Essay on Death Penalty

1367 Words Dec 22nd, 2005 6 Pages
Death Penalty

The death penalty is a controversial topic in the United States today and has been for a number of years. The death penalty was overturned and then reinstated in the United States during the 1970's due to questions concerning its fairness. The death penalty began to be reinstated slowly, but the rate of executions has increased during the 1990's. There are a number of arguments for and against the death penalty. Many death penalty supporters feel that the death penalty reduces crime because it deters people from committing murder if they know that they will receive the death penalty if they are caught. Others in favor of the death penalty feel that even if it doesn't deter others from committing crimes, it will eliminate
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People opposed to the death penalty also point to the fact that over half of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty, including all other major industrialized, democratic nations. In the five countries with the highest homicide rates that do not impose the death penalty, the murder rate is 21.6 murders per 100,000 people. In the five countries with the highest homicide rates that do impose the death penalty, the murder rate is 41.6 murders per 100,000 people ("Deterrence"). Furthermore, the United States has the highest crime and murder rates of any of the other major democratic nations, all of which have abandoned the death penalty. In 1965, Great Britain called for a five-year suspension on executions following a recent decline in the imposition of the death penalty and growing anti-death penalty sentiments in the country. In 1969, the government abolished the death penalty altogether because there had been no surge in homicides or crime (Flanders 45). Death penalty opponents feel that these statistics lend credibility to the argument that the death penalty does not cause a decrease in homicides and in some instances may even lead to an increase in murders. Another valid point that death penalty opponents use is that the judicial system is not flawless, and that in the United…

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