How Much of a Deterrent is the Death Penalty?

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Deterrence is probably the most commonly expressed reason for maintaining death penalty but in fact, studies shows there is no connection between the presence or absence of the death penalty and murder rates (Deterrence and the Death Penalty,2012). Deters is to prevent someone from doing something or to make someone less enthusiastic about doing something by making it difficult for that person to do it. There are at least 690 executions in 20 countries in 2018, raise up a question whether this is the right method for those felonies. This essay will look into how much of a deterrent the death penalty is and what else contributes to minimising criminal behaviour. It will also outline some of the discussion about the actual effect of this punishment, other factors causing crime and how the death penalty changing from its original purpose. Moreover, it will suggest some solutions including co-operating with Amnesty International to remove and replace it with a more appropriate punishment and deterrent. Furthermore, this essay will also evaluate other solutions where The criminal justice approach refers to various programs delivered by police, the courts and corrections that aim to prevent recidivism among people.


Studies show that capital punishment have no deterrent affect to criminal or at least only a part of it actually work, create and large controversy on whether should people use this type of biblical punishment on people when it doesn’t show any good affect. There are at least 19.336 people under death sentence and 690 executions in 20 countries in 2018 but there were about 4% of the death row were wrongfully convicted which is lead to more than 200 people died for a wrong condemn. This involved lots of different types of people and organisation from the prisoner, their family and relatives, the justice system of government and people that standing up for the right things. Since july 1961, amnesty international organisation had been founded in order to fight for the right thing and against the law of capital punishment. At the same time, human rights organisation around the world also stand up to take part in this campaign.

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Firstly, the actual effect of deterrent for death penalty doesnt seem like it have a positive result on criminal behaviour and help to reduce the rate of crime showing the myth of there purpose. Secondly, as research, the behaviour of committing crime were affected like lots of different other factors around them, this shows that it doesn't mean there are no ways other than death penalty as the only way to being punishment. Thirdly, the government and justice system giving out those types of punishment like death penalty to cover different factors for certain punishment and the result of capital punishment serve non of them.

As victorian supreme court judge Lex Lasry (Fact check, 2015) states that untill today, no one can make sure that death penalty has a real deterrent value. Because of that, it shows the effect of death penalty is still seem like a myth to people where deterrent is giving out to stop people committing crime but then for capital punishment, it seem like so against it. There are a lot of different data can show that this believe if right where from 1973 to 1984 the murder rate in the USA actually lower than after the punishment of death penalty were giving out with a different of 63% compare to nowday (Lamperti, 2010). And when the capital punishment were giving out, it help japan to decline their ciminal rate down about 80% but at the same time criminal rate in Korea have not much different from before. All of this data raise the question about the ability of control crime of death penalty.

Normally, crime was effect by others factors from population density, welfare equality, level of education and even from religion (Sulhin, 2018). Because of that, Dow (2012) believe that by giving them a death sentence always assume that they are wrong, to look at a more positive side of what is causing them to be a human who they are right now, what factors. By that the death penalty is not the only way to punish those type of people. By treating them better can actually give more effect to the people rather than death penalty.

Punishment were made to cover 4 factors from deterrence, incapacitation, retribution and rehabilitation but then capital punishment couldn’t reach to the expectation of people when giving out this punishment. Supporting, Jeffrey Fagan (2015) there are no observable change in crime since it only satisfy the want of vengeance and punishment bad people for what they had done but this retribute last only until the next crime appear. This shows that capital punishment actually did not deter crime. Where 88% of criminologists around the world didn’t believe that the death penalty deter murders. At the same time they believe that death penalty has been cause of homicide rather than prevention where it encoutage criminal to comnit crime by seeing to legitmize killing of enemies. Therefore, purpose of death penalty seem like it has gone wrong.


There are different ways to help to solve the problems of the deterrent effect of capital punishment like reach up to differences organisation in order to help raise up the awareness of capital ppunishment. We can also change capital punishment into others punishment that seem to be more appropiate. Last but not least is communicate and delivery programs to criminal and people use to commit crime for the aim of preventing recidivism. This not only help to fix the deterrent of capital punishment but it can also help to minimise criminal behaviour.

Founded in 1961, Amnesty International working their best to delivery message to countries and people around the world when it help to raise the number of countries abolished death penalty from 16 to 106 countries by 2018. It also helps to reduce the execute rate down by 31% compared to 2017 (Amnesty International). Overall, this gives out a really positive outcome in order to stop capital punishment.

Changing the punishment to make it more humane is also a way to help to solve this problem. As criminal behaviour were affected by many more factors, change the societies is the first and easiest step to help fix this where the government and justice system can help to decrease the time in prison and re-educated for providing education to everyone, help them to integrate into society. This helps to solve the problem of covering the purpose of punishment.

Last but not least, is to approach various programs by police and the court to criminal or people used to commit crime in order to influence the behaviour of individual (Tonry & Farrington 1995). Where everyone has an inalienable right to life and we can support to change a person and make them become better. As Dow (2012) states that when we devote our attention to an earlier chapter of a criminal life, start to support them from the beginning, we will never have to write the first sentence of the begin of death penalty story.


These solutions can be evaluated through the lens of economics and social cohesion. Lots of countries and organisation suggest to have different method to replace the moral of capital punishment and one of the suggestion is imprision without parole. But then, this doesn’t meet up to people and social cohesion and it doesn’t make them happy. As Quandt (2018) believed, when those prisoners get removed from the sociality, it affects their family members, causing stress. Not only that, it most of them will have trauma and financial problems; children couldn’t build up the relationship parent where the prison visiting room is the only place they can see and talk to each other. This problem also give some disagreement through the perspective of economics where each year, the government has to give in millions and even billions of dollars just to take care of those prisoners. Secondly, even though Amnesty International and other organisations give a positive result on continue to raise their voice, reduce and abolish the number of capital punishment of possible. But they still couldn’t reach up to lots of countries that have high rate of executes for example like Vietnam and Indonesia. Not only that, it is still limits to a large amount of people where not everyone know that capital punishment is a problem rightnow. Last but not least is delivery different program to criminal and I believe this is the best solution so far when looking at both of the economics and social cohesion perspective. As Crime prevention approaches, theory and mechanisms (2017) states that everyone has a right to be treated better as they are human too and influence behaviour of criminal is one of them. To support that idea, the Australia government has been deployed this and taken back some very positive results. This not only help the prisoner themselves to get on well with the society but also help others people around them to be more open to them. Even though this method might now work for everyone but as Brisman and South (2015) believed, people still deserves a second chance to be better.


In conclusion, giving out different program to approach criminal is the best solution so far even though it might not work for everyone but it is suitable and easy to develop in every country around the world. This help to solve the problem of the myth of the death penalty effects to criminal and also help to minimising criminal behaviour. It is unfair and against the human right when you apply death sentence on them; this also against the original purpose and the reason why people giving out punishment. After all,this type of biblical punishment of showing people that killing is bad by killing is unacceptable.

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