The fact that such a strategy is working can be seen in the apparent growth in support of the death penalty in recent years at the very same time when violent crimes are going down. But what I don't understand about this attitude is why people are so prepared to tout their support for the dark-side of our history. I suppose it is just another aspect of the general tendency toward ignorance. If you go back to England of the late 18th century there were over 200 crimes for which you could receive the death penalty. Yet crime was significantly more rampant than it is today. Why? Because of huge inequalities in wealth, total lack of universal education, the absence of the most basic rights in terms of employment standards and democracy, etc. The huge number of crimes and criminals did not go down because of harsher penalties, they went down because of universal education, increases in equality of wealth, and the institution of basic human rights.
Yet many people are not only ready to call for a return to the past they brag about their philistine opinions and their desire to create a system of revenge rather than justice. But I will say it again, it has always been, and always will be, radicals who have pushed society forward into a better future. People who have struggled for written constitutions, basic employment rights, the elimination of slavery, the right to universal education and health care, have all been radicals. Meanwhile Conservatives have consistently fought against these things since time immemorial.
If you believe in the death penalty, at least have the courage to argue for all those things which accompanied it; no right to Habeas Corpus, the return to slavery, the elimination of universal education, the elimination of basic democratic rights, etc. If you want to return to the good old days when children worked in factories at least be honest about your ignorance.