Is the Death Penalty a Deterrent?
Category : Articles
This paper discusses the question of whether or not the death penalty really is deterrent.
This paper looks at the death penalty. Both sides of the coin are discussed. The positive and negative effects lead the author to ask: Does the death penalty deter crime or does it have no effect other than on the executed criminal. With numerous examples.
“Some time ago, a Texas journalist who had seen nearly two hundred people die in the electric chair over nearly thirty years declared that the death penalty is not a deterrent- the main claim for it. “The only person it deters,” he believed, “is the man being executed.” We should start by defining deterrence. It refers to an instance where an individual refrains from an act because he or she perceives a risk of punishment for the act and fears that punishment. Thus the deterrent effect of capital punishment is best evaluated in terms of the number of person prevented from committing a crime that would lead them to be penalized. So is there such a thing as the death penalty deterring society in general or was the Texas journalist right about the death penalty not having a deterrent effect on the general public?”