The Benefits of Capital Punishment
Justice is about enforcing consequences for one’s own actions to endorse personal responsibility and the notion of capital punishment does just that. Capital punishment is an effective and efficient method of deterring would be criminals and preventing criminals to commit more crimes. It is by far the oldest form of punishment in the world and remains in effect in many nations. Through discussing many arguments in support of capital punishment it is obvious why this method of punishment is so controversial and why it should remain in effect today, regardless of the negative criticism it garners.
Capital punishment has been used in the United States since the execution of Daniel Frank of Virginia in 1622. Since then more than 18,000 convicted criminals have been put to death (Crime and Punishment in American History, 1993, p 317). Many Americans today still feel that capital punishment is a fair and necessary method of punishing their most violent criminals. One argument for the death penalty is the deterrent effect. In a 1985 study, published by economist Stephen K. Layson at the University of North Carolina, he found that every execution of a murderer deters, on average, 18 murders. The study also demonstrated that raising the number of death sentences by one percent would prevent 105 murders. However, only 38 percent of all murder cases result in a death sentence and of those only 0.1 percent are actually put to death ( Pro Death Penalty Online). The JFA or Justice for All reported that in Texas, the highest murder rate occurred in 1981 in Houston, specifically Harris country with an astonishing 701 murders. Since then, Texas has reinstated the death penalty in and has executed more murderers than any other state in the union. They have also seen the greatest reduction in murder from 701 murders in 1981 down to 261 in 1996 (Justice for all Online). Therefore, the evidence of these two respectable studies illustrates that implementation of the death penalty correlates with a drop in the homicide rate.
Another argument for the death penalty is that putting a murderer away for life is not good enough. Laws change, parole boards do not remain the same, people forget the past, etc. It is these things that indefinitely cause life imprisonment to weather away. As long as the murderer is still alive, there is a chance that he or she may kill again. A perfect example of this occurred in the case of “Dawud Mu’Min, who was serving a 48-year sentence for the 1973 murder of a cab driver when he escaped a road work gang and stabbed to death a store keeper in a 1988 robbery that only netted $4.00.” Fortunately, there is no chance that he will commit another murder again as he was executed by the state of Virginia in 1997 (Wesley Lowe’s Pro Death Penalty Webpage, Online). This argument in support of capital punishment goes to show that this is the reasoning why people who truly value...