The Death Penalty; Does It Deter Crime

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Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?

Scientific studies have consistently failed to find convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments. The most recent survey of research findings on the relation between the death penalty and homicide rates, conducted for the United Nations in 1988 and updated in 1996, concluded: "Research has failed to provide scientific proof that executions have a greater deterrent effect than life imprisonment and such proof is unlikely to be forthcoming. The evidence as a whole still gives no positive support to the deterrent hypothesis..." (Reference: Roger Hood, The Death Penalty: A World-wide Perspective, Oxford, Clarendon Press, revised edition, 1996, p. 238, paragraph 328)

The death penalty has never deterred crime. When the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970's crime rates were sky high. In research conducted for the United Nations in 1996, crime rates were the same as those in the 70's. Depending on the exact year since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. crime rates have dipped or risen 10-15%. Normally the ladder. In the United Sates we call the death penalty, capital punishment. The word capital speaks of the head. This is because throughout history the most common way of executing criminals was by severing the head. Now when I hear capital punishment I will be reminded of something even more grotesque and morbid than previously. In a survey taken by prisoners serving life terms, 55-60% said that they would have rather received the death penalty than life terms. It seems to me that, since more prisoners would prefer to be killed, it is a lesser form of punishment. However that by no means makes this cruel and degrading form of punishment acceptable. We are denying the right of life. Regardless of the fact that those on death row did take that right away from another human being, it is not our...
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