Assumption is the only fact that we consider when we make the statement that capital punishment is a deterrent. However, in reality an assumption is not a fact. There is no evidence that capital punishment is a deterrent. We assume that the fear of receiving punishment or justice will deter murder. If that were true then people would not speed on highways or do drugs in fear that they would be prosecuted. History as well as human behavior has shown that rational human instinct does not deter people from crime. If it did we would never have to use capital punishment. We could just inform every one of the law and people would be afraid and never commit crimes. Unfortunately, people commit crimes from passion or they do not think or care about the consequences. With or without capital punishment people will still commit crimes. The death penalty does not have conclusive evidence to be a tool in the criminal justice system to deter people from committing crime.
Canada is one example of why the death penalty has provided statistics that conclude that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent. Canada decided in 1976 to abolish the use of capital punishment (Death Penalty Info). During 1975, there were 721 homicides committed in Canada (Death Penalty Info). During 2001 Canada had 554 homicides which are 23 percent lower than the number of homicides committed before the abolition of the death penalty. If the death penalty was a deterrent, why would there have been 167 more homicides committed when Canada had enforced the death penalty. During 1999 there were 5.7 million homicides per 100,000 people, while the homicide rate was three times lower than the United States, with a homicide rate of only 1.8 homicides per 100,000 people (Death Penalty Info).
Along with 110 nations that have banned capital punishment, European non-death penalty nation’s data shows that the United States has more than three times the homicides that Europe has. (New York Times September 22, 2000). This is another example of nations without capital punishment that has lower homicide rates than nations with the death penalty. While these statistics do not imply that country’s, which have the death penalty are causing a brutalization effect; the statistics do show evidence that deterrence is not causing a decline in the number of homicides per year. A survey conducted from the American Society of criminology, Law and Society Association, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences showed that a large majority did not think that capital punishment is a proven deterrent to homicide. Over 80 percent of those polled believe that the present research does not support a deterrence effect for the death penalty (Death Penalty Info). Some criminologists even recommend that the death penalty causes more homicides per year. The brutalization effect says that homicide rates will go up because of the example of the state executions.
Why would potential and active...