There are many studies which show the death penalty as a non-deterrent to the serious crime problem that is faced in the United States. The death penalty continues to be the most controversial sentence with over half the states re-instituting capital punishment laws since the Furman v Georgia decision in 1972. Nevertheless, even if the death penalty were no greater a deterrent than a life sentence, some people would still advocate is the only way to get rid permanently society of dangerous criminals who deserve to die. Being that the death penalty is considered a deterrent to criminal activity does it make the execution morally right or just brutal?
The death penalty is the highest capital punishment, which serves as a strong deterrent for serious crimes. While capital punishment could probably not deter mentally unstable criminals, it could have an effect on the cold, calculating murderer, such as a hired killer or someone who kills for profit. With the capital death punishment sending red flags to potential criminals, the fear of death might convince felons not to risk using handguns during armed robberies. The deterrent effect of an execution can produce a substantial decline in the murder rate. Although, some believe that a death sentence is a deterrent, others believe that it is cruel, and unusual punishment. There is not enough evidence to prove that the treat of a death sentence can convince potential murderers to forgo their criminal activity. Most murders involve people who knew each other, very often friends, and family members. Since murderers are often under the influence of alcohol or drugs or suffering severe psychological turmoil, no penalty will likely be a deterrent.
Some might believe that capital punishment is morally correct because it provides the greatest justice for the victim and helps alleviate the psychic pain of the victim’s family and friends. Capital punishment has even been accepted by criminal justice experts who consider themselves humanist, concerned with the value, and dignity of human beings. As David Friedrichs, a noted humanist argues, a civilized society has no choice, but to hold responsible those who commit horrendous crimes. The death penalty does make a moral statement. There is behavior that is so unacceptable to a community of human beings that one who engages in such behavior forfeits his or her right to live. However, some might think that capital punishment is morally correct, and others believe that it is straight brutal. Society should not punish criminals by subjecting them to the same acts they committed. For an example, rapists are not sexually assaulted for their acts, and an arsonist does not get his house burned to the ground for burning someone house.
While the Court has supported the death penalty, it has also placed some limitations on its use. Rulings have promoted procedural fairness in the capital sentencing process. For...