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Achieving Nothing Except Revenge: Research Shows That Capital Punishment Is Unsuitable for Civilized Nations

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In Jamestown Colony, Virginia, in 1608, the first execution in America took place (Urbina 8). Since then, the debate over capital punishment has been never-ending, capturing the attention of citizens of all types. Americans have argued relentlessly over many issues that the death penalty brings to politics, economics, and moral values. In the article titled “Does Death Penalty Save Lives? A New Debate,” Adam Liptak explores both sides of the debate, highlighting the benefits that the death penalty provides to society. He states that the death penalty deters murders and accepts that innocent men might become casualties in the process. However, other experts disagree with Liptak. Opposing research shows that the death penalty does not deter murders and unjustly executes the innocent, making capital punishment unsuitable for a civilized nation.
Some experts, including H.Naci Mocan, Gary Becker, and Cass R. Sunstein, firmly believe that the death penalty has a distinct positive influence on the deterrence of murders (Liptak A1). Although they all agree with that statement, they provide different statistics on the number of murders capital punishment deters, making their work seem inaccurate and sloppy. While Mocan found that each execution saves five lives, other research shows that up to 18 lives may in fact be saved (Liptak A1). That is a difference of thirteen lives, or approximately seventy two percent, which is a huge discrepancy. In addition, other experts disagree totally with the fact that the death penalty deters. Researchers at the University of Florida surveyed sixty seven current and former presidents of the top three criminology organizations and found a result extremely contradictory to the research of Mocan and the...


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... Newsstand. Web. 3 Oct. 2011.
Moye, Laura. “NOTHING CAN JUSTIFY EXECUTING INNOCENT.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [Atlanta, GA] 21 Mar. 2003: A19. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.
“RESEARCH: DEATH PENALTY DOESN’T DETER VIOLENCE 90% OF EXPERTS SURVEYED SAY CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY.” Rocky Mountain News. [Denver, CO] 16 Jan. 1997: 3A. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 12 Oct. 2011.
Rohatyn, Felix G.. “The Shadow Over America.” Newsweek. 135.22 (2000): 27. OmniFile Full Text Mega. Web. 14 Oct. 2011.
“The Danger of Executing the Innocent.” New York Times. Jan. 1995. Infotrac Newstand. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.
Urbina, Ian. “The Cost of Capital Punishment: Death Penalty Opponents are using a New Argument for Tough Economic Times: That Capital Punishment is Too Expensive.” New York Times Upfront. 20 Apr. 2009: 8+. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 11 Oct. 2011.


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