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Why support for the death penalty is rising again in America
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Thread: Why support for the death penalty is rising again in America

  1. #1
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Why support for the death penalty is rising again in America

    Over half the population are now in favour

    By V.v.B.
    The Economist

    RUBEN GUTIERREZ is in many ways typical of the thousands who sit on death row in America. The 41-year-old has been there for two decades, insists on his innocence and is still fighting for DNA testing. He is scheduled to die in Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, by lethal injection on September 12th. He was found guilty of the murder in 1998 of Escolastica Harrison, a trailer-park owner who kept $600,000 in cash inside her mobile home because she did not trust banks. The majority of Americans still approve of executing perpetrators of heinous crimes, despite the risk that an innocent might be killed. And to the puzzlement of those who think the death penalty is on its way out, the number of supporters of capital punishment is on the increase again.

    Both the number of executions and public support for the death penalty were in decline for most of the past 20 years. Texas executed 40 people in 2000, but only seven in each 2016 and 2017. The main reason was the drop in America’s murder rate, from 10.2 per 100,000 people in 1980 to 4.5 in 2014. Along with that decline has come a more recent fall in the incidence of the most heinous, first-degree murders. Moreover, every state bar Alaska now gives juries the option of making sure that a murderer will never be released, by sentencing him to life without parole. At the same time, abolitionists are making an ever more forceful case. Strong evidence suggests that Texas has killed innocent men more than once since the 1970s. Among these are Carlos Deluna and Cameron Todd Willingham, who were executed in 1989 and 2004, respectively. Other evidence suggests a strong racial bias. Over 75% of those executed were sentenced to death for killing whites, even though about half of all murder victims are black. Abolitionists’ practical arguments include the exorbitant cost of executions, thanks to the lengthy appeals and retrials they occasion; the difficulty of buying poison for use in executions, from ever more reluctant pharmaceutical companies; and the problems caused when states choose new drug cocktails that may cause prisoners to suffer.

    Why then is support for the death penalty increasing again? According to a survey released earlier this year by the Pew Research Centre, 54% of Americans back the death penalty; 49% did so two years ago. Robert Dunham, head of the Death Penalty Information Centre, says this is related to the political rhetoric in Washington. In March President Donald Trump proposed making drug dealers eligible for the death penalty, arguing that the federal government is “wasting our time” in so far as it is unwilling to execute them. Such talk may play well to a nation in the grip of the deadliest crisis of illegal-drug addiction in its history, though there is little evidence to suggest that the death penalty actually deters criminality. If the president’s proposal were to come into effect, America would join some disreputable peers. According to Amnesty International, only China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Singapore executed people for drug dealing last year.

    Across the world capital punishment is less common and less popular than it was, and dismay over its cost, efficacy and methods are hastening its decline. It seems unlikely that America will buck the trend for long. Young people and ethnic minorities, in particular, tend to be more opposed to the death penalty; demography is on the side of abolition. So far 19 states and the District of Columbia have discarded the death penalty. A good chunk of those that keep it have not executed anyone in decades. Most executions are carried out in a handful of states, such as Texas, Florida and Oklahoma, and most death sentences are sought by prosecutors in just a few counties. When Americans’ support for capital punishment does start to recede once again, their elected lawmakers should follow suit. Abolitionists may end up waiting longer than expected, but even in America the death penalty’s days are surely numbered.

    https://www.economist.com/the-econom...ain-in-america
    Dp for me. Thanks. God bless America.

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    Senior Member CnCP Legend
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    Not only does this not answer the question of the title but its just another hit piece against the death penalty with another appearance from everyone's favorite person.

    The reason the death penalty is more popular isn't because of Trump. Everything isn't related to him.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, I think the internet and social media play a big part. Everyone knows the antis have the loudest voice on the internet and no doubt their propaganda has played a big part in decline for support for the death penalty. But it also works both ways. Now, whenever a horrible crime is committed, instead of briefly seeing it on the news, people get graphic details updated to their Facebook feed. In addition, many times the public has access to facebook/instagram/other social media of the murder victim, and people can go and see that that person was a normal person who had family, friends, a job, school, etc and most important a life that was tragically taken from them by someone else. And it will make people angry. Anyway that's just my theory.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Death penalty is a justice enforcement and we live comfortable to live with it. And it is the ultimate punishment for ultimate murderers.
    Dp for me. Thanks. God bless America.

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