The death penalty, used from 1707 and fully abolished in 1969, was said to have cut crimes by two thirds. It is a controversial topic ever since it was created. It has taken the lives of guilty and innocent parties. In a recent survey 70% or the public want the death penalty reinstated for heavy crimes. Personally I feel the death penalty should only be used if a murderer has been proved guilty with flawless evidence. Many people feel that the death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment for any convict.
It brings forward the question that would we be any better than the person standing in front of the jury ? There is also a major danger that an innocent person could be sentenced to death. There would be know way of releasing the person if there was suitable evidence from because they would be dead. For example, In 2004, the state of Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham for starting the fire that killed his children. The Texas Forensic Science Commission found that the arson testimony that led to his conviction was based on flawed science.
As of today, 138 wrongly convicted people on death row have been exonerated. One of the main reasons I feel people are against the death penalty is the cost. In Texas over 430 executions have been recorded since 1976, this has cost them $2. 3 million, which is almost three times of which it would cost to imprison a convict. This makes people think why would you pay almost three times the amount to kill a person just so the family can have ‘revenge’ and ‘justice’. There is more than one side to this argument however.
The death penalty did reduce crimes by two thirds therefore making the area a safer place. This gives the impression that a ruthless and no holds barred attitude would be put towards the offender and possibly make other people who are thinking of committing think twice. Also there is no chance of re-offending as the type of people who are willing to do such a crime will effectively be wiped out. A judge could sentence a man to life in prison. That same man could be out of jail with 15 years. How has life in jail become known as ten to fifteen ears? If the judge says life with no parole, then the criminal could stay in jail a bit longer, but that would mean the country would have to take care of the prisoner for twenty to twenty five years. How can we trust the murderers and thieves of our country to a law that will either let them out in ten years or have us take care of them for twenty years, and then let them go? The criminals do not fear the punishment anymore, because they know they will not die. Punishment is meant to be feared by the convict and to keep him from doing it again.
I am not saying we execute all of the criminals in the world, but it has to remain an option for the courts to use and to scare the criminals of the country. Many criminals don’t fear the law. They know that they will get out in ten years if they murder someone. They are not afraid of jail or their punishment. How can we force them to stop killing or stealing if they are not afraid of the punishment we give them. Most rational men are afraid of death. They don’t want to die. There are also men that don’t fear death, but enjoy killing.
They must be controlled, but if they are sentenced to life, they are soon free to kill again. Again, I am not saying we should kill all the men in jail and any other criminal in the world. That is not the answer either, but we must have the death penalty as an option so that they will be afraid to break the law, and to control those who don’t fear death but love to break the law. The Death Penalty has proven to have good benefits upon the country in determining the consequences that criminals deserve. This is needed to ensure the safety of society.
If this is the case, there is no need for us to consider the expenses involved in the death penalty. Certainly human lives are more important, for it may easily be yours. We should not abolish the death penalty, but hold our country accountable for properly using the death penalty upon those who deserve it.