Deterrence Theory Essay

424 Words2 Pages
Deterrence theory states that people follow the law because they are scare of getting caught or being punished. In this article, “The Death Penalty Deters Crime,” David Muhlhausen, expert on criminal justice programs in the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis and a research fellow in empirical policy analysis, confirms the deterrence theory. By means of statistical data and research dating, Muhlhausen contends that the death penalty does deters murder crime which ultimately saves lives. He also believes that executions and murder rates are somehow connected to each other. Even though, some adequate emotional appeals appeared, Muhlhausen’s article failed to prove, logically, the deterrence theory. Muhlhausen’s emotional appeals does affect the audience’s decision for the deterrence theory. For example, Muhlhausen states that criminals are no different from law-abiding people. Criminal based their decisions on the net costs and benefits of each alternative, where they maximize their own self-interest subject to restrictions that they face in the marketplace and elsewhere (Muhlhausen, David). In other word, the criminals are most likely to commit the crime if the…show more content…
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
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