Joe Smith CAPITAL PUNISHMENT January 3,1997

Capital Punishment deters murder, and is just Retribution
Capital punishment, is the execution of criminals by the state, for committing
crimes, regarded so heinous, that this is the only acceptable punishment. Capital
punishment does not only lower the murder rate, but it's value as retribution alone is
a good reason for handing out death sentences. Support for the death penalty in the
U.S. has risen to an average of 80% according to an article written by Richard Worsnop,
entitled "Death penalty debate centres on Retribution", this figure is slightly lower in
Canada where support for the death penalty is at 72% of the population over 18 years
of age, as stated in article by Kirk Makir, in the March 26, 1987 edition of the Globe and
Mail, titled "B.C. MPs split on Death Penalty".
The death penalty deters murder by putting the fear of death into would be
killers. A person is less likely to do something, if he or she thinks that harm will come
to him. Another way the death penalty deters murder, is the fact that if the killer is
dead, he will not be able to kill again.
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. We will use the U.S. as examples, since we can not look at the inmates on
death row in Canada, because th