Are we effectively punishing our most vile and baneful criminals? I believe some improvement to be necessary; the death penalty should be legalized in all states. The United States should utilize the capital punishment because it is economical and has deterring and incapacitating effects. While life with no parole sentencing is a valid alternative, the death penalty is in public favor, ruled as constitutional, is humane, and allows convicts many opportunities to appeal.
While many people will claim that too many inmates are executed, the national death row currently has a population of 3726 criminals, consisting of 3669 men and 57 women, and only 712 convicts have been executed since 1976. In 2000, 85 criminals were executed and 26 executed so far in 2001 (MSU online). According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report and Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 560,000 murders and 358 executions have taken place from 1967 to 1996.
In comparison to life sentencing, the death penalty is far more economical as well. Life without parole costs $5.53 million per prisoner while death penalty costs only $1.91 million per prisoner. While immediate costs of capital punishment make it seem a more expensive punishment, the drawn out costs of life sentences greatly exceed them; factors such as increasing prison, medical, and geriatric costs add to costs of life without parole cases (www.prodeathpenalty.com).
Innocent people have not been executed either. Criminals on death row have been convicted of brutal, heinous crimes and murders and are not “model citizens.” There has not been a case in which an inmate sentenced to death was found innocent postmortem. Inmates whose innocence is proven while imprisoned a...
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...y used in Idaho and Utah and involves five shooters armed with .30 caliber rifles, one shooter loaded with blanks (MSU online). Methods of execution are designed to be as effective and painless as possible.
Although life with no parole sentencing is an alternative to the death penalty, it is not as effective in keeping the innocent populous safe and is much more expensive. Capital punishment should be an available in all states because it deters crime, incapacitates criminals, and is a humane sentence with many chances to appeal.
Michigan State University Criminal Justice Resources deathpenalty.msu.edu
New American Magazine Vol.6, No. 17, Aug. 30, 1990
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