Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a fairly controversial topic. Some people believe that it is unethical and that jurisdictions should not “play the role of God” by deciding whether people live or die. Others believe that the death penalty is a just and fair punishment for crimes worthy of death. Proponents of capital punishment believe that it is effective for many different reasons. However, there are facts and testimonies that do not support that it is effective. Capital punishment should be abolished because it is not an effective way of punishing criminals.
One of the biggest factors that people associate with the death penalty is cost. A lot of people believe that the death penalty is less expensive than a sentencing to life in prison without parole. As counterintuitive as it may seem, it is actually more expensive to fight a death penalty trial than to sentence a life imprisonment. One underlying reason that makes death penalty cases so expensive is that extra lawyers, strict experience requirements for lawyers, security for the accused, and DNA testing are all required. Beyond all that is required for a death penalty case, Kent Scheidegger, the legal director of the Criminal Justice League Foundation, says that our legal system “[calculates] the cost as if these people are going to spend their whole lives on death row.” According to former California jurist Donald McCartin, it is ten times more expensive to kill someone than to keep them alive (To Execute or Not: A Question of Cost?”). It is quite odd to think that a state would spend a fortune just to sentence someone to death. Unfortunately, it happens. Tennessee spent more than $600,000 trying to sentence ...
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...Illinois, George H. Ryan, placed a hold on executions because thirteen people were exonerated because of recanted testimonies and genetic testing. Ryan said that the government is “so fraught with error that it has come close to the ultimate nightmare [:] the state’s taking of innocent life.” If Ryan would not have placed a hold on executions, might those thirteen innocent people have been killed? Well, after a long time of waiting, probably so. Another problem with the entire process of capital punishment is the appeals process. In California, the average wait time for a death penalty case to come to a conviction is about twenty years (“To Execute or Not: A Question of Cost?”). Twenty years is an extremely long time, especially if that time is served by an innocent person. Luckily though, if a person can be proven innocent in time, that person’s life can be spared.
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