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Jack
Do you think death penalty is effective to hold back serious crime in murder, homicide or drug smuggling?
Given that the crime rate increases each year, some advocates claim that death penalty should not be abolished because they strongly believe death penalty is the most relevant measure to suppress the crime rate, especially heavy crimes, however some other group of people do not consider the death penalty is an effective measure to hold back the rate of heavy crime. What do you think of both extremes? Do you have better measures to prevent the criminal activities other than death penalty? 

Sep 1, 2016 12:15 AM
Comments · 13

No, I don't think the death penalty deters. What makes a punishment an effective deterrent is not that it be brutal and horrific, but that it be certain, swift, and fair. Making a punishment more and more horrific isn't effective if the criminals don't think it's going to happen to them, or if they think that it happens so rarely that it is like being struck by lightning, or if they think that the death penalty happens mostly because of prejudice or bias, rather than because of the nature of the crime.

I also think you get into problems of morality when the punishment starts to resemble the crime. An executioner is not committing murder, because by definition murder is killing that is not allowed by law--but it is still responding to killing by killing. Gandhi said "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." 

It gets even more troubling when a society imposing the death penalty for a crime that does not involve killing--in your example, drug smuggling. The punishment appears to be more severe than the crime.

P.S. You say "given that the crime rate increases each year..." but I don't accept that as a given. In the United States the crime rate rose from the 1960s through the 1980s, and has been declining ever since. It is now back to about the same levels as in the 1960s. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

November 2, 2016

No, I don't think the death penalty deters. What makes a punishment an effective deterrent is not that it be brutal and horrific, but that it be certain, swift, and fair. Making a punishment more and more horrific isn't effective if the criminals don't think it's going to happen to them, or if they think that it happens so rarely that it is like being struck by lightning, or if they think that the death penalty happens mostly because of prejudice or bias, rather than because of the nature of the crime.

I also think you get into problems of morality when the punishment starts to resemble the crime. An executioner is not committing murder, because by definition murder is killing that is not allowed by law--but it is still responding to killing by killing. Gandhi said "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." 

November 2, 2016

I do not think the death penalty is an effective deterrent.  A large part of the problem is that criminals often start young with less serious crimes and learn that they often get away with them. The death penalty does not work for people who do not believe it could happen to them.   What is needed is a much more effective juvenile justice system.  Also, at least in the U.S., the longer a criminal is in prison the more likely one is to commit crimes again after they get out.  A system that just punishes and treats in a less humane way simply grows the problems in crime.  I think the system used in Norway needs to be studied further to see how much of it can be effectively replicated in other countries.  See this article  http://www.businessinsider.com/why-norways-prison-system-is-so-successful-2014-12

I know that Norway has less social inequality and poverty than other countries, so I know it is not possible to replicate their system entirely in other countries, but I think that making improvements in the juvenile justice system and the rehabiliation offered in the prison system would be more effective than the death penalty. 

September 1, 2016
Probably it is the only way to prevent some of crimes, but on the other hand it's still an act of killing somebody, something irreversible. We gotta be very cautious if speaking about the death penalty and considerate it only in cases of the intentional murders when all the evidences are clear and there is no way to make a mistake.  
September 1, 2016

People living in Asian society seem to be likely to stay on the side in preference toward keeping death penalty in their judiciary system in contrast with people living in western countries. That also reminds me there has been a long-standing controversy: the humanity is born with innocence or with guilt? 


If you have faith in penalty based on eye for eye revenge, death penalty is absolutely required to keep the core value and you would be very likely to believe there is no need to forgive those ferocious criminals since they have no chance to regret at all even they are locked in the jail for the rest of their life time. 


But if you believe people who commit a crime just because their background that drives them to do so, you might be more likely to consider this issue more thoughtfully about forgiveness, forget something unhappy and really looking forward to those creepy criminals able to change their mentality and even deeply regret what they have done. 


December 5, 2016
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Jack
Language Skills
Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Taiwanese), English, Russian
Learning Language
English