Even when crimes are planned, the criminal usually focuses on avoiding exposure, arrest, and conviction. The threat of punishment, even the heaviest, will not deter those who expect to escape discovery and arrest. It is impossible to imagine how the threat of punishment could prevent a crime that is not premeditated. Moreover, the death penalty is a senseless threat to political terrorists like Timothy McVeigh because they generally act in the name of an ideology that honors their martyrs. The overwhelming weight of evidence shows that the death penalty is no more effective than imprisonment in deterring murder and can even incite criminal violence. States where the death penalty is a group do not have lower rates of criminal homicide than States that do not apply the death penalty. The use of the death penalty in one state may actually increase the subsequent rate of criminal homicide. What for? Perhaps because “the return to the use of the death penalty weakens socially motivated inhibitions against the use of lethal force to settle disputes. Finally, advocates of the death penalty argue that justice requires that those convicted of heinous murder crimes be sentenced to death. Justice is essentially about ensuring that everyone is treated equally. It is unfair for a criminal to intentionally and unjustly inflict greater losses on others than they have to bear. If the losses that society inflicts on criminals are less than those that criminals inflict on their innocent victims, society would favour criminals and allow them to bear fewer costs than their victims have to bear.
Justice requires society to impose on criminals losses equivalent to those inflicted on innocent people. By inflicting death on those who intentionally inflict others, the death penalty ensures justice for all. We must not forget that the inviolable and God-given right to life also belongs to the criminal. “The abolition of the death penalty is a matter of justice. It is a question of mercy. It is about ending this nation`s dark history of lynching and slavery. It is about making it clear that our government should not have the power to end a life. We must build a fair criminal justice system based on compassion, the rule of law and justice. We must break the cycles of death, devastation and trauma that have shattered black and brown communities like mine.
Steven D. Clark County District Attorney Stewart, J.D., offered the following in a section of the Clark County District Attorney`s Office website (accessed April 5, 2017) titled “A Message from the District Attorney`s Attorney”: “Indeed, the death penalty is unacceptable today, regardless of the seriousness of the convicted person`s crime. It is a violation of the inviolability of life and dignity of the human person; it also contradicts God`s plan for the individual and society and His merciful righteousness. Nor is it compatible with a just purpose of punishment. It does not bring justice to the victims, but promotes revenge. The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has absolute value and applies to both the innocent and the guilty. Most capital crimes are committed in the heat of battle. Most capital crimes are committed in times of great emotional distress or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, when logical thinking is suspended. Many capital crimes are committed by people who are seriously emotionally injured or mentally ill. In such cases, violence is perpetrated by people who are unable to see the consequences for themselves and others. “Repealing the death penalty would mean abandoning justice for victims of crime and their families. Prisoners currently on California death row have murdered more than 1,000 people.
Of these, 229 were children, 43 were peace officers, and 294 victims were sexually assaulted and tortured. A current death penalty law will help us protect the public from society`s worst criminals and turn the page on families whose loved ones have been cruelly taken from them. Although the Second Protocol to the ICCPR is the only global instrument calling for the abolition of the death penalty, there are three such instruments with a regional focus. The Sixth Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), adopted by the Council of Europe in 1982 and ratified by eighteen States in mid-1995, provides for the abolition of the death penalty in peacetime. In 2002, the Council adopted the Thirteenth Additional Protocol to the ECHR, which provides for the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances, including in time of war or imminent threat of war. In 1990, the Organization of American States adopted the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, which provides for its total abolition but reserves the right to apply the death penalty in time of war.  If, however, the just desert principle means that the severity of sentences must be proportionate to the gravity of the crime – and since murder is the most serious crime, it deserves the heaviest punishment – then the principle is undoubtedly reasonable. Nevertheless, this premise does not oblige us to support the death penalty; What is needed is that other crimes be punishable by prison sentences or other deprivations less severe than those used to punish murder.
The fact that an attorney general can decide to start the death penalty at the federal level after years without it, or that the United States has a more than century-old practice of suspending it at certain points in the political calendar, tells us everything that is wrong with this practice.