Is the Death Penalty Effective?
Posted by Rhino on November 5, 2010
Is it effective or ineffective? Is it morally just, or unjust?
Though capital punishment has been used by many cultures, countries, and societies, throughout all of human history, is it justified? Is it morally acceptable to kill a killer? Do we fight fire with fire, or no? Both those for and against the usage of capital punishment have valid arguments and/or statistics to back up and prove their points of view.
Here is a brief history of the death penalty, brought to you by the Death Penalty Information Center
The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the 18th Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, which justified and used the death penalty for 25 different types of crimes. The death penalty was also in the 17th Century B.C.’s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes, as well as in the 5th Century B.C.’s Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets. Death sentences were carried out by means such as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement.
Britain influenced America’s use of the death penalty more than any other country. When European settlers came to the new world, they brought the practice of capital punishment.
Currently, some states allow the death penalty, while other states do not. Texas, if you didn’t already know, does have the death penalty. In fact, it uses capital punishment more than any other state in the U.S. Statistics on the capital punishment show that its usage has increased by an enormous amount within the last 30 years. This compares positively to the crime rate. It seems to be the pattern that the more capital punishment enforced, the lower the crime rate the following year.
Justice Stewart, held in the Supreme Court in Gregg v. Georgia, claimed:
We may nevertheless assume safely there are murders,
such as those who act in passion, for whom the threat of
death has little or no deterrent effect. But for many others,
the death penalty undoubtedly, is a significant deterrent.
Crime growth has been increasing, which reflects the criminal leniency rate. There are many loop holes devised for offenders, and because of that crime rate has increased drastically. More and more people are being murdered, raped, assaulted, kidnapped, and robbed, etc.
We’ve all heard the false insanity pleas, as well as the numerous loop holes that criminals and their attorneys use to get them out of serving a long sentence, or facing the death penalty. Though, don’t get me wrong, there are numerous accounts of legitimate insanity pleas, etc.
Those opposed to capital punishment:
The obvious argument- why is it just to kill a killer? Does that not stoop us to the same level as the killer him/her self? Its hypocritical, it seems improper, inhumane, immoral (in the eyes of some).
The American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) is working to put an end to state-sanctioned murder in the United States. They claim it is extremely disturbing to anyone who values human life.
Jeremy Irons speaking out against the death penalty:
A helpful site for a more in-depth look on capital punishment’s legality, history, and statistical analysis can be found here.
So what do you think? Is capital punishment justified, given the statistics and history, or is it not justified, given the moral positions and statements? Is it fair, or not? Should it be allowed? You be the judge.