The Death Penalty Debate

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The death penalty seems to be a very debatable subject. There are arguments and support for both sides of the debate, but which side is right? That is a tough question to ask. After reading the article in the textbook, two other articles, and looking at statistics, I seem to feel that the death penalty may not be the right answer.

The article in the textbook The Death Penalty in the United States and Worldwide was fairly informative. One of the points it brought up was the cost of life without parole vs the death penalty, and those costs were stated as life without parole costing 1.1 million dollars vs the death penalty costing 3 million dollars (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009 pg 176). This is a significant difference in price. The text states that a main factor in this cost is the cost of appeals that are awarded to those convicted and sentenced to death (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 176). With just this factor it would seem more logical to just house the prisoner for life, as it would eliminate the costs of appeals. Another good point brought up in the article was the fairness of those being prosecuted in death penalty cases, it states that a lot of defendants in these cases are poor and may not have the resources to have an appropriate defense (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 177). I could see this; if you cannot afford a good lawyer you may not get the best defense possible, and the text states that since the introduction of DNA 15 death row inmates were exonerated due to DNA evidence proving that they did not commit the crime (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009, pg 177). After reading these points I wanted to look at more information, as the text did state that the death penalty could serve as a deterrent for people to not commit viole...

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...ution is the right example. You don't solve violence by committing violence.” Justice Louis E. Brandeis (Bonner, Raymond and Fessenden, Ford, 2008). While the death penalty does serve as a way of punishing those who have committed homicide, it also seems to be a way of enacting revenge on the accused. There are cases that may seem that the punishment of death is warranted, but we must look at the statistic to see if this punishment would be a deterrent to prevent this type of crime from happening again.

Works Cited

Bonner, Raymond and Fessenden, Ford, ABSENCE OF EXECUTIONS: A special report.; States With No Death Penalty Share Lower Homicide Rates, 2000

Death Penalty Informantion Center, Murder Rates Nationally and By State, 2010

Schaefer,Richard T, Sociology a Brief Introduction, pgs 175-177, The Death Penalty in the United States and Worldwide, 2009
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