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Introduction As discussed in the introduction of this unit, public opinion on the death penalty has changed many times in the United States. An incident such as 9/11 or the Murrah Federal Building bombing can sway public opinion overnight in favor of the death penalty. The media can affect public opinion on this issue as they can with just about any issue. Suppose for a moment that your child were guilty of and convicted of murder and you had always supported the death penalty, would you support it for your own child? Suppose for a moment that your daughter was brutally raped and murdered and you had always been opposed to the death penalty, would you be opposed to it for the suspect that raped and murdered your own daughter? Anti-death penalty groups such as Amnesty International would argue that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent. Pro-death penalty groups such as The Heritage Foundation would argue that the death penalty deters crimes and saves lives. According to deterrence theory, criminals are no different from law-abiding people. Criminals, according to Muhlhausen (2007), "rationally maximize their own self-interest (utility) subject to constraints (prices, incomes) that they face in the marketplace and elsewhere." In other words, individuals make their decisions based on the net costs and benefits of each alternative. Thus, deterrence theory provides a basis for analyzing how capital punishment should influence murder rates (Muhlhausen, 2007). According to the Heritage Foundation, many studies have been conducted using sophisticated panel data methods that show a strong link between executions and murder rates. Instructions For this discussion, you will select a pro- or anti-death penalty position, defend it, and support it with references. In your main post: Analyze death penalty research that supports your position. Identify the model of punishment that most closely aligns with your position on the death penalty. Describe how your position on the death penalty might affect you as a criminal justice professional. References Amnesty International. (n.d.). The death penalty and deterrence. Retrieved from http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-penalty/us-death-penalty-facts/the-death-penalty-and-deterrence Muhlhausen, D. B. (2007). The death penalty deters crimes and saves lives. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/research/testimony/the-death-penalty-deters-crime-and-saves-lives
Introduction As discussed in the introduction of this unit, public opinion on the death penalty has changed many times in the United States. An incident such as 9/11 or the Murrah Federal Building bombing can sway public opinion overnight in favor of the death penalty. The media can affect public opinion on this issue as they can with just about any issue.