Here’s a Yahoo News story, and pay attention to the victims and their view of capital punishment.
The leader of a former gang of Houston teenagers who raped and murdered two young girls walking home from a neighborhood party 17 years ago was executed Tuesday in Texas.
Peter Anthony Cantu, 35, was strapped to a gurney in the Huntsville Unit prison death chamber and administered a lethal injection at 6:09 p.m. CDT. He took a single deep breath before slipping into unconsciousness, then was pronounced dead eight minutes later as relatives of his victims, Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Pena, looked stoically through a window a few feet from him.
Asked by the warden if he had any last statement, Cantu replied: “No.” He never looked at the witnesses, including his victims’ parents.
“Nothing he would have said to me would have made any difference,” Adolfo Pena, who lost his daughter in the attack, said after watching Cantu die. “He did a horrendous crime to these two girls. He deserved to die and 17 years later, he died. Not soon enough.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Pena, who wore a T-shirt bearing pictures of both girls.
I’ll leave out the brutal details of the crime, and jump to this:
Jennifer’s father, Randy Ertman, who witnessed all three executions, said before Cantu was put to death Tuesday that the apologies meant nothing to him, that it was too late for apologies.
[…]Ertman said if the death penalty was intended as a deterrent, all five members who had been sentenced to die should have been hanged from trees outside Houston City Hall years ago.
“That would be a deterrent,” he said.
Ok, now look at this Fox News article which talks about whether it works to deter more violent crimes.
What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. The analyses say yes. They count between three and 18 lives that would be saved by the execution of each convicted killer.
[…]”Science does really draw a conclusion. It did. There is no question about it,” said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. “The conclusion is there is a deterrent effect.”A 2003 study he co-authored, and a 2006 study that re-examined the data, found that each execution results in five fewer homicides, and commuting a death sentence means five more homicides. “The results are robust, they don’t really go away,” he said. “I oppose the death penalty. But my results show that the death penalty (deters) — what am I going to do, hide them?”
Statistical studies like his are among a dozen papers since 2001 that capital punishment has deterrent effects. They all explore the same basic theory — if the cost of something (be it the purchase of an apple or the act of killing someone) becomes too high, people will change their behavior (forego apples or shy from murder).
That’s the only question we should be asking – does it work? Not “how does it makes us feel?”. I don’t care how it makes anyone feel except for the victims. I only care about the victims. If the conviction is good, and they accused admit their guilt, the death penalty should be on the table.
The Bible supports the idea of capital punishment, and if you want to explain to people why the Bible supports it, you need to give specific examples, talk from the point of the view of the victims, and reference the relevant research, keeping in mind that academics are vastly more likely to skew the results in favor of the liberal “murderers should not be punished because no one should be punished” view.