Support for Capital Punishment?

Dear readers,

I apologize for the extreme delay in my blog posts, life has thrown a few unexpected curveballs my way this past week. As a reminder, my last post talked about how the death penalty is actually much more costly than life imprisonment, and discussed whether economic factors have a place in the ethical capital punishment debate.

In today’s post, I want to talk about how many people in our country are in favor of the death penalty. A Gallup poll shows that in the United States, the current support for the death penalty is 60%, with a noticeable partisan difference, where 81% of Republicans but only 47% of Democrats are in favor of capital punishment. Personally, these statistics surprised me, as I would’ve guessed these numbers to be lower. So I started looking into reasons why people voted this way, and found some of the arguments that support the death penalty.

Some of the reasons surprised me, yet again. According to another Gallup poll, one of the most fundamental arguments in favor of the death penalty is to “save taxpayers money”, which is interesting considering my last post, which said that this is a misconception. Additionally, other common arguments were that “they deserve it” (which refers back to my second post, where instead of mercy, being shown, we function on a system of justice alone), and that capital punishment proves as an example to other potential criminals, thus lowering crime rates. I found a separate article that disproves that statement, saying that “there still remains a lack of consensus among researchers on the effect of capital punishment as a crime deterrent.”

What do you guys think? Do you think that these arguments are legitimate? Did any of this surprise you?


4 thoughts on “Support for Capital Punishment?”

  1. Hey rainbowunicorn2!

    Sorry for the late response but I really enjoyed this post; you’ve brought up a lot of thought provoking points. I would have never guessed that 60% of the United States is for the death penalty. Honestly, I am in shock. But I think what shocks me more is the reasons behind the support. “Saving taxpayers money” and “they deserve it”? In my opinion, those are the most ridiculous reasons to support the death penalty. Especially since that saving money is nothing but a misconception. Personally, I don’t see the death penalty as justice but instead as revenge. I think over the years the idea of justice has become skewed and twisted in the sense that’s its not even “justice” anymore. Are we really doing society a favor by riding them of one bad seed without first trying to rehabilitate them?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your comment jlrust13!
    Its nice to hear your support and your specific take on the situation. I think that, like in my analysis post, the death penalty can be justified by people based on their specific definition of justice. If you believe, like we do, that justice is based on mercy, than the death penalty is inherently bad because it is incongruent with this definition. We would say, like you did, that the rehabilitation aspect of prison systems, particularly in capital cases, is crucial. But if your definition of “fulcrum” of this issue is different, the argument is not there.
    The answer is to change the underlying mentalities that people bring to the table.


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