To choose between life in prison or death should be an easy decision for a court judging a murderer of many, however this is not the case. Although simple at a first glance, there are many outlying factors that can influence one’s decision between life and death. When someone is sentenced to the death penalty a large amount of taxpayer’s money is used to pay for the execution. According to a study at Seattle University, “Washington has carried out five executions since reinstatement, implying a cost of $24 million per execution.” ( www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-deathpenalty, in the Washington section ) This amount of money used to fund an execution can be lessened by giving a convict life in prison. Those sentenced to life in prison with no parole are given the worst living conditions with no chance of seeing the outside world beyond the prison walls due to them being labeled as dead men …show more content…
Family and friends of the victims may have to deal with the loss of a loved one and would want a sense of justice to be enforced. The end decision can give the family members some relief as well as a yearning for the criminal to suffer. Each sentence can bring the families peace of mind, however they each serve different roles in doing so. One family may want the criminal to experience a similar death that their loved one had received. The death penalty would fit this situation best since the family can watch as the criminal is executed if they choose to do so. There is then the situation where the family wants the criminal to suffer for the rest of their life. The perfect sentence for this is life in jail since the criminal will be stuck surrounded by maximum security for the rest of their life. Knowing that the criminal will be unale to cause harm to anyone else as well making sure they will suffer in prison will provide these families with the justice they feel is
The death penalty is much more expensive than life without parole because the Constitution requires a long and complex judicial process for capital cases. If the death penalty was replaced with a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole, which costs millions less and also ensures that the public is protected while eliminating the risk of an mistake, the money saved could be spent on programs that actually improve the communities in which we live. Scientific studies have consistently failed to demonstrate that executions deter people from committing crime anymore than long prison sentences. Moreover, states without the death penalty have much lower murder rates. The South accounts for 80% of US executions and has the highest regional murder rate (Death Penalty
Notwithstanding issues of morality, the death penalty process of California is financially inefficient and ineffective. At the current rate of executions, “it would take 1,600 years to execute everybody on death row.” [The Death of the American Death Penalty, 122] The average delay in implementing a death sentence calculates out to be 25 years, at an added cost of $90,000 per year over normal incarceration. [Guy, 2] This is a “premium that currently totals more than $60 million a year” [Guy, 2]. When you take the added costs of death row incarceration and total them up with the additional costs of prosecution and the handling of the many legal appeals death row inmates are entitled to, the unnecessary amount of spending is significant. We could eliminate “$126 million a year” in additional costs by simply sentencing death row inmates to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. [Guy, 2] Because of the afo...
Unlike popular belief, the cost of sentencing someone to death is actually more expensive than a life sentence in prison. In Washington, since the death penalty was reinstated 5 people have been put to death costing taxpayers roughly $120 million, that's roughly $24 million per case (Seattle University, 2015). A reason that people advocate strongly for the death penalty is because they believe that they should not have to pay for the costs to keep criminals fed, sheltered and imprisoned. In fact, 56% of Canadians surveyed believed that the one time cost of a lethal injection is cheaper and will allow their money to go towards something more advantageous like healthcare or education (Angus Reid). This is actually quite different from the truth, in fact is estimated that it costs $740 000 on average to put someone in prison for life. It is also estimated that it costs roughly $1.26 million to sentence someone to death (Seattle University, 2015). (There seems to be a discrepancy between how much a single case costs and how much Washington spent since the death penalty has been reinstated, but I could not find evidence to why that is). Among the reasons why the death penalty is so expensive is the fact that the time in courts is quite lengthy. Jury trials averaged 40.13 days in cases where the death penalty was being sought, but only 16.79 days
The death penalty is a fair criminal punishment but too many people it is not lawful or right. The United States spends on average 39 million dollars a year on prisoners. One reason for this is the cost of the punishment. In Indiana the average capital case resulting in the death penalty is over $449,987 while the average cost for life without parole is $42,658. This is resulting in a 38 percent greater total cost of life without parole. Age is a tremendous factor in determining the death penalty, if the person is under 18 the death penalty is forbidden in all states. (“Death
Upon examination, one finds capital punishment to be economically weak and deficient. A common misconception of the death penalty is that the cost to execute a convicted criminal is cheaper than to place a convict in prison for life without parole. Due to the United States judicial system, the process of appeals, which is inevitable with cases involving death as the sentence, incurs an extreme cost and is very time consuming. The cost of a capital trial and execution can be two to six times greater than the amount of money needed to house and feed a prisoner for life. "Studies show incarceration costs roughly $20,000 per inmate per year ($800,000 if a person lives 40 years in prison). Research also shows a death-penalty ease costs roughly $2 million per execution," (Kaplan 2). Capital punishment is extremely expensive and depletes state governments of money that could be used for a wide range of programs that are beneficial. As Belolyn Wiliams-Harold, an author for the journal Black Enterprise, writes that county governments are typically responsible for the costs of prosecution and the costs of the criminal trial, including attorney's fees, and salaries for the members of the courtroom. All this money is spent at the expense of the corrections department and crime prevention programs, which are already is strapped for cash (Williams-Harlod 1). These "financial constraints," such as capital punishment, do not promote a healthy, commercial society, but actually cost and harm the public.
The United States should dispose of the death penalty due to the astronomical price it costs taxpayers to execute a prisoner. It is sometimes suggested that abolishing capital punishment is unfair to the taxpayer, as though life imprisonment were obviously more expensive than executions. If one takes into account all of the relevant costs, the reverse is true. The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life imprisonment. A murderer trial normally takes much longer when the death penalty is at issue than when it is not. Litigation costs- including the time of the judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and court reporters are all borne by the taxpayer. Florida, with one of the nations largest death rows, is a ...
One of the major problems many have with capital punishment is the cost. Death penalty trials are very complicated with many important parts, and as a result the death penalty is extremely expensive. Studies have shown that a “death-penalty trial costs $1 million more than one in which prosecutors seek life without parole (Barnes 1 of 2).” Duke University studied North Carolina’s death penalty and found that the state spent more, $2.1 million dollars more, on a death penalty case than a case seeking a life sentence (Barnes 1 of 2). Between 1995 and 2004, New York spent over $170 million dollars without executing a single prisoner (Costs 3 of 5). Death row prisoners are deemed dangerous to society and other prisoners, and so they are classified as maximum custody. This means that they are kept in a cell by themselves. Keeping prisoners on death row costs $90,000 more per year than regular confinement due to single cell housing and the extra guards that are needed in those prisons (Barnes 2 of 2). Security for the death row inmates is greatly increased which adds about 100,000 dollars to the cost of incarcerating each death row prisoner (Williams 1 of 2). California’s 714 capital prisoners cost $184 million more per year than those sentenced to life without parole. Capital crime cases have many aspects which increases the cost. Qualified lawyers are needed to work on these cases, and due to the limited amount of capable attorneys, the prisoners are forced to wait to have an attorney assigned to their case (Williams 2 of 2). These special state appointed attorneys cost the state up to $300,000 to represent each death row inmate on appeal (Williams 1 of 2). The long wait drives up the cost of the case along with the increase of time ...
It is sometimes suggested that abolishing capital punishment is unfair to the taxpayer, on the assumption that life imprisonment is more expensive than execution. If one takes into account all the relevant costs, however, just the reverse is true. "The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life imprisonment."56 A murder trial normally takes much longer when the death penalty is at issue than when it is not. Litigation costs -- including the time of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and court reporters, and the high costs of briefs -- are mostly borne by the taxpayer. A 1982 study showed that were the death penalty to be reintroduced in New York, the cost of the capital trial alone would be more than double the cost of a life term in prison.57
Which punishment is crueler, life in prison or the death penalty? This is an issue that many politicians and the average individual debate regularly. The death penalty is the more controversial of the two because the end result is the death of an individual; to many, no one deserves that even when considering their crimes, but to others those individuals got what they “deserved”. Robert Glen Jones Jr., a Caucasian male at the age of 43, was executed about a month ago on October 23, 2013 after being convicted on six counts of first–degree murder, which resulted in the death of seven individuals. Jones is one of 36 inmates in Arizona to have been executed sine 1992, but also another interesting piece to the provocative death penalty subject (Kiefer).
Deborah Hastings of The Associated Press wrote “Turns out, it is cheaper to imprison killers for life than to execute them, according to series of recent surveys.” (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-07-exepensive-to-execute_N.htm). In an article Richard C. Dieter, Esq. Executive Director said “The high price of the death penalty is often most keenly felt in those counties responsible for both the prosecution and defense of capital defendants. A single trial can mean near bankruptcy, tax increases, and the laying off of vital personnel. Trials costing a small county $100,000 from unbudgeted funds are common and some officials have even gone to jail in resisting payment.”(http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/millions-misspent 19940). Capital punishment doesn’t fix any problems, all it does is cost the government more money. If the death penalty was abolished completely our government would save more money just by sentencing life in prison without
From there I will (or could) go in two directions. First, I will apply these monetary findings to the individual cases from the documentary. Since this film is already a comparison of life sentences vs. the death penalty, it will provide a natural transition into other comparisons such as cost in both cases. Additionally, I will look at the number of incarcerated persons who enter our system annually. This will provide a nice contrast to my last point, because it will enable the reader to see more of a macro monetary effect rather than just two individuals’ cases. As a part of my argument I will also be bringing up how our current system is broken in the sense that it does nothing to actively help and correct the behaviors of those imprisoned. I can see how people might reason through the idea of paying for those to remain imprisoned if there were some corrective actions in place. However, seeing as the quality of life for most with life sentences is rather pointless or depressing, I that train of thought and reasoning will be disproved and lost. Michael J. Perry, an individual serving a life sentence, said it best in the film “Into the Abyss,” “I just feel like I’ve been beaten
"Death row is a nightmare to serial killers and ax murderers. For an innocent man, it 's a life of mental torture that the human spirit is not equipped to survive." A quote by John Grisham that perfectly depicts the conflict associated with capital punishment. Ask anyone what their opinion is regarding the death sentence and you will surely be bombarded with passionate beliefs and convictions on both sides of the debate. What exactly are the pros and cons that come with condemning criminals to die? I will examine deterrence, the costs associated with life in prison versus death row, and how often the wrongly convicted are sentenced to death.
The death penalty has always been and continues to be a very controversial issue. People on both sides of the issue argue endlessly to gain further support for their movements. While opponents of capital punishment are quick to point out that the United States remains one of the few Western countries that continue to support the death penalty, Americans are also more likely to encounter violent crime than citizens of other countries (Brownlee 31). Justice mandates that criminals receive what they deserve. The punishment must fit the crime. If a burglar deserves imprisonment, then a murderer deserves death (Winters 168). The death penalty is necessary and the only punishment suitable for those convicted of capital offenses. Seventy-five percent of Americans support the death penalty, according to Turner, because it provides a deterrent to some would-be murderers and it also provides for moral and legal justice (83). "Deterrence is a theory: It asks what the effects are of a punishment (does it reduce the crime rate?) and makes testable predictions (punishment reduces the crime rate compared to what it would be without the credible threat of punishment)", (Van Den Haag 29). The deterrent effect of any punishment depends on how quickly the punishment is applied (Workshop 16). Executions are so rare and delayed for so long in comparison th the number of capitol offenses committed that statistical correlations cannot be expected (Winters 104). The number of potential murders that are deterred by the threat of a death penalty may never be known, just as it may never be known how many lives are saved with it. However, it is known that the death penalty does definitely deter those who are executed. Life in prison without the possibility of parole is the alternative to execution presented by those that consider words to be equal to reality. Nothing prevents the people sentenced in this way from being paroled under later laws or later court rulings. Furthermore, nothing prevents them from escaping or killing again while in prison. After all, if they have already received the maximum sentence available, they have nothing to lose. For example, in 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court banished the death penalty. Like other states, Texas commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment. After being r...
A study by a New York State Defenders Association in 1982 showed, “The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life imprisonment. A murder trial normally takes much longer when the death penalty is at issue than when it is not. Litigation costs – including the time of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and court reporters, and the high costs of briefs – are mostly borne by the taxpayer. The extra costs of separate death row housing and additional security in court and elsewhere also add to the cost…. were the death penalty to be reintroduced in New York, the cost of the capital trial alone would be more than double the cost of a life term in prison. (“Capital
“The cost includes the investigation costs, cost of processing evidence, substantial lawyer fees, amount of trials, number of extensive appeals, substantial security costs and the incarceration cost.” Therefore, life imprisonment should be used because it is cheaper and a worse form of punishment. Life in prison is a worse punshinment because the prisoners guilt and memories will haunt them until they die in prison. The death penalty would only put the prisoner out of his or her misery and they would never suffer from the crime they committed. Another disadvantage is the possibility of sentencing innocent men and women to death. There have been over 130 prisoners released from death row in American because they were proven