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An argument in favor of the death penalty in all states of the america

First a reminder of the basic argument behind retribution and punishment: Each criminal should get what their crime deserves and in the case of a murderer what their crime deserves is death.

The measure of punishment in a given case must depend upon the atrocity of the crime, the conduct of the criminal and the defenceless and unprotected state of the victim. Imposition of appropriate punishment is the manner in which the courts respond to the society's cry for justice against the criminals.

Justice demands that courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime.

Singh, Supreme Court of India, in the case of Dhananjoy Chatterjee Many people find that this argument fits with their inherent sense of justice. It's often supported with the argument "An eye for an eye". But to argue like that demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of what that Old Testament phrase actually means.

In fact the Old Testament meaning of "an eye for an eye" is that only the guilty should be punished, and they should punished neither too leniently or too severely. The arguments against retribution Capital punishment is vengeance rather than retribution and, as such, is a morally dubious concept The anticipatory suffering of the criminal, who may be kept on death row for many years, makes the punishment more severe than just depriving the criminal of life That's certainly true in the USA, but delay is not an inherent feature of capital punishment; some countries execute people within days of sentencing them to death Some people are prepared to argue against retribution as a concept, even when applied fairly.

Top Deterrence Capital punishment is often justified with the argument that by executing convicted murderers, we will deter would-be murderers from killing people. The arguments against deterrence The statistical evidence doesn't confirm that deterrence works but it doesn't show that deterrence doesn't work either Some of those executed may not have been capable of being deterred because of mental illness or defect Some capital crimes are committed in such an emotional state that the perpetrator did not think about the possible consequences No-one knows whether the death penalty deters more than life imprisonment Deterrence is most effective when the punishment happens soon after the crime - to make an analogy, a child learns not to put their finger in the fire, because the consequence is instant pain.

The more the legal process distances the punishment from the crime - either in time, or certainty - the less effective a deterrent the punishment will probably be. Cardinal Avery Dulles has pointed out another problem with the deterrence argument.

  1. As the appeals process became longer and more complex, the number of executions per year fell and the murder rate climbed from 3. As at October 2017 there were 2817 inmates on death rows in 31 states including 61 sentenced to death for Federal offenses and 5 on Military death row.
  2. Should executions be carried out in such a way as to punish the criminal and have maximum deterrent effect on the rest of us e.
  3. This, to me, is not a tough call. They had spent an average of 16 years on death row.
  4. If the sentence is enforced in full it is a sentence of no hope inflicted on mainly younger people who have a great many years to live in prison the average age at arrest for homicide is 29 years old and who will often be quickly forgotten by their friends and relatives on the outside and become totally isolated. As at October 2017 there were 2817 inmates on death rows in 31 states including 61 sentenced to death for Federal offenses and 5 on Military death row.

Executions, especially where they are painful, humiliating, and public, may create a sense of horror that would prevent others from being tempted to commit similar crimes. In our day death is usually administered in private by relatively painless means, such as injections of drugs, and to that extent it may be less effective as a deterrent.

Sociological evidence on the deterrent effect of the death penalty as currently practiced is ambiguous, conflicting, and far from probative. Avery Cardinal Dulles, Catholicism and Capital Punishment, First Things 2001 Some proponents of capital punishment argue that capital punishment is beneficial even if it has no deterrent effect.

If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers.

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If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call.

Marquette University, Department of Political Science Top Rehabilitation Of course capital punishment doesn't rehabilitate the prisoner and return them to society. But there are many examples of persons condemned to death taking the opportunity of the time before execution to repent, express remorse, and very often experience profound spiritual rehabilitation. Thomas Aquinas noted that by accepting the punishment of death, the offender was able to expiate his evil deeds and so escape punishment in the next life.

Arguments in favour of capital punishment

This is not an argument in favour of capital punishment, but it demonstrates that the death penalty can lead to some forms of rehabilitation. Prevention of re-offending It is undeniable that those who are executed cannot commit further crimes. Many people don't think that this is sufficient justification for taking human life, and argue that there are other ways to ensure the offenders do not re-offend, such as imprisonment for life without possibility of parole. Although there have been cases of persons escaping from prison and killing again, these are extremely rare.

But some people don't believe that life imprisonment without parole protects society adequately. The offender may no longer be a danger to the public, but he remains a danger to prison staff and other inmates. Execution would remove that danger.

  1. Any punishment must be fair, just, adequate and most of all, enforceable.
  2. Secondly the defendant may offer a plea bargain where they will plead guilty in return for the DA not going for the death penalty. A total of 196 people 192 men and four women were put to death in California between December 1938 and April 1967 one man was hanged in this period and the rest executed by lethal gas.
  3. The current death row population is the largest in America , standing at 701 in May 2010. There is no such thing as a totally humane method of putting a person to death, irrespective of what the state may claim see later.
  4. Another very genuine concern is that a person convicted of the murder may have actually killed the victim and may admit having done so but does not agree that the killing was first degree murder.
  5. Sociological evidence on the deterrent effect of the death penalty as currently practiced is ambiguous, conflicting, and far from probative. Another very genuine concern is that a person convicted of the murder may have actually killed the victim and may admit having done so but does not agree that the killing was first degree murder.

Closure and vindication It is often argued that the death penalty provides closure for victims' families. This is a rather flimsy argument, because every family reacts differently. As some families do not feel that another death will provide closure, the argument doesn't provide a justification for capital punishment as a whole.

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Top Incentive to help police Plea bargaining is used in most countries. It's the process through which a criminal gets a reduced sentence in exchange for providing help to the police. Where the possible sentence is death, the prisoner has the strongest possible incentive to try to get their sentence reduced, even to life imprisonment without possibility of parole, and it's argued that capital punishment therefore gives a useful tool to the police.

  • Does it make any sense to imprison someone for the rest of their life or is it really more cruel than executing them?
  • But yet in the city of Louisville we had over 80 murders in 2008;
  • Do you believe that even if you were caught, convicted and sentenced to death that you would ever actually be put to death?

This is a very feeble justification for capital punishment, and is rather similar to arguments that torture is justified because it would be a useful police tool.