Death Penalty Deters Crime Argumentative Essay Example

Type of paper: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Crime, Criminal Justice, Punishment, Death, Death Penalty, Penalty, Social Issues, Murder

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/14

Introduction

The death penalty or capital punishment is a legitimate process where an individual is put to death by the country as the punishment for the crime conducted. The decision made by the judicial decree that an individual must be punished is known as a death sentence and the main enforcement of this is known as execution or death penalty. Even though the opponents of the death penalty have been extremely vocal lately in opposition to the death penalty, but the Gallup survey polls have been persistently demonstrating that the American public in particular favor death penalty because it has helped in deterring the crime rate (Muhlhausen, 2007). In the recent survey more than 65 percent people support the death penalty for criminals who are convicted of murder and only 28 percent people opposed the death penalty. Hence, it can be stated that death penalty deters crime rate in the country. Even though the death penalty is strongly supported, it is important that state, federal and local representatives must ensure that the implementation of death penalty constantly provides support and protection of the law (Muhlhausen, 2007).

The Deterrent Effect of Death Penalty

The society and culture have always used death penalty of capital punishment to discourage criminals to commit in unlawful acts. Since the society has the highest interest in the prevention of murder of innocent people it is significant that the strongest punishment should be given to the criminals to deter murder, and this punishment can be a death penalty. If the criminals and murderers will be sentenced to death and eventually executed, the other murderers will think twice before committing a crime as he will fear losing his own life if he kills anyone (Babcock, 2007). For many years, the criminologists have been analyzing the murder rates to analyze if any fluctuation has occurred with the conviction of murderers but they were unable to extract any appropriate results. In the year 1973 a most famous and successful analysis was conducted by Isaac Ehrlich that produced some interesting results. His study stated that for every inmate criminal that was executed, there were around 6-7 lives that were spared because other potential criminals would deter to commit murder and face similar consequences as others did. Similar results have been presented in his follow-up studies as well (Babcock, 2007).
It is also significant to note that studies regarding the death penalty end up being inconclusive because the death penalty is not readily used in many states, and it takes years for an execution to be finalized and executed. Hence, it is imperative that in order to make the death penalty effective the punishment and decision criteria must be swift and sudden – this is the best deterrent to crime.
According to a Ernest Haag a Professor of Jurisprudence at Fordham University, that even though the statistical figures are not conclusive in this regard, but the death penalty is likely to deter the crime as compared to other punishments because people around us fear death and tend to restrict their criminal activities that might lead to the death penalty. The criminals fear death that is deliberately given on the day decided by the jurisdiction and scheduled court, and it is quite obvious that whatever situation people fear, they will deter it even more. Hence, the threat of capital punishment / death penalty may deter some criminals who otherwise would not have feared and deterred from the crime. This can also deter the prisoners that are already serving life sentence and are tempted to kill people around them. It cannot be said that they will be 100 percent deterred, but there is no other way other than the death penalty that can effectively deter the crime (Radelet, 2009).
In order to effectively implement the death penalty, it is of utmost importance that local officials, state and federal government, but be able to realize that the death penalty is able to save lives. This can also be explained by the general deterrence theory which supposes that increasing the punishment for criminals deter the other criminals from committing a crime. The deterrence theory states that the criminals are similar to the people who abide by the law. The criminals are only interested in rationally maximizing their interest, depending upon their income and prices that they face in the market. The individuals make their decisions depending upon what they will gain out of it. Hence, the deterrence theory provides the basis for judging how the death penalty is able to influence the crime rate. The studies performed in recent years provide a strong connection between the death penalty and reduction in crime rate in the country (Tomislav, 2009).

Opposing Views of the Theory that Death Penalty Deters Crime

It has been suggested that the study presented by Isaac Ehrlich is defective as it compares the rate of murders and execution at the national level rather than on state-to-state basis. The aggregated data from all the states, including the ones that have completely abolished the death penalty, makes the relationship between the execution and murder as ambiguous. The methodology presented in this study is criticized because the decrease in the rate of execution when combined with an increase in the murder rate of a state, of course, does not agree with the theory that death penalty effectively deters the crime rate. On the other hand, it is expected that the deterrence rate can be applied only when one state abolished the death penalty and experience less or considerably no major change in the murder rate, while the other state that abolished the death penalty but the murder rate increased there (Kevin, 2012).

Conclusion

The death penalty or capital punishment is a legitimate process where an individual is put to death by the country as the punishment for the crime conducted. The decision made by the judicial decree that an individual must be punished known as a death sentence, and the main enforcement of this is known as execution or death penalty. It can be stated that the death penalty deters crime rate in the country. Since the society has the highest interest in the prevention of murder of innocent people it is significant that the strongest punishment should be given to the criminals to deter murder, and this punishment can be a death penalty. The criminals fear death that is deliberately given on the day decided by the jurisdiction and scheduled court, and it is quite obvious that whatever situation people fear, they will deter it even more. Hence, the threat of capital punishment / death penalty may deter some criminals who otherwise would not have feared and deterred from the crime. In order to effectively implement the death penalty, it is of utmost importance that local officials, state and federal government, but be able to realize that the death penalty is able to save lives.

References

Babcock S. (2007) The Global Debate on the Death Penalty, Human Rights, .Vol. 34, Issue 2.
Kevin J. (2012) Study finds no evidence death penalty deters crime, Christian Century, Vol. 129 Issue 10, .p17.
Muhlhausen D (2007) The Death Penalty Deters Crime and Saves Live, Heritage.org http://www.heritage.org/research/testimony/the-death-penalty-deters-crime-and-saves-lives
Radelet T. (2009) Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? The Views of Leading Criminologists, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 489, Northwestern University.
Tomislav K. (2009) Does the death penalty save lives? Criminology & Public Policy, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p.803.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 14) Death Penalty Deters Crime Argumentative Essay Example. Retrieved December 03, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/death-penalty-deters-crime-argumentative-essay-example/
"Death Penalty Deters Crime Argumentative Essay Example." WePapers, 14 Nov. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/death-penalty-deters-crime-argumentative-essay-example/. Accessed 03 December 2022.
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"Death Penalty Deters Crime Argumentative Essay Example." WePapers, Nov 14, 2020. Accessed December 03, 2022. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/death-penalty-deters-crime-argumentative-essay-example/
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"Death Penalty Deters Crime Argumentative Essay Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 14-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/death-penalty-deters-crime-argumentative-essay-example/. [Accessed: 03-Dec-2022].
Death Penalty Deters Crime Argumentative Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/death-penalty-deters-crime-argumentative-essay-example/. Published Nov 14, 2020. Accessed December 03, 2022.
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