Capital Punishment is Not an Effective Deterrent

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the government-sanctioned practice of killing someone as a punishment for a crime. The United Nations General Assembly has condemned the use of capital punishment, and over 160 nations have abolished it in law or in practice.

There is no conclusive evidence that capital punishment is an effective deterrent to crime. In fact, studies in the United States and other countries have found that murder rates tend to be higher in states and countries where capital punishment is legal.

Capital punishment is also fraught with racial bias. In the United States, people of color are more likely to be sentenced to death than white people, even when controlling for factors like the severity of the crime and the location where it took place. Capital punishment is also disproportionately used against people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities.

The death penalty is an inhumane and cruel form of punishment, and it should be abolished. Capital punishment does not deter crime, it is racially biased, and it targets the most vulnerable members of society. It is time for us to end this practice once and for all.

Capital punishment has long been one of the most dreaded occurrences in history, but some argue if it is unconstitutional. The death penalty is imposed in more than 100 nations across the world and is frequently used in political cases. Although it has existed in numerous countries throughout the world, it has been labeled as “cruel and unusual punishment,” which is a clear violation of the Bill of Rights.

The Death Penalty is a replica of the early days of slavery, when you had no rights and/or any other viewpoint, and as it was then, executions have no place in our civilized society. Throughout its years of usage, the death penalty has always been opposed by the people for one reason or another.

Capital Punishment is not an effective deterrent to crime. Studies in both Canada and the United States have shown that Capital Punishment does not deter people from committing crimes. A study done by Professors John J. Donohue and Justin Wolfers, found that each execution carried out deters about three murders. While this may seem like a lot, when you put it into perspective it really isn’t. In the United States, there are about five thousand homicides per year, which means that for every execution deterring three murders, there are still around 4993 other murders being committed.

Capital Punishment is also very costly. It costs approximately $2 million to execute one person in California, while it only costs $175 000 to keep someone in prison for life. Capital Punishment also disproportionately affects people of colour and those with lower incomes. In the United States, African Americans make up only 12% of the population but 42% of Death Row inmates. Capital Punishment is an ineffective, costly and unfair system and it has no place in our society.

The death penalty has been opposed by the public since its inception, which was in 1976, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that it is not against the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishments.

However, if you read directly from the U.S. Constitution’s Eight Amendment “cruel and unusual punishments” are prohibited,” not only does abolitionism believe that capital punishment guarantees equal treatment for all Americans, but also that its elimination would lead to equality for all.

In a study done by Bedau and Radelet, it was shown that there was “no evidence that Capital Punishment deters murder. The murder rates for states with the death penalty have been consistently higher than for those without.” Also in a separate study done by Zimring and Hawkins, they showed that “there is no indication that Capital Punishment is efficacious as a deterrent to homicide in California.”

Lastly, according to a survey of former and present police chiefs nationwide conducted by the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police), an overwhelming majority of those surveyed believed that Capital Punishment did not act as a deterrent to crime.

The Death Penalty has been around for centuries and it has yet to be proven as an effective deterrent to crime. Capital Punishment does not only fail to deter crime but it also takes away the lives of innocent people, it is a waste of tax payer’s money, and it discriminates against minorities and the poor. The Death Penalty should be abolished in the United States.

According to the report, “For a single year, evidence was found that police are safer in jurisdictions that have the death penalty.” The highest homicide rates were also recorded in Death Penalty states with executions: 9.7 homicides per 100,000 people as opposed to 5.1 in states without the Death Penalty. It’s also been proven that the Death Penalty is racially biased and unjustified.

A person’s race and economic status are the most important factors in whether they receive a death sentence. A black defendant is 3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than a white defendant, even when the victim is white. Also, people who cannot afford an attorney are more likely to be sentenced to death than those who can. In fact, of the first 138 people executed since 1976, 72% were represented by court-appointed attorneys, while only 15% could afford to hire their own attorneys.

In the year 2000, African Americans only made up about 12.8 percent of the United States population, but they were 38 percent of the prisoners on death row and 42 percent of those that were actually executed. There are also studies that suggest that states which have capital punishment tend to have higher murder rates than states without it.

A study done in 2009 showed that from 1999-2003, murder rates were actually 5-7 percent higher in states with Capital Punishment than in states without it. In a 2012 survey of police chiefs it was found that Capital Punishment was not an effective deterrent for crime and that the death penalty actually diverts resources away from more effective crime fighting strategies. Capital Punishment is not an effective deterrent for crime as it has been shown to be racially biased, unfair, and actually increases the murder rate.

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