This article in short explains why I feel that the death penalty fails at deterring violent crime.
We have all heard the claim that during a crime of passion, the murder happens so quickly that the offender doesn’t have time to weigh the consequences. People use this fact to support the reason why the death penalty is not a deterrent. There are many other facts or reasons for this belief but in my opinion it doesn’t work because of one simple truth, the death penalty is not strong enough. You want the death penalty to be an effective crime deterrent? Then lets make the punishment fit the crime in the literal form. We have all heard the saying “an eye for an eye,” and the majority of us are familiar with a famous quote from the Bible that reads, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If a criminal is going to murder an individual by some perverse form of dismemberment for example, this criminal, regardless of what state that he may live or in which state he is sentenced, he should receive the maximum penalty, that being death by dismemberment. I know the majority of conservatives reading this are appalled by the thought of what I am saying, but if you think about it, if a criminal is going to receive the same treatment that he displays during the act of committing the crime, he may think long and hard about taking someone’s life.
According to AmnestyUSA.org there have been over 1100 executions in the United States since 1977 and currently 3300 still on death row awaiting their execution. Now lets examine the fact that in the years from 1977-2008 according to various law enforcement web sites on violent crimes, there have been 625,742 recordable murders in the United States. With that being said, it is apparent that the death penalty is not an effective crime deterrent in the US. Why? There is one main reason that attributes to this fact. I do not want to intentionally step on any one organization’s toes, but facts are facts. Lets ponder a direct quote from Amnesty.org, “The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.” The cold, hard truth is, with an ever-growing popularity to this mindset, a criminal is not going to worry about the death penalty as a consequence to his actions. My question to Amnesty International, “While you protect the rights of a criminal found guilty of taking the life of a fellow human being, who was protecting those unfortunate 625,742 souls during their ultimate denial of human rights?” I am pretty confident that if “eye for an eye” were the rule twenty-two years ago there wouldn’t be such a high number of murders in this country. As a matter of fact, I am willing to say the number would be 90% lower. You may not like it but that is my opinion.