The Death Penalty Is Justified

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Justine Sabo Govt 2305 Teresa Sterling 15 October 2015 The Death Penalty Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing is wrong? Throughout life we are taught that violence is not the answer and murder is one of the worst crimes a person can commit, yet when the death penalty is enforced those teachings are contradicted. The death penalty, also referred to as capital punishment is execution by death for murder and other capital crimes. It began in early American when the first colonists came to the United States and carried over the British penal system with them. It was enforced in the thirteen colonies before the Declaration of Independence was established and is still carried out to this day (Part I). The first person to be put to death was Captain George Kendall who was hung for treason in 1608 and according to Deathpenalty.org, from the years 1608-2015 there have been 15,908 executed in the United States. (Part I, Executions by Year) Many of those executed are minorities and unable to afford adequate legal representation. The Death Penalty Information Center explains that since 1976 there have been 11 cases which report that those prosecuted were found to be innocent after the fact. That’s eleven innocent people that lost their lives due to the injustices of the legal system which is supposed to protect us. According to the innocence project there have been 333 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States and 20 of them served time on death row (DNA) The death penalty is also very costly for the taxpayers; in Texas each death penalty case costs them about $2.3 million. That’s around three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years (Execution... ... middle of paper ... ...ates below the national average (Deterrence). The death penalty has existed since the beginning of time and according to statistics, the threat of the death penalty has no bearing on whether a person decides to commit a capital crime. Murder is a cruel alternative for punishing a criminal, and sentencing someone to death doesn’t solve anything. Families will still cry for a loved one that is never coming home and the criminal will no longer have to live with the consequences of their actions. In order to become a functional, civilized society we need to do away with the death penalty completely. There are many more cons to the death penalty than there are pros. The millions of dollars taxpayers spend, the irreversible mistakes made and the insufficient evidence that it is a true crime deterrent are all that’s needed to show that this form of punishment isn’t working.

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