Capitol Punishment Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

- A-CAPITAL PUNISHMENTCapital Punishment deters murder, and is just RetributionCapital punishment, is the execution of criminals by the state, for committingcrimes, regarded so heinous, that this is the only acceptable punishment. Capitalpunishment does not only lower the murder rate, but it's value as retribution alone isa good reason for handing out death sentences. Support for the death penalty in theU.S. has risen to an average of 80% according to an article written by Richard Worsnop,entitled 'Death penalty debate centres on Retribution', this figure is slightly lower inCanada where support for the death penalty is at 72% of the population over 18 yearsof age, as stated in article by Kirk Makir, in the March 26, 1987 edition of the Globe andMail, titled 'B.C. MPs split on Death Penalty'.The death penalty deters murder by putting the fear of death into would bekillers. A person is less likely to do something, if he or she thinks that harm will cometo him. Another way the death penalty deters murder, is the fact that if the killer isdead, he will not be able to kill again.Most supporters of the death penalty feel that offenders should be punished fortheir crimes, and that it does not matter whether it will deter the crime rate. Supportersof the death penalty are in favour of making examples out of offenders, and that thethreat of death will be enough to deter the crime rate, but the crime rate is irrelevant.According to Isaac Ehrlich's study, published on April 16, 1976, eight murders aredeterred for each execution that is carried out in the U.S.A. He goes on to say, 'If oneexecution of a guilty capital murderer deters the murder of one innocent life, theexecution is justified.' To most supporters of the death penalty, like Ehrlich, if even 1life is saved, for countless executions of the guilty, it is a good reason for the deathpenalty. The theory that society engages in murder when executing the guilty, isconsidered invalid by most supporters, including Ehrlich. He feels that execution ofconvicted offenders expresses the great value society places on innocent life.Isaac Ehrlich goes on to state that racism is also a point used by death penaltyadvocates. We will use the U.S. as examples, since we can not look at the inmates ondeath row in Canada, because their are laws in Canada that state that crime statistics cannot be based on race, also the fact that there are no inmates on death row in Canada.In the U.S. 16 out of 1000 whites arrested for murder are sentenced to death, while 12of 1000 blacks arrested for murder were sentenced to death. 1.1% of black inmates ondeath row were executed, while 1.7% of white inmates will die.Another cry for racism, as according to Ehrlich, that is raised by advocates of thedeath penalty is based on the colour of the victim, for example 'if the victim is white,it is more likely that the offender will get the death penalty than if the victim had beenblack'. This is true, if you look at the actual number of...

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