Life vs. Death Penalty

7 July 2016

The death penalty has been one of the most debated topics in America for years. It holds the same level of importance in politics as abortion or gun control because it is such a controversial subject. The stance that I currently hold with this debate is closer towards life in prison. Not because I don’t fully believe that someone who kills a lot of people or does just horrible acts should 100% be punished and possibly killed themselves, but because I find more benefits towards keeping someone in jail for life. For example, the cost to keep someone in jail is a lot cheaper than it is to kill them.

A study in 2011 showed that it cost California more than $4 billion dollars to do executions since 1978. $1. 94 billion went towards the trails, $925 million towards Automatic Appeals and State Habeas Corpus Petitions, $775 million towards Federal Habeas Corpus Appeals, and $1 billion went towards Costs of Incarceration. And we can’t forget how much it costs to pay for the security guards who look over these inmates. The total cost to pay these security guards a year comes up to $90,000 PER INMATE a year. It’s also been said that the death penalty trails are 20 times more expensive than a trail for imprisonment without parole.

Life vs. Death Penalty Essay Example

If the Governor of California sentenced the inmates that are on death row to life in prison he could save almost $170 million a year! The Executive of the DPIC stated, “The death penalty in the U. S. is an enormously expensive and wasteful program with no clear benefits. All of the studies on the cost of capital punishment conclude it is much more expensive than a system with life sentences as the maximum penalty. In a time of painful budget cutbacks, states are pouring money into a system that results in a declining number of death sentences and executions that are almost exclusively carried out in just one area of the country.

As many states face further deficits, it is an appropriate time to consider whether maintaining the costly death penalty system is being smart on crime. ” Another reason that life in jail is a better punishment is because it is an actual effective punishment. There is nothing that shows that the death penalty has been effective in lowering crimes. To be in a prison cell for your entire life with nothing to do but think, sit, sleep, eat, and maybe a recreational activity or two, that is actually worse than death.

Being in prison sends some people crazy or can possibly change them completely, which I believe is a way better punishment because they are forced to live with the crime that they committed. Death would be an easy and quick way out. Granted, the death row inmates are doing nothing but sitting, thinking, and waiting. That is what they are doing, waiting. They are waiting for the end, because they, unlike the other inmates, have an end. And honestly how is that fair, we for whatever reason think that if we kill them that will teach them and others like them to never commit the bad acts again, when in fact we are making it simple for them.

The DPIC executive said, “The nation’s police chiefs rank the death penalty last in their priorities for effective crime reduction. The officers do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder, and they rate it as one of most inefficient uses of taxpayer dollars in fighting crime. Criminologists concur that the death penalty does not effectively reduce the number of murders. ” The death sentence is absolute, there is no reversing it so if we execute someone and more evidence comes up that later proves someone innocent, we can’t take back the execution.

140 people were wrongly executed since 1973. The most common reason for people wrongfully being charged with the death penalty are false confessions, witness errors, government misconduct, faulty science, bad lawyers or snitch testimonies. Also believe it or not but race does play a factor in whether or not someone can receive the death penalty vs. life in prison. Just about 68% of inmates that are on death row are non-whites. “We simply cannot say we live in a country that offers equal justice to all Americans when racial disparities plague the system by which our society imposes the ultimate punishment.

” Senator Russ Feingold, 2003. In 1990, a report from the General Accounting Office said that 82% of the cases that were reviewed showed that if the criminal killed a white person they were more likely to be sent to death row than if they killed another minority. There are currently 1,822 minority inmates on death row and there has been approximately 394 minorities executed since 1976, comparing this to the 1,475 white death row inmates and the 643 that have been executed.

Something interesting is the death rate by homicide in California varies sole by race. African Americans are six times more likely to be murdered than whites in California. While 27. 6% of murder victims are white, 80% of executions in California have been for those convicted of killing whites. Lastly, the death penalty is just morally wrong. How do we as a country justify that someone is being punished for murder or something of that sort and to correct/ punish this behavior we execute them. That is so backwards.

America is a country that frowns upon other countries who don’t value life but we don’t really know how to back up that thinking because we are a country who grew up knowing to fix problems with violence. After George W. Bush stated in the 2000 presidential elections, “I don’t think you should support the death penalty to seek revenge. I don’t think that’s right. I think the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people’s lives” Family guy retaliated with, “I support the death penalty to teach people killing is wrong” Brian on Family Guy.

When you think about it, how does killing the inmate keep us any safer than just keeping them in jail forever? At the end of the day no one is being harmed, and everyone who is outside of prison is safe. The families of the victims can have peace of mind that they know the person will rot in prison and everyone else no longer has to even wonder if that person will come for them next. It’s a win win situation. Until someone comes up with a plan that is more cost effective, humane, and still effectively punishes people for crimes the same or better than life in prison does, that seems to be the best way to handle criminals.

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