Capital punishment opponents argue that the practice does not deter crime, which statistics reprove. Opponents also deny that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime because of the nature of the reasons people commit homicide. People cannot conceive their own demise, therefore, cannot contemplate or appreciate the consequences. In addition, these crimes are usually committed as a result of impulsive actions and not carefully considered beforehand. Therefore, “the deterrent case has no validity” (Donohue, 2006). If the person committing the murder does contemplate the consequences, they may kill not only the victim but any witnesses as well rather than risk being caught. Fear of capital punishment potentially increases capital crimes. Many studies have been performed to determine if the death penalty is indeed deterrence. All prevailing research indicates capital punishment is as much of a deterrent to crime as a life sentence. Further, statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show states that do not have the death penalty actually have lower murder rates. “The average murder rate per 100,000 people in 1999 among death penalty states was 5.5 and the average murder rate among non-death penalty states was 3.6.” (U.S. Dept. of Justice, 2001).
The State of Texas is widely acknowledged as executing more prisoners than any other state, a title it holds on an annual basis. A study conducted from the years 1984 through 1997 demonstrated homicides were not deterred as a result of the practice. “The murder rate (in Texas) was steady and there was no evidence of a deterrent effect. The number of executions was found to be unrelated to murder rates.

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