzing different arguments for and against the death penalty, such as the "fear of death" myth, the cost of the death penalty, and the racial and economic bias of the death penalty, it can be shown that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent of crime.
The deterrence argument states that, "although executing the murderer neither prevents the death of the victim nor restores their life, instating the death penalty effectively prevents the deaths of other victims" (Nathanson, 1987). On the surface, this seems like a convincing argument, because of course, if the murderer is dead, then he/she will not kill again. The question is, though, does the death penalty prevent the potential killer from ever killing in the first place? Is it more effective than other forms of punishment? Supporters of the death penalty argue that the death penalty ensures that the murderer will not strike again. But doesn't life in prison without parole do the same?
Proponents of the deterrence argument say that the death penalty prevents murders because the killers, like everyone else, have a fear of death (Nathanson, 1987). I do not believe that this is a valid statement. Everyone does things that are risks to his/her life. Driving a car, riding a bike, rock climbing, swimming, smoking; we do these things for the need to get places, for adventure, excitement,