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Abolishment of the Death Penalty Introductio


If this very moment you were asked to serve on a jury in which there was a high probability that, if convicted, the defendant would receive the death penalty, would you do it? If you are inclined to say 'yes' please consider the following facts.

Capital punishment is defined as the infliction of the death penalty on persons convicted of a crime (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, 2003). The United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (2006) reports that in 2005, there were 60 persons executed in 16 different states. Of these, 41 were white and 19 were black. All but one were men and all were executed by lethal injection.

The Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (2006) also reports that 38 states and the federal government had capital statutes in 2005. Currently, there are 3,314 prisoners awaiting execution. The purpose of this paper is to discuss five major arguments against the death penalty and to show that the additive nature of these reasons makes it imperative that efforts be made to immediately and forever abolish the death penalty as a form of punishment for capital crimes.

Reasons To Abolish The Death Penalty

The Death Penalty Is Not An Effective Deterrent

Kurtis (2004) reports that research conducted to determine whether the death penalty is a deterrent is mixed with some studies supporting its deterrent qualities while other studies do not. However, in some very recent research, Fagan (2005) examined the most recent research supporting deterrence claims. What he found was that these studies had serious methodological problems including: failures in conceptual operationalization of variables; inappropriate methods of statistical analysis; failure to control for relevant factors; missing data and the absence of any direct test of deterrence. Based on the foregoing findings, Fagan (2005, p. 3) concluded that the degree of problematic method...

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