My friend sent me this article today, Studies say death penalty deters crime – Yahoo! News, and I found it pretty interesting. He knows I’m against the death penalty mainly because I believe that it does not deter crime.
The article might change my views. Apparently there have been several studies in the past 6 years that are all suggesting that for in each state, an execution deters between 3-18 homicides. This is accounting for other factors like unemployment data, income per capita and others. I haven’t looked at the studies myself but they sound pretty good – but have attracted a lot of controversy.
So say it’s true – that more executions could prevent more innocent people from dying. Does that necessarily make the death penalty right? Perhaps.
Some things are intrinsically wrong, no matter what the consequences are. For example – we can’t force people to be organ donors even if it means many more people would be able to stay alive.
I think what it boils down to is your opinion on the purpose of sentences for crimes:
1) to prevent other people from doing it
2) to stop those who commit crimes from committing more crimes
3) or to exact punishment on people who commit crimes – to make them “pay”.
Personally I’m with number 2. What’s your take on sentences? On the death penalty?
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