Capital Punishment as an Effective Way to Prevent Crime

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In the United States, as in almost every other country, there is a punishment or consequence to every crime. Capital punishment is the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a specific crime. In other words, capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is when an offender is sentenced to death after being convicted by a court of law of a criminal offense. The death penalty is legal in some states in the United States as well as the majority of countries in the world. While the criminal justice system highly supports the death penalty, the majority of the public believes that crime should not be punishable by death.

According to the AllSides Red Blue Dictionary (2019), “some people see capital punishment as a necessary consequence for especially heinous crimes.” Other people would say that punishing crime through jail terms is fairly enough to lower the crime rates. The purpose of this paper is to examine what effects capital punishment has had on crime and its effectiveness in preventing crime.

Many researchers talk about the death penalty and how it has affected crime in our country. It is certain that there will always be crime, but there are ways that our criminal justice system can try to stop crime from spreading even more. While certain people see capital punishment as an effective way to prevent crime, others see it as unnecessary. Therefore, to carefully analyze this matter it is better to review multiple articles that have information over capital punishment and that will help answer the topic of this paper.

In An Experience of Time in the Capital Judicial Process, Jon Yorke (2019) explains the reasons as to why the state believes that using capital punishment is a good tactic for reducing crime. In this article, Yorke describes that an individual, once convicted or inmate, will never volunteer for execution instead they will look for alternatives, and this includes staying away from crime. Yorke also mentions how the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the lack of human contact and other death-row protocols alters the individual’s physiology and mental health. The fear that capital punishment implies on an individual leads the state to believe that people will commit less crime or no crime at all. However, the public seems to disagree and believes that there should be other forms of punishment instead of the death penalty.

The article, The Rejection of “Good Faith” Rights Violations: The Case for a Negligent Standard in the Death Penalty Spoliation Issues, states that the Supreme court has recognized that evaluating the death penalty cases implied a different and higher standard. In this article, Hays emphasizes that as long as there is a death penalty, innocent people will inevitably be executed. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment that the state has on their hands and they seem to keep on wanting to continue down that same path. Hays also mentions that if the United States keeps on using the death penalty as a form of punishment to crime, they should find a combination of procedural rules or substantive regulations. 

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Lee Kovarsky wrote an article titled, The American Execution Queue, which focused on explaining the significant litigation and extensive coordination that executing a death row inmate now entails. Kovarsky also focuses on the interest in legitimacy, transparency, fairness, and equality when it comes to capital punishment. When the article focuses more on fairness and equality, it talks about how the worst condemned inmates would die the soonest. 

One of the reasons as to why this is happening is because the requirements that grade punishment is not clear on how to grade the severity of the punishment possibilities. One of the reasons as to why the justice system has supported the death penalty is that it deters criminality. The argument that Kovasrky makes is that even in data confirmed the scattered intuition the more rapid executions increase deterrence, that information wouldn’t suggest that the sequence of executed inmates suppresses criminality.

In The Republican Party, Conservatives, and The Future of Capital Punishment, the author focuses on talking about the history and future of capital punishment. Ben Jones also focuses on the views that both, the Republican Party and the Conservatives, have on the death penalty. According to the article, eight states in the previous decade had ended the death penalty, while another four had placed a moratorium on executions. 

Public support for the death penalty also dropped by around twenty percentage points between the mid-1990s and 2016. Due to several factors that were signaled in Glossip v. Gross, there could be a constitutional challenge to capital punishment in the coming years. Though it is often assumed that the Republicans support the death penalty, the preceding discussion shows that has not always been the case throughout U.S. history, nor it was always a case today. 

As of today, there are many controversies on whether if our justice system should keep the death penalty or not. The main reason as to why the justice system has kept the death penalty is given to the belief that it prevents crime. Capital punishment is often not evaluated carefully as it should, leading to unfair death penalty cases. In many cases, innocent people are executed when their crimes could have been punished through jail terms. While the justice system tries to deterrence crime with capital punishment, there are cases that are dealt unjustly causing the innocent to be punished in wrongful ways.

The proper way to prevent crime in our country would be by finding alternatives punishments that would be effective. There are many ways that our society can prevent crime from happening while there is still a chance. I believe that finding the motives as to why an individual would commit a crime should be carefully analyzed in order to find an effective punishment for that person. The raising of a child has a lot to do with how the person’s personality is going to be, therefore from the beginning of someone’s life we, as a society, should try to find ways to raise the child properly. 

It is known that children that are raised in aggressive and criminally involved families end up repeating the cycle by doing things that their families did. If we raise children correctly, especially in our schools, they are less likely to commit a crime which is way more effective when it comes to preventing crime. If we invest more money in schools and education, our generation will grow up to be a hardworking generation instead of getting involved with crime. Why wait until the last minute and try to take away someone’s life for a crime punishable by jail-terms, when we could have prevented them from committing the crime in the first place?

Capital punishment is not totally effective when it comes to the prevention of crime. Furthermore, the death penalty is often not analyzed properly or evaluated clearly on the severity of punishment possibilities for certain cases. Due to this reason, capital punishment does not help deterrence crime completely. Just as the public says, there are alternative ways of preventing crime and even the more heinous crimes are punishable by jail terms. Additionally, capital punishment is taking away the lives of innocent people, when our nation could be doing other things differently in order to stop crime from the very start.  

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