Is The Death Penalty Effective?
The debate on the death penalty is always fraught with emotions around the globe. Due to its complex nature, different stakeholders held different approaches over its efficacy as a deterrent. We need to mention there is no easy answer to this topic and should be analyzed from various aspects.
It is worth noting that the discussion regarding with abolition of the death penalty began after the second world war by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by the UN in 1948 (Carsten 7).
Despite the global trend against executions, there is a number of reasons for it. Mainly, it is considered the tool for preserving law and to deter crime. Particularly, proponents claim that states with high murder rates would have even higher rates if they did not use the death sentence. In contrast, recent studies show different results that should be considered.
Apart from a morally dubious concept of executions to reject a person’s right to live, the famous sociologist Sellin’s accurate comparisons of the evolution of crime rates in neighboring states in the USA and Canada between 1920-1963 contributed to the lessening reliance on its deterrent effect. The data simply do not reveal clearly the death penalty’s deterrent or anti-deterrent effect, so we remain extremely uncertain about its impact (Donohue and Wolfers 44-45). Therefore, this fact elaborates its ethical side again.
To sum up, several empirical evidence shows that preventing crime is complex (does not always drive to deterrent effect) and needs long-term research, effective policy to ensure human beings ’ morally correct development.
Anckar, Carsten.“Why Countries Choose the Death Penalty.”The Brown Journal of World Affairs, vol. 21, no.1, 2014, pp.7–25.
Donohue, John and Justin Wolfers.”The Death Penalty: No Evidence For Deterrence, “The Economists’ Voice, 2006,v3(5, Apr), Article 3.
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