Deterrence Crime Essay

Capital Punishment Is A Deterrent To Crime Essay

1202 Words5 Pages

Capital Punishment has ended the lives of criminals for centuries. People have debated whether the government should have the power to decide one person’s life. On one side, people think the government does not have the right to play God as well as believe that the death penalty is simply unethical. Forty-eight percent of a half sample survey stated that life imprisonment was a better punishment for murder while forty-seven percent stated that capital punishment was a better punishment (Newport). However, capital punishment should be enforced throughout the country to help deter crime, benefit the economy, and ensures retribution. The one thing that people fear the most is death. Nothing deters anyone, including criminals,…show more content…

Then two decades later, in 1993, the capital punishment statutes had been reinstated and performing executions, once again striking the thing criminals fear most, death (Tucker). During the 1990s as more states began to reinstate capital punishment statutes, murder rates began to plummet. They went from 9.6 people per 100,000 in 1993 dropping to 7.7 in 1996 and as low as 6.4 in 1999, which was the lowest rate since 1966. In other words, as the author observed during his study of the forty year period, homicide rates have risen when the rate of execution went down and as the execution rates had risen, the rate of homicides had decreased (Tucker). Not only does the death penalty engender an aversion amongst criminals and people who are considering performing heinous actions, it additionally promotes a positive influence towards themselves and others around. The mandate of capital punishment establishes the attitude of abhorrence toward criminals, and causes people to think about what they are doing because of the possible consequences. With people believing that living the criminal life is not the best of decisions, they are deterred away from making the decision of performing the crime (Caldwell 598). However, people often believe that the cost of capital punishment is more

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Deterrence Theory Of Crime Essay

Deterrence theory of crime is a method in which punishment is used to dissuade people from committing crimes. There are two types of deterrence: general and specific. General deterrence is punishment to an individual to stop the society as a whole from committing crimes. In other word, it is using the punishment as an example to “scare” society from precipitating in criminal acts. Under general deterrence, publicity is a major part of deterrence. Crime and their punishments being showing in the media or being told person to person can be used to deter crime. Specific deterrence is punishment to the individual to stop that individual from committing other crimes in the future. This type of deterrence is used to teach the individual a lesson whatever action that participated in. Specific deterrence is founded on a principle called hedonistic calculus meaning, “an assumption that human nature leads people to pursue pleasure and avoid pain” (Brown, Esbensen, & Geis, 2010, p 155).
Casare Beccaria, the father of classical criminology, believed that certainty, severity, and celerity (or speed) could prevent crime. He said that as certainty of punishment went up, the less likely someone is to break the law. So if criminal knew that they would be punished, they would be more hesitate to committed crime. He believes that the laws need to be clear and must always be enforced. His second principle of deterrence stated that the faster the punishment is set in the less likely crime will happen. Beccaria believed that the less time between the crime and the punishment, the stronger impact it would have on the individual. His last principle addressed severity of the crime. He believe that this was the least important of the three principle; stating that the severity of punishment should cause people not to commit crimes. So the worse the punishment for a crime is the less likely someone is to commit a crime (Brown et al., 2010, p 140-143).
All things have their problems. Contemporary Theorist believes that, yes deterrence may stop some people but for other is causes a backlash effect. The authors of Criminology: Explaining Crime and Its Context explained backlash effect like this, “…stiffer penalties will generate more rather than less deviance among some segments of the targeted population” (Brown et al., P148, par. 3). A study by Gary Lafee and some of his colleagues showed how the backlash effect works. They results of their study showed that deterrence did occur but the backlash effect was much more. This study shows that punishment might stop some criminals, but not all of them are afraid of punishment (Brown et al., 2010, p 148-150).
Here recently, a story about hate crimes has been in the news. Two men from Pennsylvania were convicted for beating an “illegal” Mexican to death. The two young men, Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky, each got nine years in prison for this hate crime. Both Donchak...

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