Since the year 1608, over 15,269 people have been executed in the United States and its predecessor colonies (Smykla, and Espy). With the multitude of persons executed, there is still little evidence proving the effectiveness of capital punishment when concerning future violent crime rates. The death penalty is also costly when compared to the cost of imprisoning a violent criminal for life. With such a definitive punishment and with its finality, there have also been a large number of persons executed who were in fact shown to be innocent at a later time. Although there is a lengthy history of the death penalty in the United States, there is an immense disparity in regards to those who support capital punishment and those who wish to abolish it, however, with the abundance of evidence in support of its abolishment, capital punishment should cease to exist in the United States until a time where it proves to be efficient and beneficial to society.
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
The state murdering people because of their crimes simply does not equate to justice. It is real easy to hear about how the government is doing this wrong or that, but the death penalty is abounded with so many injustices and faults that it’s an embarrassment to our entire due process of law. Supporters of capital punishment subscribe to religious and ethical points of view rather than facts, and when they do offer facts it’s always the same argument: “It’s a deterrent.” The death penalty is extreamly flawed, most notably it comes with a very high price tag to an already under-funded correctional institution in America; no stable argument has been installed to warrant it as a deterrent; and the moral decay it establishes creates among other things a feeling of revenge and spite within society.
For example, if a murderer is caught for doing a horrible crime like killing someone he is then sentences to death too. In my opinion, it makes no sense because you are executing someone for killing another person, I find it rather hypocritical. They are trying to teach us that killing is wrong yet there so solution to said problem is to kill. Another problem is that the government is not the most honest and trustworthy people because they too are human and therefore, can be easily swayed especially when it comes to money. In an article it stated that, a number of persons executed in the United States were later cleared by confession of those who had initially committed the crimes (qtd. in Meehan). There is also the problem of racism and racial bias. Our nation’s death rows have always held a disproportionately large population of African Americans. Studies show that “black offenders who kill white victims are at greater risks of a death sentences than others” (qtd. in Bedah). So given this information, when those under death sentence are examined more closely, it turns out that race is a decisive factor after
“No matter how vicious the crime, no matter how vile the criminal, some death penalty opponents feel certain that nobody can ever deserve to die -- even if that person burned children alive, massacred a dozen strangers in a movie theater, or bombed the Boston Marathon. Other opponents admit the worst of the worst of the worst do deserve to die. They just distrust the government ever to get it right.”(Blecker, Robert 1) What is capital punishment, but insight into human morals and our sense of justice. For this very reason capital punishment is a debated controversy to this day. The death penalty as we know it is flawed, however it is still a proper punishment for those who commit heinous crimes.
While many oppose the death penalty, there are others who support it. One could say that the death penalty is not cruel or unusual, it is simply just the most suitable punishment for the crime the criminal committed(Sharp 247). The death penalty also provides reassurance and protection to the innocent as executed killers will never kill again, while there is always a possibility that living ones will(Sharp 247). One study from Emory University, shows that with each execution results in eighteen fewer murders(Sharp 247). Also, a study from the University of Houston, saw that when the executions were put on a short-term suspension in Texas, another 90-150 murders had been committed during that time(Sharp 247). This just shows that capital punishment discourages murderers more than other forms of legal penalizing. Just because capital punishment is possibly unconstitutional, it may not be a good reason to abolish it from all fifty states in the United
Many believe that the death penalty is a deterrence, however many studies on deterrence and the death penalty do not support this idea, in fact the murder rates in states that do not have the death penalty is consistently lower than in the states with the death penalty. Studies have also shown that of the 16,503 homicides in 2003, only 144 were sentenced to death, and of the 3374 inmates on death row only 65 were executed. When criminals commit crimes such as murder, the threat of execution does not enter their minds, especially those who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In the en...
American history is replete with examples of brutality and foolishness that will forever blot the American conscience. Early in this century, Sacco and Vanzetti were railroaded for a murder of which they were almost certainly innocent. The trial was a farce, and the verdict was a more a result of bias against Italians than of the evidence. Their lives were forfeit. Later in the century, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for conspiracy to commit espionage. Despite questionable evidence and even more questionable conduct on the part of prosecuting attorneys and government agencies, they were convicted; the verdict was a statement of public hysteria and fear of Communism. They too met the executioner. Not yet ingrained in the annals of history, in the past months the state of Texas executed a man who even the state admitted had not pulled the trigger, but was only an accomplice. If the recent elections prove anything, it is that these examples of the state-sanctioned murders of innocents have done nothing to change the American mind. Many Republicans ran and won on a "law and order" platform; in New York, Governor George Pataki defeated former Governor Mario Cuomo largely on the basis of Cuomo's opposition to capital punishment. This article is an appeal to readers' morality, to their consciences. It does attempt to show that the death penalty is costly and impractical (though it is), or that it is unconstitutional (which it may well be). The article is an appeal for mercy.
... 32 murders deterred for each execution” (Fagan) and that for deterrence to be effective the executions resulting from death sentences need to be carried out at a significant enough frequency that the would-be murderers would be forced to say to themselves “if I committed this murder, I will be put to death without fail”. The problem with deterrence is the enormous length of time it takes to simply process the paperwork, let alone carry out the execution of a convicted inmate. In the worst case scenarios, it may even take up to 15 or 20 years to carry out the execution. Setting all this aside, the main argument for death penalties is directly contradicted by the information released by the ‘Death Penalty Information Center’ which reveals that the States which do not have a death penalty do, in fact, have lower murder rates and are able to maintain it consistently.
... execute should not be made lightly, and tests should be done to ensure the right person is being punished for the crime that was committed. Taking away the person’s life who is responsible for the death of another person cannot bring the victim back and does not solve anything. Various people all over the world believe that the death penalty should not be supported and that it should be abolished. Many reasons exist for the abolition of the death penalty to take place including cost issues, religious issues, whether or not it acts as a deterrent, executing innocents and the harshness of the execution. Some may say the people who committed the most heinous crimes deserve to have justice served to them. However, even murderers are humans and should be treated fairly and justly. All people, even the guilty have a right to live; regardless of the crimes they committed.