The Death Penalty: Can It Ever Be Justified? Essay

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“The Death Penalty: Can It Ever Be Justified?”

Edward I. Koch uses his essay “The Death Penalty: Can It Ever Be Justified?” to defend capital punishment. He believes that justice for murderous crimes is essential for the success of the nation. The possibility of error is of no concern to Koch and if would-be murderers can be deterred from committing these heinous crimes, he feels the value of human life will be boosted and murder rates will consequently plummet (475-479). Koch makes a valiant effort to express these views, yet research contradicts his claims and a real look at his idea of justice must be considered in order to create a fair nation for all.

One point that Koch tries to address is the value of human life. Koch
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He believes that capital punishment can prevent future murders by eliminating the murderer and making potential murderers think twice about committing a crime (478). Nonetheless, killing the murderer through capital punishment is not the only means to eliminate the possibility of the killer striking again. For example, a life sentence in a secure jail would ensure that the killer would not be able to take another life. Moreover, it would mean one less death in the end. Also, studies have shown that capital punishment may not be the miracle deterrent that Koch and other capital punishment supporters allege it to be. From the Death Penalty Information Center website, William Bowers, a Northwestern University criminologist, states that “society is brutalized by the use of the death penalty, and this increases the likelihood of more murder.” Along with Bowers, 84% of experts in the academic criminological society say that their research has concluded no proof that the death penalty is a successful deterrent (“In Opposition to the Death Penalty: Deterrence”). Statistics back these criminologists’ statements. A study by the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty confirmed that there have been over 750 executions since 1976. That is 750 lives ended in hopes that the killing will stop. Unfortunately, according to the United States Department of Justice, there continues to be a rise in the number of

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