hORRY GEORGETOWN TECHNICAL COLLEGE
rESEARCH PAPER ON capital punishment
jENNIFER c. dIETZ
PROFESSOR renee r. causey
5 july 2014
When European settlers first came to the new world, they brought with them the practice of capital punishment. The use of capital punishment in America was heavily influenced by Britain. The first recorded execution in the new colonies was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608 for being a spy to Spain (deathpenaltyinfo.org). Throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries there has been a gradual rise in the use of capital punishment followed by a peak in the early twentieth century, this is a trend toward more executions in recent years.
People today disagree with capital punishment for many different reasons. Some of the more common reasons are things such as; you cannot prevent murder by engaging in killing, capital punishment reinforces the idea that violence solves problems, and finally killing anyone for any reason is just wrong. I however disagree with these opinions on the matter. I not only agree with capital punishment, but feel that is should be used more often and legal in all fifty stated throughout America. By enforcing capital punishment on a much swifter and common ground it would cause a ripple effect of great proportions. First of all it would help with the overcrowding of Americas prison systems. Next it would free up millions if not billions of tax payers dollars that are currently being used to house these violent criminals for the rest of their life. Finally, it would bring the families who are morning the loss of a loved one(s) some peace that the people who have committed such violent and hyenis crimes will never be able to harm anyone else ever again.
The million dollar question that comes to everyone’s mind when capital punishment is being discussed is; does capital punishment actually deter crime? Recent studies published in the Oxford journals stated “Evidence of the deterrent effect of capital punishment is important for many states that are currently reconsidering their position on the issue” (aler.oxfordjournals.org). Recent studies have shown that capital punishment does in fact have a strong deterrent effect. After each execution there is an average of eighteen fewer murders committed with a margin of error plus or minus ten. These results are believed to not be driven by tougher sentencing laws and are resilient to many different stipulations. These statistics are based upon the actual amount of executions that are carried out today, if only fifty percent of inmates that are currently on death row were to be executed that average of eighteen fewer murders would sky rocket into the hundreds and over time the hundreds of thousands, each one being a life that would not have to perish at the hands of another.
Society views death by capital punishment differently than any other death. Death that occurs in a natural everyday manner is looked at as the end of a journey called life. To simply put it we are all going to die someday that is enviable. However, when death occurs by capital punishment the feelings are mixed depending on whose side you are on, the victim or the criminal. The side of the victim feels that the criminal took a life away from them and the only thing that they can feel that justice has been served is the criminal should have to pay for their crime with their life. However those on the side of the criminal feel, that even though the criminal took a life that some sort of mercy should be shown, and they would all ask for their loved ones life to be spared, even if that means spending the rest of their days on earth inside of a jail cell. Society, when neither identifies with the victim nor perpetrator, seems to base their decisions on whether or not capital punishment should be enforced by how violent the crime is and the degree of violence...
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