Deterrence and the Death Penalty: The Views of the Experts. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-), 87(1), 1. doi:10.2307/1143970 This article was written by Michael L. Radelet and Ronald L. Akers. They both consulted experts on criminology and criminal behaviour to evaluate the effectiveness of the Death Penalty.
There are many debates on how to punish offenders and how to stop them re-offending. Retribution Theorists believe in the old fashion way of punishment, an ‘eye for an eye’ and that the suffering of the victim should determine the level of punishment, for example if a victim is brutally murdered, the offender should pay the price and suffer from a range of punishments themselves. Therefore the punishments differ to the seriousness to the crime, from theft to murder, minor to serious punishments occur. Whereas a reductivist approach believes that we punish offenders to help them change for the better which would be to rehabilitate them for example. (Cavadino 2013) states that the rehabilitation programs might “facilitate change” rather than
The main purpose for our criminal justice system should be to stop future crime. General deterrence would be a good way to set an example to communities who disobey the law. Allowing bystanders to see the punishments of crime will instill fear into them, causing them not to repeat the crime they witness. Specific deterrence allows for criminals to still be in society, but every time they think about doing something illegal they will have a negative feeling. These method focusses on educative function allowing people to learn from their mistakes and preventing further complications. If the government main goal was deterrence, then there would be less crime and fewer people in prisons. This would help with taxes and improve communities. Additionally,
In the case of the death penalty, it has the added bonus in guaranteeing that the person would not offend again. Supporters of harsh punishments argue that the would-be criminal would consider the costs versus the benefits of committing a crime. If the costs outweigh the benefits, then it is assumed that he would stop what he is doing, effectively ‘deterred’. Furthermore, the usage of harsh punishments to effectively deter crime is ethically justified as it prevents more people from falling victim to crime. However it is extremely difficult to judge a punishment’s effectiveness based on its deterrence effect, consequently we must consider other variables that would entail a person to commit a crime.
Whether a criminal is guilty of committing murder or any other capital offense, they should all be given the same sentence - life in prison. How is it fair to allow them to voluntarily choose the death penalty over prison? Criminals willingly sought to break the law and should endure the lifelong debt they owe not only to society but to the family of the innocent victims whose lives have been taken. As asserted by Robert Johnson, a professor of justice and law, and Sandra Smith, a professor of legal studies, death by incarceration is a more effective and suitable form of punishment than the death penalty (Cromie and Zott 174). Although some might argue that it is unfair to keep a criminal alive, they fail to understand that the freedom they once had is permanently lost.
Forms of punishments within the United States’ system of criminal justice can range from a simple warning all the way up to the death penalty, depending on the nature and type of crime committed. The goal of punishment in the criminal justice system is deterrence and crime prevention, however when the punishment offers no major impact on crime, is extremely costly, exhibits racial bias, and has taken the life of innocent people, (socially and physically) the death penalty is not only viewed as punishment, but as revenge and as murder. Taking a look at the death penalty from a lawyer point of view we have Michael A. Mello, author of Dead Wrong: A Death Row Lawyer Speaks Out Against Capital Punishment. He tells his story of being a professional lawyer, who “worked within the legal system to prevent the state from executing some of its citizens.”
Several factors limiting the effectiveness of the deterrence theory are as follow: it assumes that people know what the penalties for a crime are, have good control over their actions, and think things through and make choices about their behavior base on logic. In many crime case, epically murder, the criminal considering murder do not just say I won’t do this if I am going to face the death penalty but I will do it if otherwise. In addition, the data which Muhlhausen and his team used to prove this theory, as he words it, is a sophisticated panel data methods. Therefore, the chances of error data are high, due to its
Even if you're sentenced to death, you're probably not going to get executed. That's why it's not a deterrent,”(Horn). People don't even see the death penalty as a punishment so people aren't afraid of commiting crimes. With how dangerous prisons are with overcrowding they are just costing more money for providing the medical attention the inmates need. ” There have been any number of reports about overcrowded and dangerous prisons, and while the Commission presented its conclusions and recommendations to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, it's not clear what - if anything - will come of that,”(Horn).
Very few criminals really get deterred by the death penalty. A Bristol prison chaplain says that, “...out of 167 condemned criminals whom he had interviewed, only three had not witnessed an execution” (Weil 2013). The criminals sentenced to death row were not deterred by the death penalty, even though almost all of them have witnessed a hanging. Capital punishment is not an effective way to deter criminals, since the prospect of spending one’s entire life behind bars sounds even worse. The criminals who think they can get away with their crimes, also think that they will not be executed if convicted.
Levitt and Dubner used the study “On Behalf of a Moratorium on Prison Construction” (123) to counter and, in the end, strengthen their theory of incarceration rates. This literature review will answer the following question: Do high incarceration rates in fact deter criminals from commiting crimes and, if there is a link, how big of an impact do they
The death penalty as the book calls it, is a “socialization process” where individuals grow up learning the consequences and remain inherently good, rather than, having to weigh the pros and cons of a situation. Statistics show that there is no measurable correlation between murder and the death penalty. Statistics can always be skewed In that other factors
Of the four goals of prison, I believe that deterrence is the best current approach to correction best accomplishes. Deterrence, a principle in which punishment should prevent the criminal from reoffending. It also assumes that potential criminals would weigh the costs of punishment versus the benefits of the crime act. Of course, this creates a fear to criminals who seek no punishment. Deterrence is better than the other three method because of limitations.
The retribution part is to punish the person for the crime that they permitted against society, and the incapacitation part is to remove that person out of society so they do no further harm. Deterrence means the prevention of future crime, and the rehabilitation teaches life skills and in the betterment. However, author Sandiford says that instead of solving crime, mass incarceration has infected our communities and striking them with devastating symptoms, and prison costs have skyrocketed, inmates ' families have been torn apart, and the system is overwhelmingly stratified by race and class (Sandiford,
General and Specific deterrence have good and bad effects on citizens. It prevents crime and some cases and fuels the rage in some. General deterrence focuses on preventing the crime before it happens. The thought of spending life in prison for committing a murder is very scary to me. You would think that could deter criminals from committing that crime.