Death Penalty Research Paper

1961 Words Jul 9th, 2012 8 Pages
Kimberly Ferrell
Professor Sanders
English 1301, Section 341
9 December 2010

A Vicious Cycle of Anger and Hatred

The eighth amendment is designed to protect us from cruel and unusual punishment. Conservation of the United States Constitution, and all moral ideologies have been set aside. An old form of barbaric punishment and the saying "eye for an eye" is still being widely accepted by Americans today. The old form of barbaric punishment is capital punishment. No matter how "humane" the death penalty has become, it is still the killing of another human being. When people stand outside prisons and cheer that an individual was murdered, there is a problem. When people justify the killing of another person, there is
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However, no individual has ever been able to present any credible evidence that supports the theory of deterrence. Decades of research across the country has failed to produce signs of a higher murder rate in states that have abolished the death penalty. The theory of deterrence assumes that a murderer is examining the costs and benefits of the anticipated criminal act and taking a moment to think rationally. In the United States, the death penalty is only handed down for about one out of every one hundred homicides. A murderer has a greater chance of being killed by the planned victim or in a confrontation with the police, and therefor has no reason to fear the death penalty if there is only a one in a hundred chance they will actually receive it (Jackson, Jackson, and Shapiro 33). Moreover, most homicides are unplanned, impulsive acts and to imply that a murderer is thinking calm and cooly outweighing their options in such an emotionally charged environment is simply idiotic.
To illustrate just how absurd the theory of deterrence is, research by the New York Times found that states without the death penalty actually have lower homicide rates than states that support the death penalty. The New York Times states that "ten out of twelve states without the death penalty have homicide rates below the national average, whereas half of the states with enforced capital punishment have homicide rates above the national average" (Harrison). In 2005, there…

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