Why the death penatly does not work

Essay by nonnieUniversity, Bachelor's July 2002

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When discussing the right or wrong of capital punishment the old saying comes to mind, "I don't get mad I get even". This seems to be a strong basis for why we should use the death penalty. So strong is our urge for a perfect society that we look to the quick fix of killing off those who make us feel unsafe. Many of us neglect the strong evidence that the death penalty brings us no where closer to the solution of stopping the horrendous act of murder. The goal of society and sovereignty has been to bring those who commit crimes to justice while deterring those who might sway from morality, from following that same path of destruction. The death penalty has been around almost as long as human existence, and so has murder. The idea of an eye for an eye has been played out for thousands of years and murders have still continued.

The time has come to look at what we are doing and why it isn't helping.

The FBI uniform crime reports show that from 1995 to 1999 states that use the death penalty have an average murder rate of 5.5 (per 100,000 pop.), as opposed to states that do not use capital punishment, having an average rate of 3.6. This clearly shows that this form of punishment is in no way a deterrent to the crime. Though we cannot yet be sure of the effects that capital punishment has on our psyche as a society, these numbers seem to point in the direction that shows that violence perpetuates violence. What would happen if I were to go out and kill someone? Most likely, if I were caught, I would face the death penalty. As a sane person, my reasons for not killing someone stem...