Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
The death penalty is a form of punishment used for convicted criminals who have committed a capital crime. Initially, the first established death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the city-state of Babylon. The death penalty was used for about 25 different crimes stated in the Hammaurabi Code. By the Tenth Century A.D. Britain adopted this method as a usual punishment for many crimes. Eventually, when the colonies in the Americas were starting to be created, the British brought over many cultural practices including the death penalty. The first recorded execution that took place in the colonies was in 1608, to Captain George Kendall who was a convicted spy for Spain. Yet in the 1960’s all of the sudden the death penalty was to be considered “cruel and unusual” punishment, but if it was, then why has it been used for so many centuries? When in reality, the death penalty should be used and enforced by every country and state for capital crimes, because it is a physiological deterrent and it is justifiable for the crimes committed. To begin, the death penalty is considered a physiological deterrent. A physiological deterrent is something that prevents actions through fear of punishment. Considering the previous statement, statistics show that during the years of the Moratorium, which was basically the suspension of the death penalty, murder rates went up; but the years following the murder rates go down yearly because the death penalty makes people think twice before committing a capital crime, such as murder. According to professor Sustein, “if people know, if they do something horrible they’re going to lose their lives; the likely hood that they’re going to do something horrible is decreased.” Furthermore, “Those who favor the death penalty argue that its practice keeps dangerous offenders from committing the same crime again” (Capital Punishment); for example, if a man rapes and kills a woman and gets 15 years in jail, when he is let out, he will be warned that if he does it again he will get the death penalty. Therefore that man is more likely to not commit that crime again for fear of being killed. As stated, “People fear nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death” (Ernest Van Den Haag); this statement is accurate because who actually wants to die? The victims don’t want to die and neither do the criminals, which is why they will try to plead for a sentence of life without parole instead of the death penalty. Criminals do fear death unlike abolitionists say they don’t: Abolitionists also hold the notion that criminals do not fear death because they do not take time to think about the consequences of their acts. If that were true, then I wonder how police officers manage to arrest criminals without killing them. When a policeman holds a criminal at gunpoint and tells him to get on the ground, the criminal will comply fully in the vast majority of these cases. Why would they do that unless they were afraid of the lethal power of the gun? (Wesley Lowe) As Wesley Lowe also says, “The most striking protection of innocent life has been seen in Texas, which executes more murderers than any other state. According to JFA (Justice for All), the Texas murder rate in 1991 was 15.3 per 100,000. By 1999, it had fallen to 6.1 -- a drop of 60 percent” without the death penalty the murder rates surely would’ve gone up because there would’ve been no physiological deterrent, such as the death penalty, to stop criminals. There are about 12 crimes in the United States that are considering capital crimes and are punishable by the death penalty. In China there are about 55 capital crimes which the death penalty is suitable for. So essentially, the amount and type of capital crimes vary between countries and even states, which can determine the amount of deterrence per...
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