Death Penalty

Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?

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Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?

1,188 people were executed in the US from 1977 through 2009, primarily by means of lethal injection. Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes.Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They argue that retribution or "an eye for an eye" honors the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy.Opponents of capital punishment say it has no deterrent effect on crime, wrongly gives governments the power to take human life, and perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys (classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than death.

Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?

PRO Our recent research shows that each execution carried out is correlated with about 74 fewer murders the following year... The study examined the relationship between the number of executions and the number of murders in the U.S. for the 26-year period from 1979 to 2004, using data from publicly available FBI sources... There seems to be an obvious negative correlation in that when executions increase, murders decrease, and when executions decrease, murders increase, In the early 1980s, the return of the death penalty was associated with a drop in the number of murders. In the mid-to-late 1980s, when the number of executions stabilized at about 20 per year, the number of murders increased. Throughout the 1990s, our society increased the number of executions, and the number of murders plummeted. Since 2001, there has been a decline in executions and an increase in murders.It is possible that this correlated relationship could be mere coincidence, so we did a regression analysis on the 26-year relationship. The association was significant at the .00005 level, which meant the odds against the pattern being simply a random happening are about 18,000 to one. Further analysis revealed that each execution seems to be associated with 71 fewer murders in the year the execution took place.We know that, for whatever reason, there is a simple but dramatic relationship between the number of executions carried out and a corresponding reduction in the number of murders.Michael Summers, PhD, MBA, Professor of Management Science at Pepperdine University, wrote in his Nov. 2, 2007 article "Capital Punishment Works" in the Wall Street Journal:

Is the Death Penalty Immoral?


"Ultimately, the moral question surrounding capital punishment in America has less to do with whether those convicted of violent crime deserve to die than with whether state and federal governments deserve to kill those whom it has imprisoned.

The legacy of racial apartheid, racial bias, and ethnic discrimination is unavoidably evident in the administration of capital punishment in America. Death sentences are imposed in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.

Embracing a certain quotient of racial bias and discrimination against the poor is an inexorable aspect of supporting capital punishment. This is an immoral condition that makes rejecting the death penalty on moral grounds not only defensible but necessary for those who refuse to accept unequal or unjust administration of punishment."Bryan Stevenson, JD, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and Founder-Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, in his article "Close to Death: Reflections on Race and Capital Punishment in America," from Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Best Case (2004), wrote:

Is Life in Prison without Parole a Better Option Than the Death Penalty?

PRO "The death penalty costs more, delivers less, and puts innocent lives at risk. Life without parole provides swift, severe, and certain punishment. It provides justice to survivors of murder victims and allows more resources to be invested into solving other murders and preventing violence. Sentencing people to die in prison is the sensible alternative for public safety and murder victims’ families."The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in a section on its website about the death penalty accessed on Aug. 19, 2008, in an article titled "The Truth About Life Without Parole: Condemned to Die in Prison"

Is the Death Penalty Immoral?

CON "While my views on the morality of the death penalty have nothing to do with how I vote as a judge, they have a lot to do with whether I can or should be a judge at all. To put the point in the blunt terms employed by Justice Harold Blackmun towards the end of his career on the bench, when I sit on a Court that reviews and affirms capital convictions, I am part of 'the machinery of death.' My vote, when joined with at least four others, is, in most cases, the last step that permits an execution to proceed. I could not take part in that process if I believed what was being done to be immoral...

In my view the choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted, constitutional laws and sabotaging death penalty cases. He has, after all, taken an oath to apply the laws and has been given no power to supplant them with rules of his own. Of course if he feels strongly enough he can go beyond mere resignation and lead a political campaign to abolish the death penalty-and if that fails, lead a revolution. But rewrite the laws he cannot do."

Antonin Scalia, JD, Justice of the US Supreme Court, in a May 2002 First Things article titled "God’s Justice and Ours,"

Is Life in Prison without Parole a Better Option Than the Death Penalty?

CON"Death penalty opponents often argue that executing criminals is a needless act of inhumanity, since the threat of a sentence of life without parole is just as effective a deterrent to crime. Whatever one thinks of that claim in the abstract, the fact is that no jury has the legal authority to prevent government officials years or decades in the future from offering clemency or parole after all -- or to prevent judges at some later date from finding grounds for a new trial...

Anti-death-penalty groups know, of course, that there is no guarantee that a sentence of life without parole will actually be followed. Potential killers likely know it too. Those of us who believe that the punishment should in some since fit the crime may doubt the prospect of spending two or even more decades behind bars, with the hope of ultimate emancipation... constitutes just retribution for an act of cold-blooded murder... And in a society that doubts its right to impose the ultimate penalty on individuals who have committed the most vicious crimes against their fellow citizens, the horror against committing murder will tend inevitably to erode.David Schaefer, PhD, Professor of Political Science at Holy Cross College, in his Dec. 2001 article for The American Enterprise titled "The Death Penalty and Its Alternatives," wrote.

CON"In my view deterrence plays no part whatsoever. Persons contemplating murder do not sit around the kitchen table and say I won't commit this murder if I face the death penalty, but I will do it if the penalty is life without parole. I do not believe persons contemplating or committing murder plan to get caught or weigh the consequences. Statistics demonstrate that states without the death penalty have consistently lower murder rates than states with it, but frankly I think those statistics are immaterial and coincidental. Fear of the death penalty may cause a few to hesitate, but certainly not enough to keep it in force.H. Lee Sarokin, LLB, former US District Court and US Court of Appeals Judge, wrote in his Jan. 15, 2011 article "Is It Time to Execute the Death Penalty?” on the Huffington Post website.


I believe that death should be allowed because people do things that they shouldn't do and they need to die for it.5th amendment No person can be charged with a crime unless the charges have been brought by a grand jury. A person cannot be charged with the same crime twice. A person does not have to testify against himself/herself. A person can’t have his or her life, his or her property,or his or her freedoms taken from him or her without being treated fairly by the law. A person’s property can’t be taken from him or her without receiving money for the property.