Capital Punishment: Does Death Equal Justice? Essay

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Capital Punishment: Does Death Equal Justice?

Capital punishment causes the death of someone because that person killed someone else, yet only murderers suffer such a fate. Rapists do not endure rape, thieves do not have their possessions robbed, and those convicted of assault do not undergo a similar assault.

or hundreds of years people have considered capital punishment a deterrence of crime. Seven hundred and five individuals have died since 1976, by means of capital punishment; twenty-two of these executions have already occurred this year (Death Penalty Information Center). Many U.S. citizens who strongly support the death penalty believe that capital punishment remains the best way to protect society from convicted killers.
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For example: "Connecticut executes offenders of capital felony crimes with nine categories of aggravated homicide, while California executes offenders of first-degree murder with special circumstances; train wrecking; treason; perjury" (Death Penalty Information Center). These inconsistencies do not help the deterrence of crime, nor make those states that administer the death penalty crime-free.

Statistics of murder rates in states without the death penalty compared to statistics in states that support the death penalty prove the lack of deterrence. For example, "the average of murder rates per 100,000 population in 1999 among death penalty states was 5.5, whereas the average of murder rates among non-death penalty states was only 3.6" (Death Penalty Infomation Center). This lack of deterrence may exist in part, from the fact that executions occur in private, and society remains sheltered from its horrors. On the other hand, perhaps the repeated execution of prisoners by the state makes society gradually become more and more immune to the horror that should accompany the forfeiture of life.

Though capital punishment does indeed fail to eliminate crime from the streets, the possible execution of innocent individuals outweighs many other concerns. Most capital punishment cases pose great difficulty in the determination of guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt. An example of possible wrongful execution appears in
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