The United states is the only western democracy that still practices capital punishment.
There have been over 4050 executions since 1930. In 1994 alone, there were 257
executions in the United States. People who believe in capital punishment say that this
dehumanizing process deters crime. This is false because the death penalty has been
proven NOT to deter crime. In fact, during the 1980s, states practicing the death penalty
averaged an annual rate of 7.5 criminal homicides per 100,000, while abolition states
averaged a rate of 7.4 per 100,000. That means murder was actually MORE common in
states that use the death penalty. Criminals irrationally perform crimes, therefore, life
imprisonment ought to deter a rational person itself. Besides, no criminal commits a
crime if he believes he will be caught.
The death penalty is morally incorrect. Why do governments kill people to show
other people that killing is wrong? Would society allow rape as the penalty for rape or
the burning of arsonists’ homes as the penalty for arson. Every time we execute
someone, we sink to the same level as the common killer. What is the difference
between the state killing and an individual killing? The end result is the same....one
more dead body, one more set of grieving parents, and one more cemetery slot. Every
time we execute someone, we are desensitizing the value of human life.
The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been a more economical alternative
to life imprisonment. A study by the New York State Defenders Association showed that
the cost of a capital trial ALONE is more than double the cost of life imprisonment.
They also concluded that a death penalty case costs approximately 42 percent more than
a case resulting in a non-death sentence. Since 1976 the United States has spent 700
Another reason to get rid of the death penalty is the possibility of error.