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The High Toll of Death Row

            To discourage would-be criminals, society has always used punishment. Sometimes with jail time, community service or even the death penalty. The huge elephant in the room is whether or not the death penalty or capital punishment should still be in practice. In "On The Front Lines" Janet Reno says, "Take it from someone who has spent a career in Federal and state law enforcements, enacting the death penalty would be a grave mistake" (1). In our society we want to prevent murder, so why should we use it as a punishment? The death penalty should be abolished due to so many factors. Many may say that the death penalty is effective but at best it is shown that there is no direct correlation between the threat of the death penalty and "decreasing numbers" of murders in the United States, let alone the fact that statistics show that murders in death penalty states are higher than non death penalty states. There have also been many cases in which the death penalty was given to those who do not deserve it whether; mentally ill, or after the fact proven innocent. Lastly, the death penalty is not morally sound nor anything short of an act of vengeance.
             The supporters of the "effectiveness" of the death penalty such as; George E. Pataki, Governor of New York State in 1997, claim that it is the best method to punish criminals and prevents further crimes, because when one knows that capital punishment waits for him, he will not commit a crime. Although this may be a common misconception and may seem like common sense many primary sources such as; police, task force heads, attorneys and criminologist have noticed otherwise. "A recent study by Professor Michael Radelet and Traci Lacock of the University of Colorado found that 88% of the nation's leading criminologists do not believe the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime" (Para 1, "Is the Death Penalty Deterrent?").

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