Is the Death Penalty a Deterrent of Heinous Crimes to Society?

Topics: Death Penalty, Crime, Murder Pages: 3 (965 words) Published: November 20, 2011
Is the death penalty a deterrent of heinous crimes to society? Putting people to death that have been judged by their peers to have committed certain extremely heinous crimes is a practice of ancient standing, but in the United States in the last part of the twentieth century, it has become a very controversial issue. Changing views on this difficult issue and the many legal challenges to capital punishment working their way through the courts resulted in halting all executions in the United States in 1967. Eventually, the Supreme Court placed a moratorium on capital punishment in 1972 but later upheld it in 1977. Restoring capital punishment is the will of the people, and yet many voices are raised against it. Heated public debate centers mostly on questions of deterrence, public safety, sentencing equity and the executions of the wrongly accused. One argument states that the death penalty does not deter murder. Dismissing capital punishment on that basis requires 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 do have the death penalty have higher crime rates than those that do not, and that a more severe punishment only inspires more severe crimes. Every state is different such as population, number of cities and the crime rates. Strongly urbanized states usually have higher crime rates than the more rural states, such as those states that lack capital punishment. The states that have capital punishment are compelled to have it due to their due to their higher crime rates, and not the other way around. Proponents against the death penalty also hold the notion that criminals do not fear death because they do not take time to think about the consequences of their crimes. If that were true, one would have to think how police officers manage to arrest criminals without killing them. If a police officer holds a criminal at gunpoint and tells them to get...
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