An economic argument in favor of capital punishment

pro death penalty facts and statistics

Now, if you find out that there were unusually many executions last month, would you take this as a sign that the probability of executions for murders is now higher in Texas? Scenes of howling mobs attacking prison vans containing those accused of murder on their way to and from court, or chanting aggressively outside prisons when an offender is being executed, suggest that vengeance remains a major ingredient in the public popularity of capital punishment.

An economic argument in favor of capital punishment

Source: Death Penalty Information Center In Japan, the accused are only informed of their execution moments before it is scheduled. Other evidence suggests a strong racial bias. Across the world capital punishment is less common and less popular than it was, and dismay over its cost, efficacy and methods are hastening its decline. Between and , there were death sentences and 13 executions in California 1. Many economists have investigated this important policy issue, but there is no clear consensus yet. Nonetheless, a strong case can be made that legal violence is clearly different from criminal violence, and that when it is used, it is used in a way that everyone can see is fair and logical. Putting a price on the death penalty Until recently, attempts to measure the fiscal impact of the death penalty were rare. Others argue that the retribution argument is flawed because the death penalty delivers a 'double punishment'; that of the execution and the preceding wait, and this is a mismatch to the crime. It's generally accepted that people should not be punished for their actions unless they have a guilty mind - which requires them to know what they are doing and that it's wrong. For example, non-abolitionist states may have tougher sentencing systems against all criminals in general. Of course, it may have more to do with the fact that many countries have completely abolished the death penalty already. Crimes other than murder do not receive a punishment that mimics the crime - for example rapists are not punished by sexual assault, and people guilty of assault are not ceremonially beaten up. Sir James Fitzjames Stephens, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Retribution and the innocent But the issue of the execution of innocent persons is also a problem for the retribution argument - if there is a serious risk of executing the innocent then one of the key principles of retribution - that people should get what they deserve and therefore only what they deserve - is violated by the current implementation of capital punishment in the USA, and any other country where errors have taken place.

Nagin, Daniel S. In a survey was conducted for the UN to determine the relation between the death penalty and homicide rates.

death penalty economic argument

Such talk may play well to a nation in the grip of the deadliest crisis of illegal-drug addiction in its history, though there is little evidence to suggest that the death penalty actually deters criminality. References: Dezhbakhsh, Hashem, Paul H.

Death penalty economic impact

Therefore, selection in capital cases takes much longer to complete than in non-capital cases. A good chunk of those that keep it have not executed anyone in decades. Deterrence is a morally flawed concept Even if capital punishment did act as a deterrent, is it acceptable for someone to pay for the predicted future crimes of others? Therefore people who are insane should not be convicted, let alone executed. But we can still take a glimpse of a few important challenges that economists face when studying the causal effect of the death penalty on crime. Further, there is no credible evidence that supports the death penalty as a deterrent. It's generally accepted that people should not be punished for their actions unless they have a guilty mind - which requires them to know what they are doing and that it's wrong. Attributed to Archbishop Desmond Tutu Vengeance The main argument that retribution is immoral is that it is just a sanitised form of vengeance. In , the murder rate in states where the death penalty has been abolished was 4. Source: Death Penalty Information Center In countries with a less costly and lengthy appeals procedure, capital punishment seems like a much cheaper option than long-term imprisonment. And it explained why the death penalty is unnecessary as a punishment: [T]he legislature necessarily has made a determination that he who lives by the sword need not die by it; that life imprisonment without the possibility of release is an adequate and sufficient penalty even for the most horrific of crimes; and that we can express our moral outrage, mete out justice, bring some measure of solace to the families of the victims, and purge the blemish of murder on our community whilst the offender yet lives.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press. On the one hand, the possibility of capital punishment should make potential murderers think twice before committing the crime and thus deter some murders.

capital punishment is good or bad

Top Free will The idea that we must be punished for any act of wrongdoing, whatever its nature, relies upon a belief in human free will and a person's ability to be responsible for their own actions. Many offenders are kept 'waiting' on death row for a very long time; in the USA the average wait is 10 years.

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