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Why do we need death penalty?

Whether to abolish death penalty has been a controversial issue for many years
in the whole world. Some countries have abolished death penalty to give every
citizen the right to live, regardless of what serious crime they commit; some
countries retain death penalty, hoping that it can be deterrence for those who feel
like committing felony. Although there are diverse opinions about the abolition of
death penalty, retaining the death penalty still would be a better choice for most
Death penalty is the most extreme punishment that will be used to sentence a
perpetrator. Since normal people are afraid of death, death penalty can serve as
deterrence of committing crimes. In 2003, researchers in Emory University
conducted a study by collecting data from more than 3,000 counties from 1977
through 1996, and they found that each execution resulted in 18 fewer murders per
county on average. According to the study, the existence of death penalty in a
country can obviously deter perpetrators from murdering and committing homicide.
Therefore, if a country would like to have a more peaceful society which is free from
any people being murdered, then the ruler of the country should put death penalty
into practice in order to save more lives.
However, according to John Donohue, a law professor in Stanford University,
death penalty does not effectively deter murder or homicide. No matter we compare
Canada, a country that has abolished death penalty, with America, a country that has
not, some states in the United States having abolished death penalty with some that
have not, or Hong Kong, who has abolished death penalty two decades ago, with
Singapore, who constantly puts death penalty into practice, we cannot find any
difference in terms of the homicide rates. Besides, when people say that death
penalty could deter people from committing crimes, what kind of crimes are people
talking about here? Is it only about serious crimes such as murder or homicide, or is
it also about minor crimes, including robbery, theft, fraud, to name just a few?
People should clarify the reference when expressing this statement. Death penalty
can definitely not deter people from committing minor crimes. Even if a person is
caught committing robbery, he or she will not receive such an extreme punishment
as death penalty, so death penalty is only able to deter felony, but still not
People can look upon death penalty as a price that the perpetrator must pay. A
victim himself or herself and his or her families will definitely hope that the
perpetrator receives retribution that he or she deserves. The victims and families
may feel like taking revenge on the perpetrators; however, it will be illegal. If they do
so, they become perpetrators, too. Therefore, the most suitable way to make
perpetrators pay the price is the justice of the law, and the price should be his or her
life. Dealing with murder or homicide in this way is the most appropriate way to
prevent any further problems from happening, and it will be the most convincing to
citizens because the conviction will be based on legal procedure.
The victim’s family must be saddened after the victim’s death, but does it mean
that it is fine that the judge sentences the perpetrator to death penalty without
being concerned about his or her family’s feeling? It must also be severe sufferings
for the perpetrator’s family. Making others feel sorrowful is not a decent behavior
itself, no matter whether it is performed in order to make the perpetrator pay the
price or not. In Taiwan, according to the Constitutional Law, our country should
ensure the citizens with the right to live. Based on the Constitutional Law, regardless
of any kind of grave crime that someone commits, we should not sentence him or
her to death penalty because he or she is guaranteed the right to live by our country.
The Constitutional Law does not allow people to be sentenced to death. On the
other hand, death penalty also violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In
the declaration, it is clearly stated that all human beings have the right to live, to be
free, and to have personal safety. Now that it is explicitly stated that human beings
have the right to live, why there are still countries putting death penalty into practice?
Death penalty not only shatters one more complete family but also seems to be
morally wrong to the world.
One of the reasons for those who are for death penalty is that death penalty
costs less. If there is no death penalty, as for a felon who commits an unforgivable
crime, the punishment for him or her would probably be life imprisonment. However,
it means that he lives on the taxes that all the citizens pay; namely, all the citizens
would be keeping him alive. Citizens cannot forgive the cruel crime that the felon
commits, not to mention keeping him alive with their own money. Citizens’ taxes
should be used in other places that are more beneficial to the whole country rather
than keeping a felon’s survival. It would be a waste of money.
Little do normal citizens know that an execution actually costs beyond their
imagination. Death penalty cases cost more than other ordinary cases, including the
cost of time and money, because it is about a person’s life. Jack D’Aurora, a member
of the Behal Law Group, described a death penalty case taking place in Ohio in his
book The Columbus Dispatch that simply hearings would cost plenty of human
resources and money: the hearings were attended by three assistant attorneys
general, three attorneys for the inmate, the Lucasville prison warden, the director of
the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, counsel and other officials from
the department, the judge and his two law clerks. These people were paid by either
the state or the federal government. More surprisingly, the hearings might last from
only a few hours to several days. The longer the hearings last, the more those people
will be paid. Also, D’Aurora said, “A life imprisonment case without parole would
serve us better.” Those attorneys, officials, etc. have to spend a great amount of time
dealing with one death penalty case, and they are also paid by citizens’ taxes. It is
easy to know from this case that death penalty does not cost less. With or without
death penalty, the government has to pay for the sentences of prisoners with citizens’
Death penalty is the most extreme way to punish people committing serious
crimes, and it is supposed to serve as deterrence and warning to those who feel like
committing serious crimes, retribution to the perpetrators, and cost less than life
imprisonment. Even if it does not work so effectively as people supposed, countries
that put death penalty into practice should own less crime rate than countries that
have abolished death penalty and understand that retaining death penalty is a better