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The death penalty is not a deterrent - Research Paper Example

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The Death Penalty is Not a Deterrent Introduction Society should judge conduct, not human worth. If we punish a criminal, it is because of what he had done to his victim, not because he was that bad and society must punish him. Criminal law states that society must judge conduct and not souls…
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Download file to see previous pages Pillsbury argued that it is the violence of our crimes that is the problem and not the number of crimes. And in dealing with the American homicide problem, we need to approach it squarely with all the help we can muster from social scientists, lawyers, police officers, community leader and activists, even novelists and movie makers. Each of these people provides a different perspective on what makes people commit crime, and each provides a different solution in dealing with the criminal who committed the crime. (Pillsbury 3) A police officer who apprehended the criminal may want conviction and incarceration. The psychiatrist may ask for psychiatric treatment, while a social reformer may ask that the offender be given family support which he/she lacked when the crime was committed. Each professional or actor in the justice system may want a different approach. But this will hold only for as long as each respects the other. The criminal, after a psychiatric treatment, may find himself a promoter of social reform, but not capital punishment. This paper will provide an answer to the question whether the criminal deserves punishment and not the death penalty. Is capital punishment a deterrent to a convict’s commission of another crime? Or is it a deterrent for others to commit a crime? Literature Review Proponents of the death penalty provide four fundamental rationales in imposing it: ‘deterrence, instrumental perspective, retribution, and incapacitation’ (Lambert and Clarke, qtd. in Elechi, Lambert and Ventura 110). Proponents argue that people can be stopped from committing crimes by imposing severe sanctions and executing criminals deters others who planned to commit crimes from doing so. Proponents also advocate that the death penalty is an ‘effective deterrent than life imprisonment’ (Elechi et al 110). Retribution is vengeance (Mitchell 480). Statistics about homicide rates in conjunction with execution rates Since 1999 the murder rate has remained unchanged despite the decline of death sentences, executions, and the size of death row. (“Death Penalty Information Center” para. 1) In the so-called execution capital of the nation, Texas, executions go up the same thing with homicide. For example in Bexar, San Antonio, with a population of about 1.4 million, the murder rate is 14.91, executions registered at 18 and executions per 1,000 murders are 4.3; in El Paso, a population of .7 million, the murder rate is 6.60, execution 1; in Tarrant (Ft. Worth), population of 1.5, murder rate is 12.78, executions 22, and executions per 1,000 are 6.5; in Dallas, a population of 2.2 million, the murder rate is 19.33, executions 26, and executions per 1000 murders are 3.1. The hiatus in executions during 1972 to 1976 was brought about by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Furman v. Georgia, which states that capital punishment in America was cruel and unusual punishment. (“Mortal Justice: The Demography of the Death Penalty” 40) Statistics about homicide rates in conjunction with life imprisonment States, which do not have the death penalty and only have life imprisonment, have reported lower murder rates. In 2010, the murder rate in death penalty states was 5.00, while the murder rate in non-death penalty states was 4.01 or a difference of 25%. In other words, death penalty or life imprisonment has no deterrence on violent crimes like murder. The murder rate is calculated by dividing the total ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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