The decision of nations around the world in regards to choosing the death penalty or life sentence brings forward a very thorny debate. The death sentence also known as the capital punishment or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Over recent years several countries and states have been exercising the use of the death penalty and moving away from life sentence but whether it is ethical and beneficial to society to me is very clear.
The financial cost to tax payers of the death penalty is more than the cost of life in prison and the death penalty in fact does not deter crime. Furthermore the death penalty is barbaric and revenge is not at all suitable for humanity to advance. Lives of innocent individuals can be taken because of the death penalty. Capital punishment is not a way forward and does not help alleviate any social problems but rather presents various costs to society so why is the death penalty even being considered?
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Life in prison has proven to be more economical than the death sentence, so why are so many states practicing capital punishment? It is illogical to even consider because of the financial ramifications the death sentence cultivates. Some argue that their hard- earned money is being used to afford criminals ‘privileges’ such as three square meals, shelter a yard full of toys for recreation and medical care when sick but the costs of all these do not nearly compete with the cost of putting someone to death.
According to a recent study done by the Urban Institute on March 6th 2009, the lifetime costs to taxpayers for each capitally prosecuted case has proven to be 1. 9-3 million US dollars more than the lifetime sentence. This is so because the process of putting someone on death row requires endless appeals, investigations, incarceration costs, additional required procedures, and all the bureaucracy that drags out the process. Judges, court reporters, attorneys and court facilities are paid for by the state and it is also not unusual for someone on death row to actually serve up to 20 years before being put to death.
With so much of the state’s limited resources being utilized to kill, is there no other more beneficial way we can our resources? The death penalty does not deter crime and in fact as it stands the life sentence seems to deter crime better. There are those who argue that criminals will be wary and afraid of committing capitally-punishable crimes because of the risk of being executed. States without the death penalty have a lower overall crime rate and some current states where death penalty is legal, governors are going against it.
For example in the state of New Mexico according to an article by CNN on March 18 2009 the governor repealed the death penalty in the state. It wasn’t doing anything positive in terms of deterring crime. In the state with one of the lowest crime rates that has capital punishment which is Kansas, since death penalty was reenacted in 1994, there were no victims of the death penalty. Although they have ten persons on death row there is no one schedule for execution for year 2011- 2012 as surveys done in their state proves that the death penalty did nothing against crime.
Life in prison has a better punishment advantage over the death penalty as no one wants to be treated like animals in a cage and always looking over your shoulders. In prison you can be raped, degraded and abused which serves as a greater deterrent of crime and surely reveals death to be the easy way out. The death penalty is a barbaric practice and does not promote advancement in society. What good is a society fueled by revenge by means of death? Only ancient and lesser intelligent civilizations and nations argue that the death penalty as ‘justice’ and this mindset offers no way forward.
There is a clear distinction between justice and the revenge principle or ‘eye for an eye’ philosophy is clearly barbaric and morally wrong. Revenge brings an endless cycle of death for example look at the Israeli-Palestine conflict which has been going on for more than sixty years and the gang wars that plague our society on a daily basis. The legal system is not setting a good example by murdering people as it promotes death as justice. Who are we to infringe on God’s responsibility to man by making judgments as to whether who lives or not.
Life is a gift from God which should be treasured and no one should be given the right to put someone to death as doing so only makes the justice system stoop to the level of murderers. With the utilization of capital punishments comes the possibility of innocent persons being put to death. There are those who argue that because of DNA testing, proving that someone was guilty is now efficient. Because DNA matches doesn’t mean that someone was actually there to commit a crime.
Evidence can always be planted and criminals can use this to their advantage and pin crimes on innocent people as well. The police force is also not a very reliable element because there is corruption and ‘bad cops’ plaguing our society. Who is to say that cops don’t plant evidence and coerce confessions to get rid of certain people because of personal reasons? According to the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) between April 2009 and June 2010, there were 5986 police misconduct reports in the United States and 382 were fatal.
With this alarming rate of police misconducts should we really put total trust in our justice system? The death of one innocent person due to the death penalty and corrupt elements is too much. The negative effects of capital punishment are severe and any positives that may come out of the death penalty can never overshadow or compensate for the negatives. The outrageous costs incurred, claims that the death penalty deters crime as justification to kill, unnecessary cycle of death and innocent lives that are taken are too important to ignore.
As a civilization aiming to move forward we must end this circle of barbarism and choose more economical, effective and morally right decisions to deal with the negatives in society. In conclusion it is easy to see that the death penalty is in no way better than the life sentence in dealing with criminals. UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN ANDREWS UNIVERSITY AFFILIATION AND EXTENSION PROGRAMS PERSUASIVE ESSAY An Assignment Prepared in Partial Fulfillment For the Requirements of the Course English Composition 1 INSTRUCTOR: Kian Gabriel-Walcott By Andre Baptiste Date: /11/2011 Approval______________