Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?




Since 1977, one year after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of the death penalty, more than 1,480 people have been executed, primarily by means of lethal injection. Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes.

Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They argue that retribution or "an eye for an eye" honors the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy.

Opponents of capital punishment say it has no deterrent effect on crime, wrongly gives governments the power to take human life, and perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys (classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than death.


 


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CORE QUESTION

Background / General

Moral & Ethical Issues

Legal Considerations

Deterrence & Retribution

Social Issues

Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

Religious Views






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Last updated on 7/26/2019 7:43:32 AM PST

Since 1977, one year after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of the death penalty, more than 1,480 people have been executed, primarily by means of lethal injection. Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes.

Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They argue that retribution or "an eye for an eye" honors the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy.

Opponents of capital punishment say it has no deterrent effect on crime, wrongly gives governments the power to take human life, and perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys (classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than death.

 


PROS & CONS BY CATEGORY
CORE QUESTION

Background / General

Moral & Ethical Issues

Legal Considerations

Deterrence & Retribution

Social Issues

Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison

Religious Views

US Executions by Race, Crime, Method, Age, Gender, State, & Year

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Notices for Death Penalty and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days) rss icon
NEW ProCon.org Website! - 2020 Presidential Election: The Candidates and Where They Stand on the Issues
8/29/2019 – Learn about the presidential candidates' views on important issues, compare them with a side-by-side chart, take our matching quiz, track their finances, and so much more on our 2020 Presidential Election website. The New York Times called our previous presidential election site "The most comprehensive tool for researching the candidate's stance on issues." Check back monthly for expanded issue coverage.

Archived Notices

Last updated on 7/26/2019 7:43:32 AM PST