What if you knew that in some cases in which capital punishment is not applied, convicted murderers kill again?
On the issue of deterrence, death penalty advocates and opponents are in stark disagreement.
Proponents of the death penalty often cite the possibility of future murders as a justification for imposing capital punishment. For instance, Emory University researchers released a working paper that "suggests that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect. An increase in any of the three probabilities arrest, sentencing or execution tends to reduce the crime rate. In particular, each execution results, on average, in 18 fewer murders with a margin of error of plus and minus 10."
Individual cases are also often cited. On October 22, 1983, at a federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, two prison guards were killed in two separate incidents by inmates who were both serving life sentences for previously murdering other inmates. On November 9, 1983, Associate U.S. Attorney General D. Lowell Jensen testified before a Senate subcommittee that he deemed it impossible to punish or deter such prison killings without a death penalty. Otherwise, he said, a violent life-termer is free "to continue to murder as opportunity and his perverse motives dictate."
"I believe the death penalty, because of its finality, is more feared than imprisonment and deters some prospective murderers not deterred by the thought of imprisonment. Sparing the lives of even a few prospective victims by deterring their murderers is more important than preserving the lives of convicted murderers because of the possibility, or even the probability, that executing them would not deter others."
"If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call."
as a form of punishment for those convicted of taking a life?
YES | NO