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Essay on Opposing Viewpoints of Capital Punishment

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“Death penalty is a deterrent,” by George E. Pataki and “The Death Penalty Should Not Be Abolished,” by David B. Muhlhausen are two articles that support capital punishment as a deterrent of crime. “Legalized Murder: The Death Penalty Serves Revenge and Does Nothing to Solve Crime,” by Michael J. Ring and “The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished,” published by Amnesty International, are two articles that oppose capital punishment as a deterrent to crime by discussing the risks of the “inhumane” form of punishment. The following discussions show the contrasting point-of-views that make capital punishment one of the most controversial topics of today’s society.
Pataki expresses his view of the death penalty and its effectiveness as a deterrent to crime. He states that during his term as Governor of New York, crime was reduced significantly with the reinstatement of capital punishment and the numbers supported his claim; “Since I took office in 1995, violent crime has dropped 23, assaults are down 22, and murders have dropped by nearly one-third.” He believes by serving justice to the perpetrator, capital punishment prevents crimes while also instilling fear of arrest and conviction in killers. He states, “I believe this has occurred in part because of the strong signal that the death penalty and our other tough laws sent to violent criminals and murderers: You will be punished with the full force of the law.” Although his deterrence theory can be argued, multiple studies have shown that the death penalty may be a deterrent to crime.
In his article, Muhlhausen presents multiple studies that support the deterrence theory. He summarizes the outcome of the studies by using state-level data, demonstrating the link between capital puni...


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Muhlhausen, David B. "The Death Penalty Should Not Be Abolished." Crime and
Criminals. Ed. James D. Torr. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing
Viewpoints. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 17 Feb. 2011.
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“Death penalty is a deterrent,” by George E. Pataki
“Legalized Murder: The Death Penalty Serves Revenge and Does Nothing to Solve Crime,” by Michael J. Ring “Legalized Murder: The Death Penalty Serves Revenge and Does Nothing to Solve Crime,” by Michael J. Ring


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