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Is the death penalty effective?

An issue that has continually created tension in today’s society is whether capital punishment serves as an effective and valid form of punishment. Whenever the ‘death penalty is debated, extremists from both sides start yelling conflicting opinions on the topic. The death penalty is, however, a topic that many people do not have a clear view on and so a triangle exists with those who support the death penalty fully, those who completely disagree and finally and perhaps the majority, those who support it, but only in certain cases.

Those who believe that capital punishment is against human rights on the grounds that it is unjust not to give the criminals another chance are, in my opinion, wrong. I think that capital punishment is an effective way to deter violent criminals and it can provide comfort to the victims’ families. Furthermore, prolonged imprisonment increases the burden on the taxpayer which in the circumstances seems unfair.

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Imagine, a good friend of yours. Better yet, imagine a loved one, perhaps a little brother, sister, daughter or son. Now try to imagine life without them, simply because of some selfish, psychopathic murderer who thought that they were above the law. Who knows, maybe they were just bored and decided to take a life. What are we to do with these murderers and other criminals who decide they can take another person’s life? Obviously, anyone who takes someone’s life should surely not be allowed to live amongst respectable human beings. A note of caution should be observed however in the case of self-defence.

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Punishment by death is the ultimate chastisement and one that cannot be taken back. Criminals who commit serious crimes deserve to die and not be given the chance to stay in jail. To give a criminal the death penalty would reassure the people close to the victim that it would not happen again. Moreover, it gives them the feeling that the death of their loved one has been avenged with a price equal to that of which their victim has suffered. A family will feel less pain if the killer dies as he should. Capital punishment also makes criminals think about whether committing a crime is really worth losing their lives or not. Furthermore, it brings peace of mind to the world, as it ensures that murder rates will decrease.

This fact was proven to be true by the Senior American Policy Analyst ‘David B Muhlhausen’ on June 27 2010 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he stated: “The recent studies using panel data techniques have confirmed what we learned decades ago: Capital punishment does, in fact, save lives…Over the years, several studies have demonstrated a link between executions and decreases in murder rates.” Using a panel data set of over 3,000 counties from 1977 to 1996, Professor Hashem Dezhbakhsh of Emory University found that each execution, on average, results in 18 fewer murders. Capital punishment saves lives.

Opponents claim that many are wrongly executed and are often innocent, yet there has never been any significant proof of an innocent human being executed. A study by Bedau-Radlet claimed there were 22 cases where the defendant had been wrongly executed and had ‘slipped through the cracks’ of the justice system. However, this study is very controversial. Other studies have proven that there was no substantial evidence given of guilt, and no evidence of innocence. In addition, our judicial system takes extra precautions to be sure that the innocent and their human rights are protected. Most likely, an innocent person would not be executed unless evidence proves otherwise.

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Not only can it eradicate anti-social citizens from society, but capital punishment can reduce the government’s financial spending. Every year, the government spends huge amounts of money on keeping prisoners alive in prison. The prisoners get: free meals, clothes, beds, electricity, air conditioning, heating, television and many other luxuries that make it a relatively comfortable place to live. Many people believe the life of a criminal who lives in prison is actually better than that of other people such as ourselves, who work extremely hard for a living and ultimately pay for them to live for free.

Additionally, it seems that the bigger the crime, the more luxury is bestowed on the perpetrator, with many of those convicted for multiple murders being granted special security to protect them from being beaten up by fellow inmates. Is this fair? And there are still many innocent poor people who live in poverty, struggling to get by on their measly wages every single day. Think about it; who deserves to live in comfort?

Should we give help to the prisoners who did serious crimes or give help to those homeless, children living in poverty and people who lose their jobs? The answer is obvious. Without spending money to accommodate the prisoners who should receive capital punishment, the government could use the money to create jobs, help people who live in poverty and promote the development of the country.

Just consider the thought that you could be paying for someone to live an easy, carefree life. That person will not regret what they have done and they will continue to brutally end the lives of loved ones across the country.

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Capital punishment is the cheaper option; it is the better option and it is the only option.

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Is the death penalty effective?. (2021, Sep 27). Retrieved January 30, 2023, from