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This page aims to discuss capital punishment as rationally as possible I propose to present information which may help people make up their minds about whether or not capital punishment keeps them safe makes economic sense or provides a satisfactory closure for the victims of homicide How if at all this information affects your response either emotional or political to capital punishment remains entirely up to you The questions of fact concerning capital punishment fall into three general areas does capital punishment freeing social resources for better purposes than warehousing and feeding murders or does it actually cost more consuming resources that could go into preventing crime Does capital punishment strike fear into offenders saving innocent lives by would-be killers And finally the courts make mistakes what does capital punishment mean to an innocent person These questions fit together to define a complex problem If experience showed capital punishment saved lives by deterring offenders the cost would not matter a certainty that capital punishment would save innocent lives might even make the risk of wrongful convictions acceptable If no risk at all existed of an error by the courts the question of whether capital punishment saves innocent lives by deterring murder might matter less And we cannot limit the cost of capital punishment simply to money since society has limited resources and can only spend so much on criminal justice A society that spends money on executions cant spend that money on police officers courts or jails to say nothing of schools vocational programs or other measures aimed at preventing crime If the broader public view of capital punishment does not reflect the reality how does capital punishment work in the United States How do alternative systems work in countries such as Canada And if of responses to murder and the effect of those responses differ from the reality why Finally does no response but reason have any place
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