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Proof that capital punishment doesn't deter crime?
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Proof that capital punishment doesn't deter crime?

For my essay I need something to show that capital punishment doesn't deter crime. ;) Any help is greatly appreciated.


In my opinion, nobody has the right to take another human beings life. Not even ones owns life. We have the facilities in this day and age to remove criminals from society. I believe that tougher prison conditions would be a greater deterrent. Harder working conditions, less interaction with society and other prisoners. Basic skills should be taught and better programs available for self development. Life should mean life.

Capital punishment does and would deter crime IF USED!

I've never seen a repeat offender.

Louis L
FBI statistics may show increases in crime since capital punishment was reinstated. Shouldn't be too hard to find. Execution does deter the person that is executed from killing again if they are really guilty.

You can't prove such a thing because capital punishment isn't used regularly enough to get a good scientific study about it done.

Col. Hannibal Smith
I think you should look at America for starters. Most states over there carry the death penalty, yet America has the highest crime rate in the world.

It depends on the type of crime. There are many people in the states who commit murder because of the colour of someone else's skin. Race related crime will never be stopped even with the death penalty, because there are those whose beliefs (religous perhaps) are such that no other race has the right to exist.

You could however, also argue that there are many who have been incorrectly put to death in America (and there have been) and so the statistics may not actually the reflect the arguement that CP does not deter crime.

ricky rawhide
e.g america

Gone Fishing
Well, one thing is certain, people didn't casually kick people to death 40 years ago. There is no deterrent to murder at all nowadays Most killers are unlikely to serve more than 10 years and a lot will serve even less. The public was soothed by the Labour Government of the day stating that life would mean life as a replacement of capital punishment. Like so many Labour promises it didn't happen.

Nowadays, so many cruel deaths are pleaded as manslughter. Joke. Manslaughter used to get a sentance of at least 7 years. And then there are always the cases that vicious killers get suspended sentences. So really it's nothing to do with capital punishment and all to do with no punishment at all for most.

Capitol punishment when it was legal did deter crime, so you will have a hell of a time trying to prove otherwise

it would be more effective it was done in public or broadcasted like it was back in the day

sorry matt capital punishment does deter crime if you saw people on tv being hanged would you commit a crime i dont think so britain would be much safer thats a fact

Look at the US example, where some states have death penalty. Does that make the country safer? No, it's one with the highest carceral population in the world.
Then what about condemning innocents? How to bring them back?

There's never really been any meaninful evidence that it does work as a deterrent.

I don't imagine it would, really. If life in prison isn't enough to deter someone, they must be pretty determined so I can't see why a lethal injection would. Death is arguably the easier punishment than life in a cell.

capital punishement only deters crime if the options are exercised. the fear of capital punishment is mrely a deterrent, and although it may deter serious crime, it cannot possibly control it.

death, as an option is a moments pain, or suffering, and then nothing. suffering, is however another matter entirely.

i dont know anyone who'd fancy a 30yr sentence alone in a cell... maybe it is inhuman, and marginally barbaric.. but it is a deterrent...esp if its done as a reality tv show... mass adudience appeal, with an educational aspect... that might work.

My good friend have head cut off, he was good man, but he like bum holes not vageena.

There are too many other factors to really consider that affect crime rates that it is difficult to study this particular aspect. I am not certain such a scientific study exists. There may be some studies where they interview people in prison or on death row to see if capital punishment was a reason not to do the crime.

Mr Sceptic
There is not a significant difference in murder rates between US states that have capital punishment and those that don't.

Try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_debate#Evidence_for_prevention_and_deterrence for a balanced account

Little Miss Sunshine
You should look at a comparison of statistics between the Netherlands and the United States of who has more drug abuse. The Netherlands made certain drugs legal, and their drug abuse rates for ALL of their numbers of drug abusers for all drugs are HALF of what ours are. Also the rate of drug use keeps increasing in the U.S. , even though the drug laws are stricter. Our prison systems don't rehabilitate, they just piss people off enough to do worse crime.

Aegis of Freedom
2005 statistics:
~16,900 murders in the US.
60 executions.

It doesn't work as a deterrent because it is almost never used. If your parent threatened to spank you as a punishment, but you only spanked them <1% of the time, would you be deterred?

Edward F
I don't think CP deters murder, but I guarantee that it, if used, will prevent recidivism.

frank S
It is difficult to prove that CP doesn't deter crime.

In the UK the abolition of the death penalty was based solely on the odd miscarriage of justice when somebody was executed for a crime they hadn't committed.

Statistics indicate that murder has increased tenfold since it was ended.

I suppose looking at it from a moral standpoint it would be reasonable to conclude that many people would not have been murdered had the penalty for that crime been death. The odd miscarriage of justice pales into insignificance against the rise in the cases of murder.

Using USA's figures is misleading as many of their murders are usually drug related, when the attacker is addled by the effects of the narcotics that they have consumed.

Study the statistics of countries like Saudi, Kuwait and Singapore where very strict laws on drug crimes keep the figures down to gain a more realistic view of the effects of CP on their crime figures.

Try looking at countries such as Singapore and Saudi Arabia as well as the US
Also Kuwait where they have introduced the death penalty for drug trafficking in order to try to act as a deterent

Drew Vollmer
Charts that show capital punishment deterring crime generally show a chart with rising execution rates and slumping crime rates. The problem with this is that it succumbs to the classic issue of correlation and causality.

Sure, there is a correlation between the two points, but the fallacy is that more executions causes less crime. It is more probable that it is in fact the other way around. Following this misguided belief and killing people when crime rates are high would cause execution rates to start rising when crime has reached its peak. Since crime rates are cyclical, they are usually on the downswing by the time the government carries out the execution.

That's where we get the belief, and that's an explanation of how it is misguided.

The BudMiester
It stops crime from that one particular person, and would deter all his mates.

This is the great fallacy used by the Anti Capital Punishment lobby. It is not a deterrent, it is a punishment! if along the way someone thinks twice about killing because they may be executed then all well and good.
At present there is no form of deterrent as people know they will only spend a short time in jail and be free again.

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