Capital punishment defines sentencing the convicted offenders to death for crimes considered most serious (capital crimes) and executing that sentence. In the USA, crimes that can lead to imposing capital punishment include, but are not limited to, espionage, large-scale drug trafficking, treason, and murder (Thinley & Ziegler Jr, 2020). There has been a discourse on whether capital punishment has a deterrent effect on the number of homicides committed for a considerable period. Thus, in my opinion, capital punishment has no deterrent effect on the number of homicides committed.
Firstly, there lacks sufficient reliable evidence linking capital punishment to crime deterrence, specifically homicides. The states having capital punishment are still struggling with homicide rates. On the other hand, the states that abolished capital punishment have experienced an insignificant change in murder, specifically homicide rates (Waldo & Myers, 2019). Thus, it is not plausible to argue that capital punishment deters homicide cases. The social science research discredits the claims suggesting that executing homicide convicts deters other people from involving in homicide cases. According to Waldo and Myers (2019), it is established that in most cases, people commit homicides while they are in the heat of passion. Some of them are under the influence of drugs, or alcohol, or are having some mental illness. Consequently, they rarely think about the possible consequences of their acts.
Furthermore, from the observations above, it is clear that the deterrent effect of capital punishment is negligible. It has been scientifically proven that there is no hard evidence that capital punishment serves a deterrent effect. As a result, the observations argue against the capital punishment. Most of the potential homicide criminals are not in their sober minds when executing the crime. Thus, the argument of the implementation of capital punishment leading to fear of death in potential homicide criminals is not plausible. Otherwise, scientifically validated data based on legal practice must confirm that capital punishment has a deterrent effect. Nowadays, there are none, and moreover, the available evidence suggests otherwise.
Thinley, T., & Ziegler Jr, A. H. (2020). Attitudes toward capital punishment in America: An analysis of survey data. Center for Research and Creativity (9th ed., pp. 1-40). Methodist University.
Waldo, G. P., & Myers, W. (2019). Criminological research and the death penalty: Has research by criminologists impacted capital punishment practices? American Journal of Criminal Justice, 44(4), 536-580.