Capital crime rate is irrelevant.According to Isaac Ehrlich’s
Capital Punishment deters murder, and is just Retribution Capital punishment, isthe execution of criminals by the state, for committing crimes, regarded soheinous, that this is the only acceptable punishment. Capital punishment doesnot only lower the murder rate, but it’s value as retribution alone is a goodreason for handing out death sentences.
Support for the death penalty in the U.S.has risen to an average of 80% according to an article written by RichardWorsnop, entitled “Death penalty debate centres on Retribution”, this figure isslightly lower in Canada where support for the death penalty is at 72% of thepopulation over 18 years of age, as stated in article by Kirk Makir, in theMarch 26, 1987 edition of the Globe and Mail, titled “B.C. MPs split on DeathPenalty”.The death penalty deters murder by putting the fear of death into would bekillers.
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A person is less likely to do something, if he or she thinks that harmwill come to him. Another way the death penalty deters murder, is the fact thatif the killer is dead, he will not be able to kill again.Most supporters of the death penalty feel that offenders should be punished fortheir crimes, and that it does not matter whether it will deter the crime rate.
Supporters of the death penalty are in favour of making examples out ofoffenders, and that the threat of death will be enough to deter the crime rate,but the crime rate is irrelevant.According to Isaac Ehrlich’s study, published on April 16, 1976, eight murdersare deterred for each execution that is carried out in the U.S.A. He goes on tosay, “If one execution of a guilty capital murderer deters the murder of oneinnocent life, the execution is justified.
” To most supporters of the deathpenalty, like Ehrlich, if even 1 life is saved, for countless executions of theguilty, it is a good reason for the death penalty. The theory that societyengages in murder when executing the guilty, is considered invalid by mostsupporters, including Ehrlich. He feels that execution of convicted offendersexpresses the great value society places on innocent life.Isaac Ehrlich goes on to state that racism is also a point used by death penaltyadvocates. We will use the U.S. as examples, since we can not look at theinmates on death row in Canada, because their are laws in Canada that state thatcrime statistics can not be based on race, also the fact that there are noinmates on death row in Canada.
In the U.S. 16 out of 1000 whites arrested formurder are sentenced to death, while 12 of 1000 blacks arrested for murder weresentenced to death. 1.
1% of black inmates on death row were executed, while 1.7%of white inmates will die.Another cry for racism, as according to Ehrlich, that is raised by advocates ofthe death penalty is based on the colour of the victim, for example “if thevictim is white, it is more likely that the offender will get the death penaltythan if the victim had been black”. This is true, if you look at the actualnumber of people who are murder. More people kill whites and get the deathpenalty, then people who kill blacks and get the death penalty.
The reason forthis is that more whites are killed, and the murders captured. Now if we look atthe number of blacks killed it is a lot less, but you have to look at thesenumbers proportionately. Percent wise it is almost the same number for any race,so this is not the issue.In a 1986 study done by Professor Stephen K.
Layson of the University of NorthCarolina, the conclusions made by Ehrilich were updated, and showed to be alittle on the low side as far as the deterrence factor of capital punishment.Professor Layson found that 18 murders were deterred by each execution is theU.S. He also found that executions increases in probability of arrest,conviction, and other executions of heinous offenders.
According to a statement issued by George C. Smith, Director of Litigation,Washington Legal Foundation, titled “In Support of the Death Penalty”, supportfor the death penalty has grown in the U.S.
, as the crime rate increased. In1966, 42% of Americans were in favour of capital punishment while 47% wereopposed to it. Since the crime rate United states has increased, support for thecapital punishment has followed suit. In 1986, support for capital punishmentwas 80% for and only 17% against with 3% undecided, but most of the undecidedvotes said they were leaning toward a pro capital punishment stance, if they hadto vote on it immediately.Let us now focus on Canada.
The last two people to be executed, in Canada wereArthur Lucas and Ron Turpin. They were executed on December 11, 1962. Theexecutions in Canada were carried out by hanging. 1The death penalty was abolished in Canada in the latter part of 1976, after adebate that lasted 98 hours. The death penalty was only beaten by 6 votes. If welook back to 1976, the year the death penalty was abolished in Canada, threatsof death, were being made to Members of Parliament and their immediate familiesfrom pro death penalty advocates. Most members of parliament, voted on their ownpersonal feelings, as opposed to the views of their voters.
2The same was the case in British Colombia, where accepting of the death penalty,if it was reinstated 1987 , by the federal government was discussed. The M.P.swere split, 17 out of 29 were for the death penalty. This showed, that even themajority of the M.P.s were in favour of the death penalty in B.
C. Support forthe death penalty in British Columbia at the time was almost 70%, but the M.P.
sfelt that it was up to them to vote how they felt was right, and not to vote onwhich vote would give them the best chance for a second term.3In 1987, the Progressive Conservative government wanted to hold a free vote onthe reinstatement of Capital punishment, but Justice minister Ray Hnatyshyn, whowas opposed to it, pressured the M.P.s, into voted against the bill. RayHnatyshyn, was the deciding factor, if not for him, it was widely believed thatthe reinstatement of capital punishment would have gone through, and the deathpenalty would be a reality today.
4Capital punishment is such a volatile issue, and both sides are so deeply rootedin their views that they are willing to do almost anything to sway all of thepeople they can to their side.We personally feel, and our views are backed up by proof, in the form of studiesby the likes of Isaac Ehrlich’s 1975 and Prof. Stephen K. Layson’s, that waspublished in 1986, and polls that have been taken both in Canada and the UnitedStates over the past few years. All of these studies and surveys show thatcapital punishment is a valid deterrent to crime, and obviously the public, andsociety as a whole are in favour of it.
The death penalty makes would be capitaloffenders think about weather committing a crime is really worth their lives.Even if capital punishment did not deter crime, the simple fact that it willallow society to “get even” with murders. Capital punishment also insures peaceof mind because it insures that murders will never kill again.
1 From: Take Notice, (Copp Clarke Pitman Ltd., 1979) page 1632 From: Article written by David Vienneau published in the March 24, 1987edition of the “Toronto Star”, titled, Debate Agonizing for MPs.3 From: Article written by Kirk Makir, published in March 26, 1987 edition ofthe “Globe and Mail”, titled, BC MPs Split on Death Penalty Debate.4 From: Article written by Hugh Winsor, published in April 29, 1987 edition ofthe “Globe and Mail”, titled, Debate on Death Penalty placed on hold.