The Benefits of the Death Penalty

The Benefits of the Death Penalty
Fifty-nine criminals were put to death by means of the death penalty in 2004. Whether it had been by lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, hanging or even the firing squad was it the correct thing to do? This is a commonly asked question concerning this controversial topic. Should these criminals, murders, and rapists have be put to death? Is the death penalty a proper form of punishment? As Sellin stated, ?Whenever hurt is done you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth??
Is the death penalty morally wrong? Anti Death penalty advocates argue life is ?so? sacred that we shouldn?t even be taking the lives of murderers, but what about the innocent people that died because of that murder. Steven D. Stewart, Prosecuting Attorney for Clark County, Indiana, put it best, " I believe life is sacred. It cheapens the life of an innocent murder victim to say that society has no right to keep the murderer from ever killing again. In my view, society has not only the right, but the duty to act in self defense to protect the innocent" (12).

Another controversial topic rendering to the death penalty is cost. Is it really more expensive to keep a criminal in prison for life or is it worth while to sentence them to death? Statistics show that the cost of sentencing an individual to life imprisonment and sentencing an individual to the death penalty are generally equivalent to one another. It is the actual act of the execution that raises the costs. To many people the costs seem strange and useless, but to those who lost a loved one to that criminal find it relieving knowing that there is no way he will ever return. In fact, in a survey conducted in 1995, 74% of people support capital punishment even if the costs are increases. (9). The finality of capital punishment is a comforting factor. The victims friends and family no longer have to live in constant fear of whether or not the offender will escape or appeal until he/she is free. Therefore the cost no longer becomes a concern. Our tax dollars are being put to use by keeping the communities a safer and more comfortable place.

The death penalty is constantly disputed, and those who oppose it find many reasons why it is wrong. One being that the people don?t always know for sure if we are killing the correct person. How is it known that those people sentenced to the death penalty are the correct ones who murdered that certain person, or the man who raped all those women? Its not always one hundred percent accurate.

Pro death penalty advocates believe that the approximate 23 people who were inaccurately sentenced isn?t a considerable amount (11). It is worth that risk to know that many other individuals are safe. It is a a prevention of future offenses of the same kind. Who are the people to say that they will never escape or even harm one of our government officials. The criminal could harm other inmates, or even their prison guards. In a sense it is a self defense system. This was wonderfully stated in Robert E. Crowe?s statement in the book The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. ?I urge capital punishment for murder not because I believe that society wishes to take the life of a murderer but because society does not wish to lose it?s own.? (10).

The most commonly noted point to the argument of the death penalty is deterrence. Sure some may say it is proven that the crime rate is higher in states which utilize the death penalty than those that do not, but has it ever been thought that maybe those states have a high death penalty rate because of the amount of violence in general (6). Those who argue against capital punishment must bear in mind where these statistics come from. It can?t be proven that because of the death penalty people take it upon themselves to commit crimes. " We can number its failures. But we cannot number its successes. No one can ever know how many people have refrained from murder because of the fear of being hanged. For that we have to rely on indirect and inconclusive evidence." (9).

It should be kept in mind that each and every citizen knows his or her rights. They should know that crime and violence is wrong, therefore they should be able to take the consequences of what ever wrong doings they act upon. ??if he is know to imperil the life of other persons. There should be no sentiment about it.? (10) For what ever reason a criminal is sentenced to the death penalty they should have thought it through before committing their crime. If the threat of life imprisonment doesn?t scare them, then the thought of the death penalty should. ?It is the finality of the death penalty which instills fear into the heart of every murderer, and it is this fear of punishment which protects society.? (10).

Whether or not the death penalty is a proper form of punishment will always be a fought over topic. It shows its pro?s and it shows it?s con?s. By properly analyzing the evidence it confirms that the death penalty is a proper form of punishment. There is conclusive evidence proving its success.

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