Abstract: I argue that the death penalty has only limited deterrent effect. It cannot deter three types of offenders: (1) those who do not fear death; (2) those who are not rational and cannot take into consideration the consequences of their actions; (3) those who are confident that they won’t be caught. Thus, in order to deter potential murderers, we must consider new ways to deter these three types of offenders.
Comment: The article is written for for a general audience. It considers the deterrence argument in favor of the death penalty. It should be useful for GE courses that cover the topic of the death penalty.