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The Debate over the merits of capital punishment has endured for years, and continues to be an extremely indecisive and complicated issue.

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Introduction

The Debate over the merits of capital punishment has endured for years, and continues to be an extremely indecisive and complicated issue. Adversaries of capital punishment point to the Marshalls and the Millgards, while proponents point to the Dahmers and Gacys. Society must be kept safe from the monstrous barbaric acts of these individuals and other killers, by taking away their lives to function and perform in our society. At the same time, we must insure that innocent people such as Marshall and Millgard are never convicted or sentenced to death for a crime that they did not commit. Many contend that the use of capital punishment as a form of deterrence does not work, as there are no fewer murders on a per- capita basis in countries or states that do have it, then those that do not. In order for capital punishment to work as a deterrence, certain events must be present in the criminal\'s mind prior to committing the offence. The criminal must be aware that others have been punished in the past for the offence that he or she is planning, and that what happened to another individual who committed this offence, can also happen to me. ...read more.

Middle

Most supporters of the death penalty feel that offenders should be punished for their crimes, and that it does not matter whether it will deter the crime rate. Supporters of the death penalty are in favour of making examples out of offenders, and that the threat of death will be enough to deter the crime rate, but the crime rate is irrelevant. According to Isaac Ehrlich's study, published on April 16, 1976, eight murders are deterred for each execution that is carried out in the U.S.A. He goes on to say, "If one execution of a guilty capital murderer deters the murder of one innocent life, the execution is justified." To most supporters of the death penalty, like Ehrlich, if even 1 life is saved, for countless executions of the guilty, it is a good reason for the death penalty. The theory that society engages in murder when executing the guilty, is considered invalid by most supporters, including Ehrlich. He feels that execution of convicted offenders expresses the great value society places on innocent life. Isaac Ehrlich goes on to state that racism is also a point used by death penalty advocates. ...read more.

Conclusion

We personally feel, and our views are backed up by proof, in the form of studies by the likes of Isaac Ehrlich's 1975 and Prof. Stephen K. Layson's, that was published in 1986, and polls that have been taken both in Canada and the United States over the past few years. All of these studies and surveys show that capital punishment is a valid deterrent to crime, and obviously the public, and society as a whole are in favour of it. The death penalty makes would be capital offenders think about weather committing a crime is really worth their lives. Even if capital punishment did not deter crime, the simple fact that it will allow society to "get even" with murders. Capital punishment also insures peace of mind because it insures that murders will never kill again. 1 From: Take Notice, (Copp Clarke Pitman Ltd., 1979) page 163 2 From: Article written by David Vienneau published in the March 24, 1987 edition of the "Toronto Star", titled, Debate Agonizing for MPs. 3 From: Article written by Kirk Makir, published in March 26, 1987 edition of the "Globe and Mail", titled, BC MPs Split on Death Penalty Debate. 4 From: Article written by Hugh Winsor, published in April 29, 1987 edition of the "Globe and Mail", titled, Debate on Death Penalty placed on hold. ...read more.

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