Can the Death Penalty Be Effective?
There are numerous debates about the death penalty, as the opinions on this topic differ in different countries of the world. Most countries have abolished the death penalty, but there are still countries where it is used. The effectiveness of the death penalty can be measured by the rates of crimes that demonstrate that this method of punishment does not reduce the number of criminal acts.
The main goal of the death penalty is to decrease the numbers of abhorrent crimes in the world. However, the statistics show that it does not have as many positive effects as expected. For instance, among the 25 states of the US with the highest crime rates, the death penalty is legal in 20 of them (Tures). If the death penalty was an effective method for the prevention and decrease of crime, the statistics would demonstrate that states with the death penalty would have lower crime rates. Conversely, the statistics show the opposite result, which means that it does not have high effectiveness. Today, capital punishment most likely has other goals, such as revenge. It violates human rights, which is why a growing number of people are against this type of punishment.
There is no evidence that the death penalty is effective for the prevention of criminal acts. However, it is proven that there are numerous disadvantages when it comes to this type of punishment. For instance, there is always a possibility that the person who is punished by death penalty is innocent. The statistics demonstrate that in 2017 there were 137 prison inmates released because of their innocence (Sampathkumar). There is no statistical data about the number of people killed as a result of their criminal acts, but there is the possibility that an innocent person can become the victim of the death penalty. There is information that 4% of people executed by death penalty are innocent, and therefore, it is essential to abolish this type of punishment in all countries of the world in order to prevent the cases of killing innocent people (Goodman). Also, the death penalty is a problem which costs money for the country. For example, the average cost of this case is almost $2.5 million (Goodman). The money spent on the death penalty could have been used for more important goals, such as saving the lives of other people and helping homeless and disabled children. Also, the death penalty has a negative effect on African American culture. For instance, African Americans make up around 13% of the population in the US, but the percentage of death row prisoners who are black is around 50 (Goodman). It demonstrates that there is a higher possibility for a black person to be executed than for a white person. These disadvantages should be the motivation for governments of all countries to make the death penalty illegal.
The death penalty is one of the cruelest types of criminal punishment, which is performed with the help of different methods such as hanging, electrocution, and lethal injections. It would be possible to say that the death penalty is an effective method of prevention of abhorrent crimes if the statistics showed that it decreased the number of criminal acts. However, there is no evidence of the effectiveness of this type of punishment, and yet there are numerous disadvantages to this process.
Goodman, Paul. “The Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty.” Soapboxie, 2018, https://soapboxie.com/government/Death-Penalty-Pros-and-Cons.
Sampathkumar, Mythili. “Record Number of Innocent Prison Inmates Released Last Year Over Misconduct by Police, Prosecutors or Government Officials.” The Independent, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/prison-innocent-police-misconduct-prosecutors-inmates-released-exonerations-2017-a8256521.html.
Tures, John. “Does the Death Penalty Reduce the Murder Rate?” Huffpost, 2017, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-a-tures/does-the-death-penalty-re_b_13362760.html.
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