Saturday, March 05, 2005

Whether Stone of Lump of Lead

The Economist has reported that crime rates do not rise after the death penalty is removed, thereby "proving" that it does not deter crime. In the interest of justice, however, the utility of a particular punishment to deter crime should not be a factor. Whether the crime was sufficiently heinous to deserve such a penalty should be the only factor. To punish someone to deter the crimes of others is not just--it does not punish them for their own crimes, but rather punishes them for the potential crimes of others. If an act is deserving of death, death should be meted out, even if it causes more crime.

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