Life Imprisonment vs Death Penalty

2 February 2017

Death Penalty versus Life Imprisonment In the United States, if one is found guilty of a crime of the highest degree, then one faces one of two consequences of utmost severity, the death penalty or life imprisonment. Either way, a life is taken away, literally or figuratively speaking. Through sentencing of the death penalty, life will come to an end by lethal injection, electrocution, the gas chamber, hanging, or firing squad. Through sentencing of life imprisonment, life will come to an end and mere solitary existence within the walls of a prison will replace it until death eventually comes.The magnitude of these two punishments for crimes committed is without question, as are the similarities and differences that exist between the two practices. Capital punishment, also called the “death penalty,” is the pre-meditated and planned taking of a human life by the government in response to a crime committed by the convicted person.

The United States has limited use of the death penalty to cases of aggravated murder and on rare occasion to felony murder.On the other hand, life imprisonment can be the sentence for crimes involving not only murder but also high treason, severe or violent cases of drug dealing or human trafficking, or aggravated cases of burglary or robbery resulting in death or grievous bodily harm. Once convicted, an individual serving life imprisonment will remain in jail for the rest of his or her life until his or her death. Prosecutors state that imposing the death penalty is a crime deterrent. Prosecutors are also in support for the death penalty because it gives them a bargaining tool in the plea bargain process.Even if one believes that the defendant deserves life in prison, without the threat of a death sentence, there may be no way of getting him or her to plead guilty. Law enforcement agencies reject the notion of the death penalty being a crime deterrent.

Life Imprisonment vs Death Penalty Essay Example

They advocate that its cost far outweighs its benefit and consider it to be one of the least efficient uses of taxpayers’ money. Instead, they feel that life imprisonment is among the best ways to reduce violent crime, and if there is no life imprisonment, then crime would become uncontrollable.The death penalty is undoubtedly a permanent solution to stopping a single person from committing any further crime. The death penalty gives closure to the victim’s families and loved ones. Losing a loved one is hard for anyone and for most it is not enough to simply have the perpetrator locked away for life. Family members and loved ones want and need closure in order to move on in their lives. Life in prison is often thought to be a more humane sentence than the death penalty.

Death is the end, period. Life in prison may still offer a person chances at reconciliation for their actions, while providing them time to mature and change.This is a part of the problem…when a person is kept in prison for life; the person who is sentenced is not the person that’s in prison 20, 30, or even 40 years later. People change, regardless of where they are. Some individuals believe in the old saying, “Eye for an eye. ” It is often said that the punishment should fit the crime and the death penalty is a clear illustration of that belief especially in regards to murder. However, some individuals believe that the death penalty is nothing but an act of revenge that has nothing to do with justice.

For them, the assertion is that life imprisonment offers the best resolution for the crime itself, the person responsible for of the crime, and the victims of the crime. Reported costs of the death penalty and life imprisonment differ depending on the source. Some estimates claim that each execution of the death penalty costs about 2 million dollars to that state’s taxpayers. The assumption is that life in prison is more expensive than the death penalty. If a person is dead, then there’s no charge to feed them, house them, or to deal with their medical problems.Their account is closed and they’re no longer a burden on the system. The most alarming difference between the death penalty and life imprisonment emerges in the cases of failure to convict the right person for the crime.

In a variety of capital crimes in the United States, it’s been seen that people have been unjustly imprisoned for years. This being said, the fact that some people may be unjustly charged with the death penalty is not far fetched. Only with the recent advance of technology has evidence been uncovered that proves these people didn’t commit the crimes they were going to be sent to prison or put to death for.So this is really the crux of the question of the death penalty versus life in prison question. Are we as a people ready to admit that our system will be sending at least some innocent people to death? Or would we be willing to shoulder the financial burden of caring for prisoners, some of whom may still be innocent of any wrong doing, for their entire lives? Is there a way to fix the system so that this uncertainty can be eliminated from the equation? These are questions that people should be asking, as well as whether or not either of these two options is serving the goals of both punishment and fairness.

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