The Death Penalty : An Ineffective Alternative Punishment Essay

The Death Penalty : An Ineffective Alternative Punishment Essay

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The Death Penalty: An Ineffective Alternative Punishment
Is 21st century United States still following the practices of the dark ages when empires and states executed lawbreakers sentenced to death? The United States still practices capital punishment, even though most western industrialized countries have abolished the death penalty. In 1972, the U.S Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in the United States. However, according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), as of July 1, 2015, the death penalty is legal in 31 states, with Texas leading in the number of executions. Which raises the question: has the death penalty really served its purpose? The death penalty has not only proven to be a financial burden on taxpayers, it has also turned out to be ineffective in deterring potential killers.
The death penalty has turned out to be enormously expensive and a waste of taxpayers’ money. It can cost as much as 3 times more to keep a prisoner on death row before execution than it costs to take care of a prisoner with a life sentence. In fact, defense costs alone for death penalty trials cost on average $395,762 per case, compared to $98,963 per case when the death penalty was not sought (Kansas Judicial Council). A study conducted by Seattle University on the costs of the death penalty in Washington State found that, death penalty case costs on average one million dollars more than a similar case that does not warrant a death penalty ($3.07 million versus $2.01 million). In addition, due to the longevity of death penalty cases, mostly because of the long appeal processes, statistics have shown the same high cost trends in all of the states that apply the death penalty. Thus, during these times of economic crisis, it ...


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...hould ensure that they serve justice equally regardless of race and economic background.
In light of current research findings, states with capital punishment should now concede that the death penalty has not served its purpose, i.e. deterring potential murderers and ensuring equal justice for all. Hence, it is only fair to say that the United States should abolish the death penalty. Capital punishment is a waste of valuable and limited resources and an ineffective alternative method of punishment. Every year, states with capital punishment spend millions of dollars on death penalty cases instead of spending these millions on more beneficial sectors such as employment and community policing. The statistics say it all. In fact, why should states go through the expenses and trouble of killing a convicted murderer when they can lock him away for the rest of his life?

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