ibutionJoe SmithJanuary 3,1997 Capital punishment, is the execution of criminals by the state, forcommitting crimes, regarded so heinous, that this is the only acceptablepunishment. Capital punishment does not only lower the murder rate, but it’svalue as retribution alone is a good reason for handing out death sentences. Support for the death penalty in the U.S.
has risen to an average of 80%according to an article written by Richard Worsnop, entitled “Death penaltydebate centres on Retribution”, this figure is slightly lower in Canada wheresupport for the death penalty is at 72% of the population over 18 years of age,as stated in article by Kirk Makir, in the March 26, 1987 edition of the Globeand Mail, titled “B.C. MPs split on Death Penalty”.The death penalty deters murder by putting the fear of death into wouldbe killers. A person is less likely to do something, if he or she thinks thatharm will come to him. Another way the death penalty deters murder, is the factthat if the killer is dead, he will not be able to kill again.Most supporters of the death penalty feel that offenders should bepunished for their crimes, and that it does not matter whether it will deter thecrime rate. Supporters of the death penalty are in favour of making examplesout of offenders, and that the threat of death will be enough to deter the crimerate, but the crime rate is irrelevant.
According to Isaac Ehrlich’s study, published on April 16, 1976, eightmurders are deterred for each execution that is carried out in the U.S.A. Hegoes on to say, “If one execution of a guilty capital murderer deters the murderof one innocent life, the execution is justified.” To most supporters of thedeath penalty, like Ehrlich, if even 1 life is saved, for countless executionsof the guilty, it is a good reason for the death penalty. The theory thatsociety engages in murder when executing the guilty, is considered invalid bymost supporters, including Ehrlich.
He feels that execution of convictedoffenders expresses the great value society places on innocent life.Isaac Ehrlich goes on to state that racism is also a point used by deathpenalty advocates. We will use the U.S.
as examples, since we can not look atthe inmates on death row in Canada, because th