It's Time to Abolish the Death Penalty Essay

1187 Words 5 Pages
The death penalty has been around since the beginning of time as a means of punishing criminals, undisputed until the last century or so in terms of whether or not it is an ethical practice. The proponents for the death penalty offer up its ability to deter crime as their main reason for supporting it, their view supported by a functionalist sociological view in that using the death penalty, enough fear will be generated that people will refrain from committing the types of crime that the death penalty is applicable to (Schaefer, 2009). Another reason for favoring it are of an emotional nature; if a person commits a crime of a particularly horrible nature, many may feel that they deserve the death penalty, feeling that “an eye for …show more content…
Statistics back up the fact that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. In 1999, the murder rate in states with the death penalty was 5.5, and in non-death penalty states was 3.6 (Jillette, Teller, & Price, 2006). In 2004, the murder rate in death penalty states was 5.1, and in non-death penalty states was 2.9 (Jillette, Teller, & Price, 2006). Topping these particular statistics is the state that uses the death penalty the most frequently, Texas, which had from 1996 through 2006 a murder rate of 6.7 at the time when the national murder rate was 6.23 (Jillette, Teller, & Price, 2006). With the murder rate being higher in states with the death penalty, it shows little evidence of deterrence.
The international view on the death penalty is mixed. There are 83 countries that use the death penalty, but in 76 other countries, the death penalty has been abolished entirely, and in addition to that there are 16 countries where the death penalty’s use is limited to the most heinous crimes only (“Use of The Death Penalty Worldwide”, 2004). Amnesty International reports that in 2002, there were 1,526 total prisoners executed from 31 different countries, and in 67 countries, there was a reported total of 3,248 people who were sentenced to die (“Use of The Death Penalty Worldwide”, 2004). The three countries…