Persuasive Essay On The Death Penalty

1146 Words5 Pages
In recent discussion of capital punishment, one issue has been whether the death penalty should be abolished or not. On the one hand, some argue that the death penalty is a humane method of punishing brutal killers by granting them a quick and painless death. From this perspective, supporters claim the death penalty is an effective deterrent to violent crimes. On the other hand, opponents argue that the death penalty is an irreversible denial of human rights. In the words of Kenneth Jost, one of this view 's main proponents, “the irrevocable nature of the death penalty renders it an unsustainable and indefensible remedy in an imperfect justice system” (Jost "Death Penalty Debates" 984). According to this view the growing number of exonerations…show more content…
In the 2000s, data collected from before and after moratorium concluded that each execution prevented 18 murders, but researchers soon illustrated that changes in methodology resulted in different outcomes (Jost "Death Penalty Debates" 971). Yale law professor John Donohoe and economist Justin Wolfers of University of Pennsylvania Wharton School claim, “The view that the death penalty deters is still the product of belief, not evidence” (qtd. in Jost "Death Penalty Debates" 971). Supporters claim that the death penalty deters crime by causing potential criminals to think twice, but it is difficult to study whether criminals weigh the potential consequences for their crime before committing it; therefore, advocates tend to side with the view that supports their position. Joanna Shepherd, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Law, claims that deterrent rates are inconclusive because “the effect of executions appears to vary from state to state” (qtd. in Jost “Rethinking the Death Penalty” 796). This means that executions tend to be associated with higher homicide rates in some states while others show no effect. Ultimately, researchers have illustrated many different views and deterrence studies have shown no credible evidence that the death penalty deters…show more content…
California Commission estimated the death penalty “added $51 million annually to the cost of appeals and federal habeas corpus procedures” (Jost "Death Penalty Debates" 972). Post trial procedures raise the cost and appellate review is time consuming which adds to the cost. Appellate review is automatically given to anybody sentenced to death and is not always mandatory. It is time consuming because the appeal is made to the state’s highest court as well as the federal court or the last stage known as federal habeas corpus ("Capital Punishment Should Be Abolished"). The cost within a state is drastically reduced by substituting life without parole for capital offenses as the maximum punishment. Law Professor Cornell Blume claims, “We spend a lot of money to execute a very small number of people when we could take that money, spend it elsewhere and make society a safer place” (qtd. in Jost "Death Penalty Debates" 972). The money saved by cutting cost from not administering executions could be used in programs that help community policing and new technologies that target areas with high crime
Open Document