The Argument for Capital Punishment
Is capital punishment really destroying the justice system? Although death penalty abolitionists may argue that capital punishment is ruining the justice system, Americans should grapple with the idea that capital punishment is beneficial to society for seven primary reasons. These reasons include the convictions rate, deterrence, a not so cruel and unusual punishment, the fallacy of racism, pro-life inconsistency, the Christian argument against death and, finally, retributive punishment.
“A review of death penalty judgments over a twenty-three year period found a national error rate of 68%”, claimed ACLU. However, I find this error rate to be extremely deceptive. In reality, this “fact” was twisted to favor the abolitionist’s case. The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Cassell explains the error very nicely, “After reviewing twenty-three years of capital sentences, the study’s authors were unable to a find a single case in which an innocent person was executed.” And here lies the problem. Actually, the error rate of mistaken or wrongful executions is 0% rather than 68%.
Secondly, abolitionists would have you believe capital punishment does not deter other criminals from committing other heinous crimes. Again, this is a common misconception. Deterrence, in and of itself, is not a valid reason for capital punishment. Christian writer C.S. Lewis observed “If deterrence is all that matters, the execution of an innocent man, provided the people think him guilty, would be fully justified.” (Eddlem) That being said, capital punishment does undoubtedly deter criminals in some way. For instance, in 1977, the year the death penalty actually claimed its first victim after being reinstated, homicide rates plummeted. Also, when the number of executions went up in 1983, the homicide rated showed its biggest one year drop. Similarly in 1996 when the executions increased, homicide rate fell again. (Johansen) In this way, homicide rates...
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