The Death Penalty Of Capital Punishment Essay

The Death Penalty Of Capital Punishment Essay

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One of the most repetitive and controversial topics discussed in the criminal justice system, is the death penalty. Capital punishment has been a part of our nation’s history since the creation of our constitution. In fact, as of January 1st, 2016, 2,943 inmates were awaiting their fate on death row (Death Penalty Information Center). Throughout my life, I have always been a strong advocate for the death penalty. During the majority of my undergraduate degree, I was a fierce supporter of capital punishment when discussing the topic in classes. However, throughout many criminal justice courses, I found myself in the minority, regarding the abolishment of the death penalty. While debating this topic, I would always find myself sympathetic to the victims and their families, as one should be, wanting those who were responsible for heinous crimes to pay with their lives. With overwhelming evidence supporting the abolishment of the death penalty, my argumentative points were more beliefs, which could not be backed by evidence. However, recently I have had a change of heart, and now, I finally take a stance against capital punishment. The death sentence should be prohibited in the United States.
The Cost of the Death Penalty
One of the biggest misconceptions, regarding capital punishment, is the cost. Many people, including some higher educated people, tend to believe that executing someone is a lot cheaper than the alternative, which is life in prison without the possibility of parole. Indeed, this thought seems like common sense. However, extensive research has been conducted that contradicts that belief. For instance, a study conducted in Maryland, in 2008, found that the state spends roughly 1.9 million dollars more per...


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...ese people would have been wrongfully executed if it were not for the development of DNA evidence (Warden, 2013). As Hance (2013) points out, “the inescapable conclusion is that the number of wrongful convictions greatly exceeds the number of exonerations.”
Let us take for an example the case of Jesse Tafero, a man executed in Florida in May 1990. Two years after his execution, his co-defendant, Sonia Jacobs, who was convicted and sentenced to death on exactly the same evidence as Tafero was released after a U.S. Court of Appeals determined her conviction was based on prosecutorial suppression of evidence and perjury from a prosecutors witness, who is thought to be the real killer (Bedau & Radelet, 1998). Now, if Tafero was not executed, the same evidence that lead to Jacobs’ release, would have been used to exonerate Tafero as well (Bedau & Radelet, 1998).

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