Every now and again, we hear on the news of another case brought to some superior court on whether or not capital punishment is allowable in a particular circumstance. The courts seem to be very divided and often previous decisions that declared the death penalty, either constitutional or not, are overturned. Since the constitutionality of capital punishment seems to be unknown, a good place to start would be to see how effective it is.
Looking into a few different studies, what was uncovered is astonishing. “88% of the nation’s leading criminologists do not believe the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime,” says a study by professors Michael Radelet and Traci Lacock at the University of Colorado. The study further finds that, “Nearly 78% of those surveyed [criminologists] said that having the death penalty in a state does not lower the murder rate.” While the statistics are shocking, it doesn't really come as surprise if you think about it; how often do you think that criminals are worried they may be killed for their actions? Probably not all that often.
What you choose to make with this information is yours. I believe that just because a punishment isn't an effective deterrent shouldn't mean that it should not be used. However, I do feel that it is important to realize and understand this information before sentencing someone to death.