Death Penalty Deterrence

790 Words 4 Pages
In the “The death penalty 2015 year-end report” (p.14) the current President of the United States stated, “I have not traditionally been opposed to the death penalty in theory, but in practice it’s deeply troubling” —President Barack Obama. The death penalty is capital punishment and is a legal penalty in the United States. On June 29, 1972, the Supreme Court effectively suspended the death penalty because existing statutes were no longer valid. It was once again permitted under the Gregg v. Georgia decision in 1976 but established limitations on capital punishment. Today, 38 states and the federal government have capital punishment as a possible punishment according to the DPIC. (Dunham, 2015, p.2) There were 49 new death sentences in America …show more content…
People who advocate for capital punishment support deterrence, retribution, and incapacitation. The belief that society can stop crime by making punishment more severe than the benefits gained from criminal acts is the ideology of deterrence. (Sunstein& Vermeule, 2005, p.5) There are two types of deterrence. Specific deterrence aimed at deterring individual offenders from re-offending and general deterrence aimed at making “an example” of an offender to deter future offenders. Retribution is another ideology of pro-death penalty advocates, which refers to punishment for offenders that is equal to the crime committed. Incarcerating an offender to minimize their ability to re-offend is known as incapacitation ideology. Anti-death penalty opponents have several arguments against the death penalty. The argument includes that it does not deter crime, it poses a risk of executing the innocent, it is cruel and uncivilized, and is a double standard for offenders and the government. For those who oppose capital punishment the ideology of rehabilitation by reconditioning the offender as a productive member of society is the goal. I believe the best punishment for an offender who breaks the law is incarceration moreover and for murderers is life without the possibility of …show more content…
I believe the death penalty is wrong in itself and is an oxymoron. The use of the death penalty as punishment for killing another person is a contradiction. I do not agree with death penalty advocates who believe the death penalty deters crime. When a crime is committed I believe most offenders have certainly thought about the ramifications of their actions. Thus the most severe capital punishment has not in many cases deterred crimes from taking place. Lambert, Clarke, & Lambert, (2004) suggests “When other offenses are at issue, additional moral questions of commensurability and aggregation arise”. Retribution I believe is not always a proportionate punishment to the crime committed. The death penalty is not only used as punishment for murder but other crimes as well so as to the punishment doesn’t always fit the

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