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The Death Penalty Putting to death people judged to have committed certain extremely heinous crimes is a practice of ancient standing but in the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century it has become a very controversial issue Changing views on this difficult issue led the supreme Court to abolish capital punishment in 1972 but later to uphold it in 1977 with certain conditions Indeed restoring capital punishment is the will of the people yet many voices are raised against it Heated public debate centers on questions of deterrence public safety sentencing equity and the execution of innocents among others I have listened and read the arguments opposing the death penalty and I find that they are not at all convincing Heres why The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment One argument states that the death penalty does not deter murder Dismissing capital punishment on that basis requires us to eliminate all prisons as well because they do not seem to be any more effective in the deterrence of crime Others say that states which do have the death penalty have higher crime rates than those that dont that a more severe punishment only inspires more severe crimes I must point out that every state in the union is different These differences include the populations number of cities and yes the crime rates Strongly urbanized states are more likely to have higher crime rates than states that are more rural such as those that lack capital punishment The states that have capital punishment have it because of their high crime rate not the other way around In 1985 a study was published by economist Stephen K Layson at the University of North Carolina that showed that every execution of a murderer deters on average 18 murders The study also showed that raising the number of death sentences by one percent would prevent 105 murders However only 38 percent of all murder cases result
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