"Killing me is not going to bring back anybody, and I don't think it's gonna remove any of the hatred from those people's hearts. In turn, my family suffers, and the cycle continues"(Mother Jones). These are the words of Richard Drinkard; Drinkard murdered three people with a hammer and was executed May 19, 1997. Putting to death people judged to have committed certain extremely heinous crimes is a practice of ancient standing, but in the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century, it has become a very controversial issue. Capital punishment is the infliction of the death penalty on persons convicted of a crime (Caldwell). The retentionists of capital punishment believe in deterrence, retribution, economy, and protection (Caldwell). On the contrary, the abolitionists claim that capital punishment is inhumane, does not deter crime, leaves too much room for error, and in some cases is racist and discriminatory ("Death Penalty" May 1). Murder is a crime that involves taking the life of another human, and that act needs to be punished justly--not with a shortened sentence in a luxurious prison. Murderers should be dealt with in an effective manner that gives society the assurance that murder will not be tolerated. Compassion for a murderer is an admirable thing; however this admiration need not blind us to the difference between right and wrong. In spite of capital punishments many controversies, I believe capital punishment is the correct way to deal with a person who could perform such a heinous crime towards society.
Retentionists of capital punishment argue in terms of the issue's deterrence and economic outcomes. "The most widely accepted argument that is in favor of capital punishment is that fear deters people from committing crimes" (Caldwell). In 1985, a study was published by economist Stephen K. Layson at the University of North Carolina that showed that every execution of a murderer deters, on average, 18 murders.