Death Penalty

Death Penalty The United states is the only western democracy that still practices capital punishment.

There have been over 4050 executions since 1930. In 1994 alone, there were 257 executions in the United States. People who believe in capital punishment say that this dehumanizing process deters crime. This is false because the death penalty has been proven NOT to deter crime.In fact, during the 1980s, states practicing the death penalty averaged an annual rate of 7.5 criminal homicides per 100,000, while abolition states averaged a rate of 7.

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4 per 100,000. That means murder was actually MORE common in states that use the death penalty. Criminals irrationally perform crimes, therefore, life imprisonment ought to deter a rational person itself. Besides, no criminal commits a crime if he believes he will be caught. The death penalty is morally incorrect. Why do governments kill people to show other people that killing is wrong? Would society allow rape as the penalty for rape or the burning of arsonists homes as the penalty for arson.Every time we execute someone, we sink to the same level as the common killer. What is the difference between the state killing and an individual killing? The end result is the same. more dead body, one more set of grieving parents, and one more cemetery slot. Every time we execute someone, we are desensitizing the value of human life.

The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been a more economical alternative to life imprisonment. A study by the New York State Defenders Association showed that the cost of a capital trial ALONE is more than double the cost of life imprisonment. They also concluded that a death penalty case costs approximately 42 percent more than a case resulting in a non-death sentence. Since 1976 the United States has spent 700 million dollars in it. Another reason to get rid of the death penalty is the possibility of error.Sometimes a person might be put to death who is innocent. At least 23 people have been executed who did not commit the crime they were accused of.

And that is only those that we know of. When we execute an innocent person, the real killer is still on the streets, ready to victimize someone else. If the innocent person is executed then the case is closed forever.

Or, at least until someone else gets killed by the real perpetrator. If the death penalty is not an effective way to deter crime, then what is? The only way is to prevent it from happening rather that enforce harsh punishment to scare off potential crimes. New York lowered crime rates by putting more police officers on the street, not by longer jail terms or death penalty. This was effective because if you think about it, if I was to rob a store, first I would look to see if any police officers were around. If I would see one riding around the block and another patrolling the streets, I would think twice about it. Also, the availability of handguns plays a major role in murder rates.It is a lot easier to kill someone by putting one bullet in their head rather than stabbing or strangling someone. If we decrease the availability of handguns then I guarantee there will be less murders.

There are many ways to do it, but it is definitely time to, once and for all, EXECUTE the death penalty.

Death Penalty

Death PenaltyPutting to death people who have been judge to commit certain extremely heinous crimes is a practice of ancient standing. But in the United States, in the latter half of the twentieth century, it has become a very controversial issue. Changing views on this difficult issue led the Supreme Court to abolish capital punishment in 1972 but later turned to uphold it again in 1977, with certain conditions. Indeed, restoring capital punishment is the will of the people, yet many voices have been raised against it. Heated public debate has centered on questions of deterrence, public safety, sentencing equality, and the execution of innocents, among others. One argument states that the death penalty does not deter murder.

Dismissing capital punishment on that basis would require us to eliminate all prisons as well because they do not seem to be any more effective in the deterrence of crime. Others say that states, which have the death penalty, have higher crime rates than those that do not. And that a more sever punishment only inspires more sever crimes.

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But every state in the union is different. These differences include population, the number of cities, and the crime rate. Urbanized states are more likely to have higher crime rates than states that are more rural. The states that have capital punishment have it because of their high crime rate, not the other way around.

In 1985, a study was published by economist Stephen K. Layson, at the University of North Carolina, that showed that every execution of a murderer deters, on average of 18 murders. The study also showed that raising the number of death sentences by only one percent would prevent 105 murders. However, only 38 percent of all murder cases result in a death sentence, and of those, only 0.1 percent are actually executed. During the temporary suspension on capital punishment from 1972 – 1976, researchers gathered murder statistics across the country. Researcher Karl Spence of Texas A&M University came up with these statistics, in 1960, there were 56 executions in the United States and 9,140 murders. By 1964, when there were only 15 executions, the number of murders had risen to 9,250.

In 1969, there were no executions and 14,590 murders, and 1975, after six years without executions, 20,510 murders occurred. So the number of murders grew as the number of executions shrank. Spence said: “While some death penalty abolitionists try to face down the results of their disastrous experiment and still argue to the contrary, the…

data concludes that a substantial deterrent effect has been observed…In six months, more Americans are murdered than have been killed by execution in this entire century…Until we begin to fight crime in earnest by using the death penalty, every person who dies at a criminal’s hands is a victim of our inaction.” And in Texas, the highest murder rate in Houston (Harris County) occurred in 1981 with 701 murders.

Since Texas reinstated the death penalty in 1982, Harris County has executed more murderers than any other city or state in the union and has seen the greatest reduction in murder from 701 in 1981 down to 261 in 1996 – a 63% reduction, representing a 270% differential. Also, in the 1920s and 30s, death penalty advocates were known to refer to England as a means of proving capital punishment’s deterrent effect. Back then, at least 120 murderers were executed every year in the United States and sometimes the number reached 200. Even then, England used the death penalty far more consistently than we did and their overall murder rate was smaller than any one of our major cities at the time.

Now, since England abolished capital punishment about released killers have murdered thirty years ago, the murder rate has subsequently doubled there and 75 English citizens. Abolitionists will claim that most studies show that the death penalty has no effect on the murder rate at all. But that’s only because those studies have been focused on inconsistent executions. Capital punishment, like all other applications, must be used consistently in the United States for decades, so abolitionists have been able to establish the delusion that it does not deter at all to rationalize their fallacious arguments. But the evidence shows that whenever capital punishment is applied consistently or against a small murder rate it has always been followed by a decrease in murder. There is not an example on how the death penalty has failed to reduce the murder rate under those conditions. So capital punishment is very capable of deterring murder if we allow it to, but our 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 our justice system so the death penalty can cause a positive effect. Abolitionists claim that there are alternatives to the death penalty. They say that life in prison without parole serves just as well. Certainly, if you ignore all the murders criminals commit within prison when they kill prison guards and other inmates, and also when they kill decent citizens upon escape.

According to the United States Department of Justice, the average prison sentence served for murder is five years and eleven months. But just putting a murderer away for life is not good enough. Laws change, so do parole boards, and people forget the past.

Those are things that cause life imprisonment to weather away. As long as the murderer lives, there is always a chance, no matter how small, that he will strike again. This is why for people who truly value public safety; there is no substitute for the best in its defense, which is capital punishment. It not only forever bars the murderer from killing again, it also prevents parole boards and criminal rights activists from giving him the chance to repeat his crime. There are those that state that capital punishment is unfair to people of other races, classes, or mental abilities. I say that these aspects are not an issue. Murder has no color, class, or IQ.

A murderer is a murderer. When a loved one is killed, I doubt anyone could take comfort in the fact that the perpetrator had a low IQ, was black instead of white, or poor instead of rich. 1991 Rand Corporation studies by Stephen Klein found that white murderers received the death penalty slightly more often (32%) than non-white murderers (27%).

And while the study found murderers of white victims received the death penalty more often (32%) than murderers of non-white victims (23%), when controlled for variables such as severity and number of crimes committed, there is no disparity between those sentenced to death for killing white or black victims. Also, doesn’t the fact that the death penalty is optional make it seem more prone to racial discrimination? It has been called racist since a prosecutor can seek a death sentence against an African-American for capital crime but not a white person for the same offense. You never hear of prison terms being called “racist” because there are mandatory sentences for many crimes. If the death penalty were the same way, race would not be an issue and the courts would be forced to concentrate only on the crime committed.

For capital punishment to be applied equally to every criminal, rich or poor, black or white, it must be mandatory for all capital cases. There are claims that it is more expensive for the state to execute a criminal than to incarcerate him for life. Many opponents presented, as facts, claim that the cost of the death penalty is so expensive (at least $2 million per case?), that we must choose life without parole at a cost of $1 million for 50 years. But JFA (Justice for All) also estimated that life without parole cases would cost $1.2 million – $3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases.

Life without parole prisoner’s face, on average, 30 or 40 years in prison while the annual cost of incarceration is $40,000 to $50,000 a year for each prisoner or more. There is no question that the up front cost of the death penalty is significantly higher than that of the life without parole cases. There also appears to be no question that, over time, the equivalent life without parole cases are much more expensive – from $1.2 to $3.6 million – than death penalty cases. Opponents claim that the death penalty costs 3 – 10 times more than life without parole.

TIME Magazine (2/7/94) found that nationwide the average cell costs is $24,000 a year and the maximum-security cell cost is $75,000 a year. Therefore, any cost calculations should be based specifically of cell cost for criminals who have committed the exact same category of offense – in other words, cost comparisons are valid only if you compare the cost of death penalty cases to the equivalent life without parole cases. But the cost for justice does not have to be so high for the execution of murderers.

If we only allowed appeals that are relevant in proving one’s innocence and eliminated the many more that are used merely as delaying tactics, it would save millions in taxpayers dollars. Abolitionists claim that the death penalty is unconstitutional by quoting the eighth amendment, which forbids “cruel and unusual punishment”. But “cruel and unusual” was never defined by our founding fathers. So where does the Supreme Court stand on the “cruel and unusual” claim of the abolitionists? In several cases the Justices of the Supreme Court have held that the death penalty is not cruel and/or unusual, and is in fact, a Constitutionally acceptable remedy for a criminal act. The Supreme Court has constantly held that the death penalty in itself, as a sentence for a crime, is neither cruel nor unusual.

The court said: “The punishment of death is not cruel, within the meaning of that word as used in the Constitution. It implies there is something more inhuman and barbarous, than the mere extinguishment of life.” There are those who insist that the Constitution does not support the death penalty.

This is simply not true. The fifth amendment states: No person shall be held for a answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Note: “.

..a capital, or otherwise infamous crime…

…be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.

.. …nor be deprived of life.

..without due process of law.

..” So the constitution does allow capital punishment through indirect reference. I would imagine that the Founding Fathers could not have conceived of a world or nation without capital punishment. Indeed, in those days, there was absolutely no question of the value of public safety and personal responsibility. Had they foreseen the rise in violent crime we have had in the 70s, 80s, and into the 90s, they might have declared the death penalty in the Preamble. As for the penal system accidentally executing an innocent person, I must point out that in this imperfect world, citizens are required to take certain risks in exchange for relative safety. After all, convicted murderers have taken far more innocent lives than the supposedly 23 innocent lives mistakenly executed in this century.

For instance, over 600 repeat offenses occur within prison walls each year in this country. Not only that, but over 13,000 Americans citizens are murdered each year by released and paroled criminals. These are the serious flaws in life sentences that abolitionists prefer to trivialize to nonexistence. One United States Senate report stated this position this way: All that can be expected of…human authorities is that they take every reasonable precaution against the danger of error.

..If errors are…made, this is the necessary price that must be paid within a society which is made up of human beings. Also, the death penalty isn’t the only institution that requires that we accept risks in exchange for social benefits.

We, in fact, mindlessly use far more dangerous institutions that take the lives of innocents by the hundreds every day, cars for example. After all, how can we accept the average 45,000 person a year death toll in this nation due to car wrecks for our personal conveniences when we can’t accept the few risks of wrongful executions for the sake of defending public safety? To enjoy the privilege of using cars, airplanes, or any other device that improve the quality of our lives, we accept the risks and deaths that are caused by them in order to reap their full benefits. The same concept applies for the death penalty only on a far lesser scale.

As long as we are entitled to recklessly endanger hundreds of innocent lives daily for our personal conveniences, then surely we should be allowed to take on a lesser risk for public safety. Every institution that is of great benefit to our society always contains risks so that we may enjoy a better world. The death penalty happens to be the least dangerous of them, yet it is focused on with the most paranoia. Abolitionist likes to establish the illusion that the death penalty is the only risk that exists.

That’s why they rarely, if ever, pay attention to the hundreds of innocent human beings that are brutally slaughtered daily by cars, airplanes, fire, and electricity, let alone violent crime. The only time they assign the most worth and reverence to human lives is when they help rationalize their own standards like the possible victims of wrongful executions. Also, whenever we have to go to war, it happens that all the gunshots we fire that are meant for the enemy may hit and kill many of our own soldiers and allies. It had been known to occur, but that unpleasant factor doesn’t prevent us from going to war. On a final note, how can murder be taken seriously if the penalty isn’t equally as serious? A crime after all is only as sever as the punishment that follows it.

As Edward Konch once said: “It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life.” As the flagship of democracy, it is the United States responsibility to demonstrate that public safety is not some trivial privilege, but an unalienable human right for every citizen. Therefore, the United States should set the example that every civilized nation has a moral responsibility to defend the safety of their citizens at least as diligently as they defend national security with an army. Every country in the world is ready and willing to kill thousands, even millions of human beings in brutal, merciless ways to defend their nation from the aggression of other countries. I don’t see why public safety doesn’t deserve as much respect and protection as a nation’s national security does. In fact, it can be reasonably argued that supporting armies and waging war is far more barbarous than the death penalty. So I find it hypocritical that the same countries who have abolished capital punishment because it is “barbaric” are at the same time prepared to enforce political power and defend their territorial claims through infinitely more violence and bloodshed than the death penalty would ever require. The whole reason why nations and governments exist is to defend their citizens from vicious criminals.

When it fails to do that, it becomes of little use to its citizens. When a society ignores their moral duty to defend the safety and security of their citizens and leaves them at the mercy of violent criminals, they are negligent. I am certain that there will come a time when all the nations in the world will be forced to agree after decades of experience on this issue, that capital punishment, like the military and the police force and taxes, is an inevitable and unavoidable consequence of every civilized society and it will no longer be a question of whether or not a nation should have the death penalty, but rather how it should be used. While I believe that prompt and consistent executions would have a deterrent effect, there remains one great virtue, even as infrequent as executions. The recidivism rate for capital punishment is zeros.

No executed murderer has ever killed again. You can’t say that about those sentenced to prison, even if you are an abolitionisWords/ Pages : 2,820 / 24

Death penalty

Death PenaltyOften times, jail sentencing does not do justice to murder. Sometimes, crime is so cruel that there is no realistic punishment for it.

There are too many victims out there that have suffered and their attacker received a painless life sentence. Painless, when comparing to horrifying murders that happen everyday. As Paul A. Winters says, If a person commits a gruesome murder, he deserves to be put to death (Winters et al.

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154). So many murderers are convicted of man slaughter and only receive years in jail. Their victims feel the pain, but imagine the pain and sorrow the families of the victims feel. The Death penalty is the only justifying sentence for a murderer. The Death penalty is effective because it deters crime. According to polls, more than 70 percent of Americans feel that murderers deserve the death penalty (Winters et al. 168).

Although several people are in favor of the death penalty, abolitionist claim there are some alternatives, they say that life without parole serves just as well (Guilmette 2). Many citizens would agree that putting away the murderer is effective, but just isnt enough. Capital punishment is the most effective weapon against the murderers because no executed murderer ever has had the chance to kill again. Over the years, many people would say that public safety has become meaningless and not worth defending anymore. Every country in the world is ready and willing to kill thousands, even millions of human beings in brutal, merciless way to defend their nation from the aggression of other countries. Why public safety doesnt deserve as much respect and protection as a nations national security does? In fact, it can be argued that supporting armies and war is far more barbarous than the death penalty is.

The one of the main reasons why nations and governments exist is to defend their citizens from vicious criminals. When it fails to do that, they become of little use to its citizens. People throughout all the nations will soon realize that capital punishment, military or police force, and even taxes are an unavoidable consequence of every civilized society. It will no longer be the question of whether or not a nation should have the death penalty, but rather how it should be used.

What can you say to the parents of the kids that were killed in Columbine High School? What can be done about juvenile murderers? President Clinton proposed that the age at which penalty could be applied should be reduced from 21 to 18 (ORourke 1). Many people agree that everyone who is considered a legal adult should be sentenced like one; that means possibly the death penalty. Those who advocate the abolition of capital punishment have supported their cause with many arguments. They have claimed that some have been wrongly sent to death row, while other decisions have been unfairly applied to minorities and the poor. Others argued for the sanctity of human life, as well as the expense involved in capital punishment. But those who believe in the opposition of the death penalty are often misled. They should consider the following cases that underlie the support for capital punishment, for it is certainly the only way to deal with the cruelty of crime that has infected our society. Capital punishment was once supported by the theory of deterrence, yet studies have shown weaknesses in this argument.

Although the death penalty may not have an effect in deterring crime, it protects society from the threat of the same criminal committing a violation again when they are set free. A notable example is the case of Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate the Pope after he had previously been tried and convicted of murder. Opponents may often refute this by suggesting a life sentence without parole, yet research has shown that the crime rates in prisons are gradually increasing. What happens when a person sentenced with life imprisonment kills another inmate or guard during that time? This brings about reconsideration for those who advocate sentences without parole instead of capital punishment. A second way to look at the validation of capital punishment is the concept of retribution. Retribution cannot be confused with the concept of revenge.

It is society’s right of intolerance to heinous crimes that bring about the need for death row. Criminals have not only injured their victims but also the important values that govern society, which is the respect for life. Society has a responsibility to protect its citizens, doing what is necessary and appropriate to those who break the laws.

Thus, capital punishment is necessary to ensure the priceless value of human lives. Thirdly, some people urge to abolish the death penalty because of their concern for the sanctity of human life. That is precisely the reason why this form of crime prevention should be maintained.

Capital punishment is different from murder because the person being executed had committed a crime and was tried and found guilty. An execution carried out after a trial cannot be compared to a murder committed by a criminal. Lastly, it is suggested and often proven that the death penalty discriminates against the poor and minority groups. One must see that this problem does not concern the justification of the penalty, but the unfair way in which it is distributed. This problem may be improved by properly reviewing the cases, imposing decisions without regard to race or class. This can be achieved so that all defendants receive equal protection ground. Capital punishment has had positive benefits upon the country in determining the consequences that criminals deserve.

This is needed to ensure the safety and moral values of society. If this is the case, there is no need for us to consider the expenses involved in the death penalty. We should not abolish capital punishment, but hold our country accountable for properly exercising the death penalty upon those who deserve it.Many criminals don’t fear the judicial system. They are not afraid of jail or their punishment. How can we force them to stop killing or stealing if they are not afraid of the punishment we give them? Most rational men are afraid of death. They don’t want to die. There are also men that don’t fear death, but enjoy killing.

What do you do with men who do not fear the loss of their life? One criminal of America, Carl Panzram was quoted in saying, “In my life I have murdered 21 human beings. I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, and arsons. Last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1000 male human beings. For all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience, so that does not worry me. I don’t believe in Man, God, nor devil.

I hate the whole damned human race including myself” (Panzram 1). Men like this who do not care for any law and do every unthinkable act are being supported in some jails around the world. What should be done with people who only want to kill and cause chaos? Panzram doesn’t mind his fifteen years in prison, or even his twenty-five.

Panzram was executed and can no longer bother mankind, but there are others like him. Australia has abolished the death sentence. They can no longer control the men like Panzram. Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 innocent people in Tasmania. The people of Australia are now supporting him. There is one option, which Australia no longer has. They cannot put this man to death, they are not allowed. We must keep the death penalty for the people like this; people who like to kill and that don’t fear imprisonment.

The Death penalty is the only justification for people like these. Works CitedBedau, Hugo Adam. The Death Penalty in America Statements in favor of the DeathPenalty. Ed. J. Edgar Hoover.

Chicago: Alding publishing company, 1964. 130-135 Kronenwetter, Michael. Capital Punishment. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1993. Winters, Paul A. et al.

The Death Penalty. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997. DiLulio, John J. Abolish the Death penalty, officially. May 99.

Online. UMIProQuest Direct. (27 May 99).

Ramirez, Richard. Carl Panzram, 1861-1930 1996.(28 June, 1996).Words/ Pages : 1,443 / 24

Death Penalty

Death Penalty The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violates the right to life. Execution is irrevocable and can be inflicted on the innocent. The death penalty has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishments. Execution is an act of violence and violence tends to provoke violence. The imposition and infliction of the death penalty is brutalizing to all who are involved in the process. The death penalty is frequently used as an instrument of repression against opposition, racial, ethnic, religious and underprivileged groups.

During 1996 at least 4,272 prisoners are known to have been executed in 39 countries and 7,107 people were sentenced to death in 76 countries. These figures include only cases kown to Amnesty International (AI);; the true figures are certainly higher. As in previous years, a small number of countries accounted for the vast majority of executions recorded.

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AI received reports of 3,500 executions in China, 167 executions in Ukraine, 140 executions in the Russian Federation and 110 executions in Iran. These four countries alone accounted for 92 per cent of all executions recorded by AI worldwide in 1996.Over 25 countries and territories have abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes or for all crimes since 1989. They include Andorra, Angola, Belgium, Cambodia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mauritius, Moldova, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Paraguay, Romania, Sao Tom, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland.

The number of countries joining international treaties against the death penalty continues to grow. The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty has been ratified by 29 states. Four other states have signed the protocol, indicating their intention to become parties to it at a later date. Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the abolition of the death penalty has been ratified by 24 states and signed by six others. The Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty has been ratified by four states and signed by three others. Use of the Death Penalty Against Juveniles International human rights treaties prohibit anyone under 18 years old at the time of the crime being sentenced to death.

Nevertheless. five countries since 1990 are known to have executed prisoners who were under 18 years old at the time of the crime: Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, USA and Yemen.The majority of known executions of juvenile offenders has been in the USA (six since 1990). The Death Penalty in the USA (see the country report on USA: Developments on the Death Penalty in 1996) 45 prisoners were executed in the USA in 1996 bringing to 358 the total number executed since the use of the death penalty was resumed in 1977. More than 3,000 prisoners were under sentence of death at the end of 1996. 38 of the 50 US states provide for the death penalty in law; it is also provided under US federal military and civilian law.

Methods of execution in the USA are: lethal injection, electric chair, hanging, firing squad, gas chamber.


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