The Death Penalty Debate Essay

978 Words 4 Pages
The death penalty seems to be a very debatable subject. There are arguments and support for both sides of the debate, but which side is right? That is a tough question to ask. After reading the article in the textbook, two other articles, and looking at statistics, I seem to feel that the death penalty may not be the right answer.

The article in the textbook The Death Penalty in the United States and Worldwide was fairly informative. One of the points it brought up was the cost of life without parole vs the death penalty, and those costs were stated as life without parole costing 1.1 million dollars vs the death penalty costing 3 million dollars (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009 pg 176). This is a significant difference in price. The text
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I found a chart on the website http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rates-nationally-and-state. The chart on the site shows that murder rates were actually higher in states with the death penalty than in states that did not have the death penalty (Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). If the death penalty is a deterrent, wouldn’t these rates be reversed? In an article published in the New York Times entitled ABSENCE OF EXECUTIONS: A special report.; States With No Death Penalty Share Lower Homicide Rates, states that states who do have the death penalty actually have higher murder rates than the national average and in the past twenty years the rates have been found to be 48 to 101 percent higher than the states who do not have the death penalty (Bonner, Raymond and Fessenden, Ford, 2000). The article also states that as of 1998 Hawaii had the fifth lowest homicide rate in the nation and Hawaii is one of the states in which no death penalty is enforced (Bonner, Raymond and Fessenden, Ford, 2000). This illustrates to me that the death penalty in fact does not act as a deterrent for one to not commit violent crime. If it were a deterrent it would show that states with the death penalty had lower homicide rates than those states without the death penalty. There is also a statement in the article from John O’Hair, a Detroit District Attorney, that basically stated that…