Capital Punishment

By: Abby Thompson

Right or Wrong?

While many people believe that capital punishment has a positive effect on our society and gives justice to those whom deserve it, they should believe that it has a much greater negative effect overall. Many people don’t know that capital punishment costs more than life imprisonment, which is hurting our economy and raising our taxes. Along with the fact that our government has killed innocent people and is hurting our economy, many would argue that it is cruel and unusual punishment. Who is to say when a person should die because I don’t believe that anyone, even our government, should be able to deicide? At what point does one cross a line and deserve to die for what they have done? If so, killing a person affects a lot of people including the victim’s family which surprisingly enough doesn’t always want that person to die. I disagree with capital punishment and think the United States should work to abolish it.

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Is the cost worth it?

Whether a person agrees with capital punishment morally, one cannot look past the statistical facts against it. Capital punishment costs more than life without parole, about 10 times as much. The reason it costs so much money is because of several reasons: They often require extra lawyers; there are strict experience requirements for attorneys, leading to lengthy appellate waits while capable counsel is sought for the accused; security costs are higher, as well as costs for processing evidence — DNA testing, for example, is far more expensive than simple blood analyses (Sullivan). On average in California it costs $90,000 per inmate to imprison someone on death row and with all costs included it totaled about 64 million dollars in a 2008 study done by the states Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Capital punishment is cruel and unusual punishment. Often when they execute people it is very painful and have had many failed attempts. To this day there are numerous counts of failed executions. These failed executions include execution by methods such as electrocution, asphyxiation, and lethal injection. There are many stories of failed executions and dates being reset time and time again. Another aspect of cruel punishment is lethal injection. While many people think that this is the most humane way to kill, I disagree, it is anything but peaceful. The prisoner is injected with three paralyzing and painful drugs that take 10 minutes sometimes to finally kill them. For more stories and information on lethal injection, please see my links below.

Innocent and Wrongful Committed

There is no way to 100 percent convict someone of a crime. What happens when an innocent person goes to jail for another’s crime and our government executes them for a crime they didn’t commit? This is a possibility. Our government has executed people that did not deserve to die. For example, a man by the name of Carlos DeLuna. Carlos DeLuna was convicted in 1983 for the fatal stabbing of a Texas convenience store clerk. Later to be found that the real criminal was Carlos Hernandez. To read more about Carlos and his story, refer to the link below.

Conclusion

In conclusion, capital punishment is not only bad for our country economically but morally unjust. Economically, one cannot dispute the facts. Capital punishment costs more than life imprisonment, which raises our taxes. If we could cut capital punishment, we could decrease taxes or use it for a better cause, which would only benefit our country. Morally, we must think about the innocent people that died, that could have had a family, but never got a chance. We will never know about the “what if’s” of an innocent person’s life, because our government took away the rights they were given at birth. Agreeing with this standpoint will better our economy and morals. Disagreeing could only hurt us. One must think about if it was their self or family sitting on death row, wrongly accused, and how this would affect their “future” lives.

References:

"Executed But Possibly Innocent." Executed But Possibly Innocent. Death Penalty Information Center, 26 Aug. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.


Greenemier, Larry. "Cruel and Usual?: Is Capital Punishment by Lethal Injection Quick and Painless?" Scientific American Global RSS. Scientific American, 27 Oct. 2010. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.


Radelet, Michael L. "Some Examples of Post-Furman Botched Executions." Some Examples of Post-Furman Botched Executions. Death Penalty Information Center, 24 July 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.


Sullivan, Pat. "To Execute or Not: A Question of Cost? - USATODAY.com." To Execute or Not: A Question of Cost? - USATODAY.com. USA Today, 8 Mar. 2009. Web. 17 Feb. 2015.