The death penalty and deterrence


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This presentation examines the deterrent effect of death penalty and suggests ways to improve the criminal justice system.

Published in: Law, News & Politics
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The death penalty and deterrence

  1. 1. The Death Penalty and Deterrence The death penalty has been one of the most controversial and divisive issues facing the public for many years. It is an increasingly hotly contested issue in today’s society.
  2. 2. Aim of the Criminal Justice System • The principal aim of the criminal justice system is to rehabilitate criminals and to protect society from those who are not rehabilitated. Use of death penalty is one means to reach the ends of “doing justice” and “deterring others”. • The opponents of the capital punishment must show convincingly that it does not fulfil either of these aspirations, while proponents can rely on either argument for justification. Hence, various studies on deterrent effect of death penalty have been done to date.
  3. 3. Common View • The most common view about death penalty is that it brings down crime rate. People tend believe that hanging the accused would instill a feeling of fear in the minds of criminals and hence, further crime would be prevented. But various studies conducted on deterrent effect of death penalty tell a different story.
  4. 4. Study by National Research Council • In a study conducted by United States National Research Council in April 2012, it concluded that studies claiming death penalty affects murder rate were flawed because they did not take into account the effect of noncapital punishments.
  5. 5. A Survey by Criminologists in 2009
  6. 6. Death Penalty vs. Other Penalties The murder rate in nonDeath Penalty states has remained consistently lower than the rate in States with the Death Penalty.
  7. 7. Common Misconceptions about Death Penalty 1. It’s less expensive than permanent imprisonment 2. It deters murder 3. It shows society’s disgust towards the crime 4. Some crimes require “ultimate penalty” 5. It’s justice (eye for an eye concept)
  8. 8. Facts about Death Penalty 1. 2. 3. 4. A lot of money is wasted in investigations, trials and appeals for mercy after conviction. 70 % of all death penalties are reversed due to serious errors such as incompetence by defence lawyers or misconduct by the police or prosecution. It takes away the opportunity of improving from the accused. It’s an easy escape for the accused after committing a serious crime.
  9. 9. Is there a better way? • As it is evident from the researches done on death penalty that it does not deter crime, a search starts for finding an alternative. 1. One of the alternatives would be to provide an opportunity to the accused to rehabilitate. 2. Those who fail to improve can be sentenced to life imprisonment. 3. There are many other ways in which society can show its disgust towards a heinous crime. • This approach would not only guarantee human rights to the accused by also provide them with a lifetime opportunity to improve themselves.
  10. 10. Thank You Compiled by: Pardeep Singh Roll Number: 101303112 Institution: Thapar University