The US is often criticized for its refusal to abolish capital punishment. Many now claim that abolition of capital punishment is a precondition of a civilized criminal-law system. Nobel laureate Gary Becker disagrees.
European governments are adamantly opposed to capital punishment – the European Union bans it outright – and some Europeans consider its use in the United States barbaric. Indeed, many European intellectuals argue that not just capital punishment, but punishment in general, does not deter criminals.