The death penalty is obviously not an effective deterrent. Otherwise why would people still kill people in states that have the death penalty. If the death penalty was an effective thing like murder would have long gone the way of the dodo. Murder, even mass murder is still a problem and it seems ever increasingly so. So is the death penalty a deterrent? No. Even guys who will shake, and resist the way to the chair or strap table will kill. Mind you they kill with the intention of never getting caught, tried, and sentenced to death. Therefore the death penalty is not a deterrent. It is not a strong enough deterrent in many cases.
On top of not being a deterrent, the death penalty is a very lengthy and expensive process. Legal fights are long and drawn out. Every trick in the legal book is used to avoid the death penalty. Even when the sentence of death penalty has been pronounced, there are many appeals and delay tactics. There is extremely high security and no expense is spared to make the prisons and transportations to the courts.
There may be a cheaper way to incarcerate the death penalty candidates without resorting to the death penalty. That would be life imprisonment with possibility of parole. That would include no visitors, no possibility of appeal, and a guarantee of death in prison. The objective is to provide a more effective deterrent that the treat of the death penalty cannot instill.
There are 38 states with the death penalty in the books, though New York state’s death penalty has been declared unconstitutional. Most of these capital crime states punish for murder. Murder of some degree, some first degree, some intentional. One of the problems or perceived with the death penalty is the lack of federal standards. The states determine the punishable offense and the state administer the death penalty. That is within the preview of the states and not the federal government.
There is the false prosecution with innocence of course. According to the www.deathpenaltyinfo.org over 120 people have
been released from death row because they were found to be innocent and that since 1973. One of the was facing the death penalty and released is The Hurricane or Rubin Carter, of whom Bob Dylan wrote and sang a ballad about. Even Denzel Washington played The Hurricane in a movie bearing the same title.
Even so, there are remorseless criminals that will kill or prey upon the innocent given any chance. They can only be described as evil as any other description just fails to adequately describe them. There are murders who, though they have been tried, served their sentences, and have been “reformed” are truly not reformed. Observers and even professionals try to describe them as “having demons.” It simply means they have tendencies that they cannot control. They may or may not be aware of the ‘demon’ they fight but it is what drives them.
That is why the death penalty is not an effective deterrent.