We Need Crime Prevention, Not the Death Penalty

Topics: Death Penalty, Crime, Capital punishment in the United States Pages: 8 (1488 words) Published: July 14, 2005
We Need Crime Prevention, Not the Death Penalty

For most crimes committed in the United States a fine,

sentence of time in jail or execution is the punishment. However, the

death penalty is the most questionable punishment. Is it morally

right? Is it effective in deterring crime, primarily murders? Weather

or not you agree if it is moral or not, one issue remains. The death

penalty is not an effective way to deter crime.

The death penalty has existed as long as humans have

existed. The quote "an eye for an eye" is found in the Bible. In the

middle ages fines, public humiliation and imprisonment were

appropriate punishments for all crimes, and death penalty for all

murders. Today, Federal law states that the death penalty is to be

enforced with convicted criminals for: treason; deserting armed

forces during wartime; murder committed by a soldier; kidnapping and

murder that involves crossing state lines; murder committed during an

airplane hijacking; and of course, homicide. The death penalty is

also called for punishment of for: attempting to kill anyone

investigating or prosecuting his or her activities; advising,

directing, authorizing or assisting in the murder of someone. Also,

The Anti-Drug abuse act of 1988 calls for the death penalty for all

drug related killings. Along with that, The bill amending sec. 848

to controlled substances act calls for the death penalty or life

imprisonment for certain drug offences possession of 10 or more kg of

heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine or analogue. Added to that, The drug

kingpin act sates the use of death penalty for convicted major drug

dealers caught with huge quantities of drugs, over 66 lbs. of heroin

and 330 lbs. of cocaine. Even though there are these federal laws

requiring the use of the death penalty for the crimes, State laws only

consider one crime, murder, to be a capital offense.

In the United States alone there have been 4047 executions

since 1930, and 188 were from 1977-1996. In 1996, there were a total

of 15,168,100 arrests; 33,050 for forcible rape; 1,506,200 involving

drug violations and 19,020 for murder and non-negligent manslaughter.

The death penalty was enforced 45 times. The death penalty is an

expensive punishment, since 1976 the united states have spent 700

million dollars in it. Methods of the death penalty include lethal

injection, gas chamber, electric chair, hanging and fire squad. In a

1986 poll 70% of Americans favored the death penalty as a punishment

for murder.

There have been many comparisons of crime rates of death

penalty states to non- death penalty states. These clearly show that

the death penalty has no effect on the deteration of crime. The

homicide rates in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois rise and fall along with

Wisconsin. Michigan, Ohio and Illinois all have the death penalty.

Wisconsin does not. In 1994, the average murder rate in a death

penalty state of a population of 100,00 was 8.0, for a non-death

penalty state, 4.4. In Canada the homicide rate per 100,000 people

was 3.09 in 1975, this was when they had the death penalty. In 1976

Canada got rid of the death penalty. In 1986 the crime rate decreased

to 2.19 per 100,000 people, the lowest in 15 years. Isn't it odd that

the crime rates were high with the death...

Bibliography: "Death Penalty Information Center", 1997
http://www.esential.org/dpic/dpic.html (8 Feb
Nardo, Don Death Penalty San Diego: Lucent Books Inc, 1992

Greenhaven Press, 1991

Book of Facts, 1997
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