1). Some crimes are so serious that only the death penalty will suffice. Violent and sexual crimes against children, for example. Those who commit such heinous acts will always represent a danger to society. Thus the death penalty is the only appropriate punishment in such cases.
2). The death penalty acts as a deterrent. If people know that they are likely to be executed for the most serious of crimes, then they will be less likely to commit them.
3). The death penalty saves taxpayers' dollars. In comparison with all the money spent on prisoners' upkeep, execution involves relatively little expense.
4). With the best will in the world, some criminals are beyond rehabilitation. Whether they're out on the streets or locked up inside a prison they're always going to represent a danger to someone. The death penalty deals with this problem by removing dangerous elements from society permanently.
5). The death penalty satisfies the natural human desire for vengeance. This may not be one of its stated aims, but it's the main reason why people support it. Executing criminals takes vengeance out of the hands of private individuals, thus maintaining social stability while at the same time satisfying the community's desire for revenge.
Here are five potential reasons for supporting the death penalty. Follow the link below to see more discussion of this topic.
- The death penalty is just. If a person kills another person in particularly heinous circumstances, that person deserves to die. No other punishment is strong enough for the worst crimes.
- The death penalty deters murder. When people are thinking about whether to murder someone, they will take into account the death penalty and will think twice about killing.
- The death penalty directly prevents people from committing further crimes. A murderer who is executed will not kill another inmate, another correctional officer, or (if they happen to escape) another civilian.
- The death penalty is necessary to make sure that civilians understand that government will protect them. People need to know that the government will protect their rights. This allows them to have confidence in government and keeps our society stable and coherent. If we let murderers live, our society will be weakened because people will no longer trust the government.
- The death penalty is humane. Even though some people claim that lethal injections might be painful, there is no solid proof that this is so. Clearly, our method of executing criminals is very humane compared to past methods and, in particular, compared to the ways in which the criminals killed their victims. Therefore, we should not worry about the idea the death penalty is cruel and unusual.
These are five possible arguments that could be used to support the death penalty.