Death Penalty Debate Essay

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The controversial debate over the death penalty has been going on for a very long time and still has no conclusive solution. In the United States that is, most of the rest of the civilized world has done away with the death penalty a long time ago. Many people have different views on this issue. Although, there is a consensus that heinous murders need to be severely punished, there is no consensus on the choice of that punished. The debate over the proper punishment lies between the death penalty and life in prison. Some of the issues that encompass the debate are the morality of the death penalty, the cost of the death penalty as opposed the cost of life in prison, the deterrent effect of the death penalty, family consideration of what …show more content…
It is definitely true that money should not be an issue when it comes to fighting crime and saving people's lives. However, it is also true that it is necessary to logically and rationally choose the best way to spend the available money for crime-fighting. In the case of the death penalty, so much extra money is spent in legal procedures and appeals that could be spent toward other more deterrent and efficient ways to fighting crime, such as increased police forces, more funding for the war on guns, and other crime-fighting initiatives. In the economic sense, the death penalty is clearly not the smartest and most efficient way to fight crime.

One of the most important issues in the debate is the deterrent effect of the death penalty. Deterrent effect, meaning that by having the death penalty as an available form of punishment it will deter future murders from committing their crimes. So supposedly, by instilling this fear of death a murderer will be forced to think twice before they kill. This is not the case, as many studies have shown that the death penalty does not have a deterrent effect. For instance, the homicide rates in states that do have the death penalty and those that don't are generally the same. Furthermore, when states have established the death penalty they have not seen their homicide rates fall (Barkan p. 498). A global statistic that disproves the deterrent effect of the death penalty is that the United States, which in…