The Death Penalty

Capital punishment in the 21st century endures many inequalities and injustices. The common arguments for the death penalty are filled with inadequacies. Having the death penalty is both expensive and time consuming to sentence criminals to death. The most frequently raised argument for capital punishment is retributive. According to a recent analysis sending to a person to prison for life costs $1. 1 million and sending a person to death row costs $3 million because of appeals and enhanced spending to house the individuals on death row (Schaefer).

As a deterrent to crime, the death penalty has little effect because the chances of a murder being sentenced to death are slim to none. However the death penalty deters some people. As the Royal Commission (1948–1953) observed in its lengthy and thoughtful report, “We can number its failures, but we cannot number its successes. ”23 We can never know how many people who would have otherwise committed murder stopped them only because society threatened death as punishment.

The deterrence question, really, is not whether the death penalty deters—sometimes it surely does—but whether, on balance, it deters more effectively than life without parole. (D’elia). A number of studies have compared the prevalence of crime between the United States and Canada. Crime rates in the United States are comparatively high because in most cases, it was found that crime was more frequent and non-specific explanations were offered (i. e. , culture, laws, national character, among others).

However, a review of studies shows that much emphasis has been given to homicide, which represents a very infrequent type of crime, and for which the U. S. situation can be explained by very specific or peculiar factors. Determinants of the homicide rate are quite different from those of burglary, car theft and robbery. In 1997 Zimring and Hawkins, two influential criminologists, published Crime Is Not the Problem, which shows that the major difference between the U. S. and Canada is the level of lethal violence.

Using victimization surveys, they argue that the level of crime in the two countries is similar but that there are more homicides in the U. S. because guns are more prevalent (www. questia. com). Many countries have different opinions on the death penalty for example. A most recent survey found about eighty per cent of Japanese was in favor of capital punishment. Such strong support for death penalty is bolstered by certain serious crimes in the past few years. Many Japanese appeared to favor the classic argument that it is a deterrent to crime.

Another example, Taiwan plans to abolish the Death Penalty, According to the Justice Ministry, 17 criminals was executed in 2000, 24 in 1999 and 32 in 1998. On 17 May 2001, the Justice Minister mentioned his plan to abolish the death sentence within three years as a response to repeated appeals by international human rights groups (www. acpp. org). I believe the death penalty should be legal because without the death penalty there are no consequences for the actions of serial murders, serial rapist and others that commit horrific crimes they are responsible for these immoral actions.

Executing convicted serial murders and executing serial rapist will deter them from killing or raping innocent people again. The death penalty is a fitting action to evil. One who intentionally takes the life of an innocent individual is evil, the person who chooses to commit these crimes forfeits his or her own right to life, therefore he or she deserves to die. As for as youth offenders are concerned it would be justifiable to uphold them to the same repercussion and consequences as adults who have committed the acts of murders, raping and other crimes that hurt innocent individuals.

Many of us in today’s society believe that juveniles that commit a horrific crime should not receive the some punishments as adults I totally disagree because any person 15 years old or older should know right from wrong. Currently, 38 States authorize the death penalty; 23 of these states permit the execution of offenders who committed capital offenses prior to their 18th birthdays. However, the laws governing application of the death penalty in those 23 states vary, and the variation is not necessarily tied to rates of juvenile crime.

Since 1973, when the death penalty was reinstated, 17 men have been executed for crimes they committed as juveniles and 74 people in the United States currently sit on death row for crimes they committed as juveniles (www. ncjrs. gov). Many years have passed since the death penalty was first established and the legal courts have found many pros and cons over the issue. However we will continue to have the pros and cons over whether it should be abolished or remain legitimate.