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What if you knew that some evidence shows that the threat of execution does not deter violent criminals from committing murder?

On the issue of deterrence, death penalty advocates and opponents are in stark disagreement.

Murder Deterrence Image

Opponents of the death penalty often cite research indicating that the death penalty does not deter violent crime. They point to FBI statistics showing that the murder rate in some states that use capital punishment is twice that of some states that do not. Between 1976 and 1985, nearly twice as many law enforcement officers were killed in death penalty states as were killed in states that do not execute.

They also point to international evidence. A Department of Public Law study conducted in Nigeria concluded that "no efficacy can be shown for the operation of the death penalty" in cases of either murder or armed robbery. The homicide rate in Germany, which has no death penalty and has generally lighter sentences for all crimes, is less than one-fourth of that of the United States, according to a 1998 report for the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

A 1988 report to the United Nations Committee on Crime Prevention and Control states that all its research "has failed to provide scientific proof that executions have a greater deterrent effect than life imprisonment. Such proof is unlikely to be forthcoming. The evidence as a whole still gives no support to the deterrent hypothesis."

"It is my own experience that those executed in Texas were not deterred by the existence of the death penalty law. I think in most cases you'll find that the murder was committed under severe drug and alcohol abuse."
—Former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox

"The death penalty is no more effective a deterrent than life imprisonment... While police and law enforcement officials are the strongest advocates of capital punishment, the evidence is overwhelming that police are no safer in communities that retain the sanction than in those that have abolished it."
—Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall

Considering this, do you think the death penalty should be used
as a form of punishment for those convicted of taking a life?
YES  |  NO