Does the Death Penalty Prevent Crime? Argumentative Essay by Master Researcher

Does the Death Penalty Prevent Crime?
A study of the death penalty and how effective it is at preventing crime.
# 36908 | 1,900 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 23, 2003 in Hot Topics (Capital Punishment)

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This paper begins with a brief overview of how capital punishment came to be legalized in the U.S. and a summary of the arguments for and against it. The writer then takes up the debate on the effectiveness of the death penalty over the years and argues that it should be done away with.


Argument Analysis

From the Paper:

"Debate over the merits of capital punishment continues unabated. Proponents defend it mainly on two grounds: death is the fitting punishment for murder, and executions maximize public safety through incapacitation and deterrence. Opponents reply that there is no evidence that the murder rate fluctuates according to the frequency with which the death penalty is used. They also object that lex talionis ("a life for a life") is not a sound principle of criminal justice--that society cannot allow the brutalities of criminal violence to set the limits of appropriate punishments. Also disputed is whether the death penalty continues (as critics claim) to manifest racial and socioeconomic bias. In McCleskey v. Kemp (1987) the Supreme Court refused to rule that the death penalty as administered was racially biased against blacks convicted of murdering whites. Many death penalty advocates are now saying it doesn't matter whether executions deter would-be killers. Retribution alone, they argue, justifies such a harsh sentence. Their argument seems to have had some effect. Public support for the death penalty is higher now than it's been in recent decades. But the actual number of executions each year is still relatively low. Consequently there are a majority of experts who actually believe that this reflects the public's majority-oriented deep-seated ambivalence about the issue."

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Does the Death Penalty Prevent Crime? (2003, October 23) Retrieved August 10, 2020, from

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"Does the Death Penalty Prevent Crime?" 23 October 2003. Web. 10 August. 2020. <>