Death penalty is a hot topic. It has become very controversial since it deals with human life. Some argue that the death penalty is justice served while some argue that it is never justified to kill a human being for a crime committed.
Many have argued that death penalty does not deter crime which makes it senseless to be made as the ultimate punishment for a crime. However, a 2003 study co-authored by Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, as well as another study in 2006 has discovered that an execution results in five fewer homicides and halting a death sentence results in five additional homicides. Mocan said that the results are consistent and do not go away. He even stated that he is in opposition to the death penalty but the facts state that it is a deterrent to crime (Associated Press).
Different studies point to differing results but all still lead to the conclusion that death penalty is a deterrent to crime. A study at Emory University in 2003 pointed out that “each execution deters an average of 18 murders”. Other studies led to findings that each execution deters murders by three, five and fourteen. Another study at the University of Houston came up with a conclusion that a moratorium set for executions in Illinois resulted in an additional 150 homicides in the four subsequent years. Still, another study at Emory University in 2004 indicated that speeding up executions improved the deterrent effect of the death penalty as one murder is averted for every 2.75 year cut from the death row (Associated Press)
On the other hand, anti-death penalty lobbyists also argue that innocents are being put to death which is why death penalty should be abolished. However, the claim that the death row is filled with innocent is false. Liebman argues that a high rate of reversed decisions in death penalty cases translate to a high likelihood that many innocents are being put into death row. However, the Liebman study has been questioned. It was discovered that states with the highest rates of reversed decision are states that show the least interest in seeking death penalty. Oregon is a good example having only 25 inmates on the death row and a relatively high rate of overturned decisions at 68 percent. Despite this fact, no reversal was made because of having proven the innocence of the convicted as most were because of “faulty jury instructions” or hyper procedural errors (Marquis).
It has also been argued that juvenile offenders should not be put on the death row. Upon closer examination, there is no reason why 16-17 year old murderers should be saved from the death penalty. According to Harvard University Psychologist Jerome Kagan, “The brain data don’t show that adolescents typically have reduced legal culpability for crimes”. Also, no psychiatrist, psychologist or any brain specialist would argue the point that even 16-17 year old adolescents are immature. They can be as mature as or more mature than 18-year olds. Because of this, arguments against the execution of 16-17 year old adolescents because of age are unmerited (Sharp).
The death penalty should not be abolished. In fact, it should be promoted since it has proven to be a deterrent to crime. Also, innocents are not being put to death because everything went under due process. There is also no reason why adolescents who have committed crimes punishable by death penalty should be protected from it. It will be better to put brutal criminals to death to prevent any more murders. Additionally, the death penalty is not being abused since it is only used for exceptional cases.
Associated Press. “Studies: Death Penalty Discourages Crime”. 11 June 2007. December 3, 2008 ; http://www.dpinfo.com/;
Marquis, Joshua. “Myths Aside, Death Row Isn’t Filled With Innocents”. 26 February 2002. Los Angeles Times. December 3, 2008 ; http://www.dpinfo.com/;
Sharp, Dudley. “Why Some “Juvenile” Murderers Should Qualify For The Death Penalty”. Justice Matters. December 3, 2008 ; http://www.dpinfo.com/;