The death penalty has been a controversial issue for many years. It was established centuries ago and has been accepted by society. It was put into place to punish those who had committed an offense against laws of the institution that was in place at the time. Within our society the death penalty has been associated with several symbols. ‘An eye for an eye,’ is a symbol that has come to be the representation of the death penalty; which was one of the original ideas behind it. Times have changed and the death penalty is now used for more serious offenses and considered to be a deterrence. The death penalty should be abolished because it does not effectively deter crime. I will be discussing the lack of deterrence on the death penalty
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There are more states that currently enforce the death penalty than those that do not. According to Lacock and Radelet (2009) 87% of the criminologists concluded that abolishing the death penalty in a given state would affect that state’s homicide rate (p. 501). These responses of the leading criminologists go hand and hand with the results based on statistics shown by Tyree. When there are states that enforce the death penalty as a society we would assume that there would be fewer crimes punishable by death according to the reasons that our society created the death penalty for; which is deterrence. In the first case Tyree uses “The crime rates of Texas, the most frequent user of the death penalty, and Michigan, which does not have the death penalty statute, were compared. Using the crime rates for these two states, measuring every five years from 1970-2000” (Tyree, 2007, p.7). These statistics can be used to analyze the number of murder rates between states that have the death penalty and those that do not. This will allow us to get a perspective of whether or not there is a deterrent effect. This is a good way to see actual numbers of deaths that have been committed in each state.
“The murder rates per 100,000 inhabitants for the state of Michigan in 1980 were 10.2 and in the state of Texas were 16.9. In 1990, the murder rates for Texas were 14.1 and in Michigan were 10.4.” (Tyree, 2007, p.8). These are certainly statistics that society