They are often in it for revenge as they had been victims at one point or another. They believe that death penalty is a good way of preventing future crimes as they kill a killer. Is this decision sound?
Firstly, we should ask why people engage in deviant acts, and in this case, criminal activities. Many people, as well as researchers think it’s a personal choice: you have an option if you want to do something. This is rooted on the theory of rational choice in sociology, which is derived from Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham’s theories. The theory states that the man is a rational being, rationality involves a calculation (usually ends/means calculation), people choose their own behavior, whether the behavior is deviant of conformist based on their calculations, these calculations usually involve a cost-benefit analysis with regards to their behavior, and this choice of behavior is usually geared towards maximizing the feelings of pleasure (versus pain), and this perception can only be controlled by manipulating their understanding of pain (punishment). This is where the government comes in, as they usually are the ones responsible for maintaining social order by means of having laws, which is also a social contract that they have to fulfill. In order to make punishments effective, the government looks at the swiftness, severity and certainty of the punishment.
According to this theory, the criminal usually commits crimes knowingly, after they weighed the pros and cons of the crime that they are going to commit. They analyze everything, from the risk of being apprehended, the degree of the punishment, and his need for the gains that he would commit as a criminal.
Because of this, we can assume that crime prevention can be successful by letting the criminals, or even the potential criminals, by letting them perceive really heavy punishment, like death penalty. These criminals will have to be convinced that