There are a lot of people who think that the death penalty should not be legal anywhere in the United States. Killing someone doesn't right the wrong that had been committed. They say that executing the offender doesn't give him or her a chance to be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society. This may be true, but executing an offender does prevent a criminal from killing again.
In the 21st century, the death penalty is considered by most civilized nations as a cruel and inhuman punishment. Since 1990, 30 countries have abolished it, however, the death penalty continues to be in use in other nations. The United States, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Iran are the most prolific executioners in the world.
There has been much debate in the US as to whether the death penalty constitutes an appropriate punishment, at least to the most dreadful crimes. In recent years, it has been well documented that many criminals sentenced to death have later been found not guilty. Because our appeals system is no more perfect than our criminal court system, the exoneration of those wrongly convicted takes a lot of extremely good luck.
The death penalty is not a deterrent to `capital' crime. There have been studies that prove the theory, but it doesn't take much to conclude that those who commit crimes do not consider that they will be caught. In the case of premeditated crime, the person expects to escape from being caught. In the case of `crimes of passion', the person simply does not think about the punishment before committing the crime. In Canada, which abolished the death penalty in 1975, studies show the homicide rate has fallen.
The death penalty does not seem to be applied evenly. Most studies that criticize the death penalty do so because more people from minorities are given a death sentence than whites. However, the real factor that determines who receives the penalty and who does not is a persons...