Death Penalty

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Death Penalty Virtually every major program designed to address the underlying causes of violence and to support the poor, vulnerable, powerless victims of crime is being cut even further to the bone… In this context, the proposition that the death penalty is a needed addition to our arsenal of weapons lacks credibility… Scott Harshbarge, Attorney General of Massachusetts Across the United States, police officers are losing their jobs, prisoners are obtaining parole early, courts are clogging with cases, and crime is on the rise. Over two-thirds of the states use capital punishment, which is a grave mistake by any measure of cost effectiveness. The government spends hundreds of millions of dollars in order to punish a few individuals each year. Yet, these actions do nothing to slow the rise in violent crimes. Moreover, the death penalty has been used to portray toughness on crime, but it actually leaves communities worse off in their fight against crime. At the same time that states are pouring money into the capital punishment black hole, lack of funds is also causing the criminal justice system to break down. Consequently, the public is left with fewer resources, which otherwise could benefit their entire community. Every working person in the United States pays taxes to fund the government. However, is the death penalty a cost-effective way to use the taxpayer's money? After evaluating the cost of the death penalty and the effects of paying that cost, one would agree that the death penalty is not a cost-effective way to fight crime and thus the government should abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is much more expensive than life imprisonment. In Texas, "the death penalty cost taxpayers an average o... ... middle of paper ..., 14 June 1989, 60. C. Hoppe, Executions Cost Texas Millions," The Dallas Morning News, 8 March 1992, 1A. P. Cook and D. Slawson, The Cost of Processing Murder Cases in North Carolina, May 1993. S. Magagnini, "Closing Death Row Would Save State $90 Million a Year," The Sacramento Bee, March 28, 1998, 1. D. Von Drehle, "Bottom Line: Life in Prison One-sixth as Expensive," The Miami Herald, 10 July 1988, 12A. Von Drehle. Magagnini. Moran & Ellis. Ibid. ABA study, "Funding the Justice System: A Call to Action," A report by the American Bar Association, August 1992, 3. L. Biene, "No Saving in Lives or Money with Death Penalty," The New York Time, 7 August 1988. Von Drehle. Magagnini. C. Hoppe. Von Drehle. Ibid. J. Painter, "Death Penalty Seen as Too Costly for Oregon's Pocketbook," The Oregonian, 27 July 1997.

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