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Imagine your family murdered horribly by a serial killer, who eventually gets arrested, but the judge sentences him only 12 years. How would you feel? Will you feel satisfied with the punishment given to the murderer? or will you feel vengeful to the significantly weak punishment that was given to the criminal? This is where capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, comes into the play. It gives closure and emotional relief to the victims’ families, it also saves the lives of innocent citizens, and it is highly crucial for maintaining national security.
Whatever people’s perspectives are toward the death penalty, one thing most people will never know is the pain experienced by the victims when their family members are brutally abused and murdered. However, when the death penalty is given to the criminals, it gives some form of closure to the victim’s family members. On October 11, 1993, 18-year-old Julie Heath (June 11, 1975 – October 11, 1993) was driving on U.S. Highway 270 between Malvern and Hot Springs, Arkansas, to visit her boyfriend in Hot Springs when she was raped and murdered by 45-years old sex offender, Eric Nance. He was sentenced to death by the federal judge of the Eastern District of Arkansas. Given a lethal injection, he was pronounced dead at 9:24 p.m. in 2005. Although the family members had to go through extreme pain and suffering, the death penalty of the criminal gave them some sort of closure as well as diminishing the risk of crime in the form of revenge that potentially would have followed up when the murderer was not sentenced to death. As a human being, when a person takes another person’s life away, it is emotionally fair that he or she would be put in a correctional facility and have their life taken from them similarly as they ended the life of another. Hence, it is an evidence pro death penalty, as it attains the goal of providing closure in some form of way to the victims and their families emotionally.
It is no doubt that putting certain people to death for committing murder subsequently makes other potential killers reconsider over murdering someone and saving the innocent lives of citizens. According to a dozen studies, for each inmate put to death, 3 to 18 murders are prevented. The impact is most articulated to the inmates in Texas and different states, as indicated by some studies. The economists in the past decade compared the number of executions in different authorities with homicide rates over time and stated that murder rates tend to fall as executions rise. “I personally am opposed to the death penalty, but my research shows that there is a deterrent effect,” said H. Naci Mocan, an economist at Louisiana State University who was the first to discover that for every execution, five people lives. Although some economists approached the studies with sharp criticism, stating that the logical theories of economists do not apply to the world of capital punishments, Mr. Gary Becker, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1992, added, “the evidence of a variety of types, not simply the quantitative evidence, has been enough to convince me that capital punishment does deter and is worth using for the worst sorts of offences.” Moreover, Professor Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, law professors at Harvard, stated in their article, Stanford Law Review, “the recent evidence of a deterrent effect from capital punishment seems impressive, especially in light of its ‘apparent power and unanimity’”. One of the strongest studies states that capital punishment does deter crime rate as A 2003 paper by Lawrence Katz, Steven D. Levitt and Ellen Shustorovich published in The American Law and Economics Review discovered “a strong and robust negative relationship” between the number of death in prison and the crime rate in different prison conditions. The authors said that 30 to 100 violent crimes and a similar number of crimes were deterred per prison death. Hence, it is evident based on the studies and reviews, that capital punishment does deter and in return saves the lives of innocent people.
The death penalty is frequently safeguarded because society has an ethical commitment to secure the wellbeing and welfare of its people. When somebody takes a life or multiple lives, the equalization of justice is bothered. Unless the balance is re-established, society capitulates to a standard of savagery, which disrupts the stability and security of the nations. Whenever a criminal is sentenced to death, it generally means that he or she has carried out espionage, treason, murder, mass-murder, and other horrific capital crimes. These types of criminals threaten the safety and welfare of the nation, and thus, by putting them to death ensures that they will create no more victims. Hence, it seems equitable to take an ‘eye for an eye’ and a life for a life. For instance, Robert Blecker, JD, Professor of Law at New York Law School during an interview, ‘Q&A: Death Penalty Proponent Robert Blecker,” said ‘We have the responsibility to punish those who deserve it, but only to the degree they deserve it,” as well as “We should only execute those who most deserve it. And not randomly. Refine our death penalty statutes and review the sentences of everyone on death row. Release into general population those who don’t really deserve to die. The rest we should execute, worst first.’ For the past decades, highly heinous, minacious criminals have evaded capital punishment and have been released back to society, which is significantly perilous and menacing to the public. One of the countless examples of similar cases is about a Canadian serial killer couple Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo. They met each other when Homolka was 17 and Bernardo was 23. After marriage, both soon discovered that they shared sadomasochistic inclinations. Paul quickly took on the role of a leader and Homolka willingly became his partner. Both had raped, drugged, tortured, killing young teen girls, including Homolka’s younger sister, whom she offered to her boyfriend Paul Bernardo as a gift, as they videotaped the sexual assaults. Homolka eventually broke up with Bernardo after months of constant physical abuse. In mid-February, Bernardo was arrested and charged with the rapes and the murders of Mahaffy and French. However, Homolka was only sentenced to 12 years in prison for her participation in gathering evidence and arresting Bernardo. After a period, when Bernardo’s ex-lawyer viewed the videotapes that Homolka and Bernardo had made, Homolka’s true involvement came to light. Regardless of the evidence, she was released from prison in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec in 2005. This case implies that for the most remorseless and heinous crimes, the criminals deserve the worst punishment under the system of law for protection and welfare of the nation, and that is capital punishment.
Hence, it is evident from this persuasive essay that the death penalty brings closure to the ordeal for a victim’s family, it prevents murders in the future, and it ensures the safety of the welfare of citizens in the nation. 58 countries are pro the death penalty and retain it in active use whereas 102 countries do not. 102 nations need to approach the death penalty in differently and take another look at the positive side to it since for justice to prevail, some criminals are necessary to die.
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