The case of William Horton offers a fitting introduction to the subject of America's need for capital punishment. Horton was a violent habitual criminal, sentenced in 1988 to a Massachusetts prison "to life with no possibility of parole" for savagely slaying an innocent teenage boy. After only ten years in prison he was transferred to a minimum-security facility. There he became eligible for daily work release, as well as unescorted weekend furloughs from prison. Following the example of other hardended inmates over the years, Horton decided not to return from work. Instead, months later, he viciously tortured and raped a Maryland couple for twelve hours (Bidinotto 5). As this case illustrates, capital punishment is essential to maintain social order in the United States. It is necessary to keep society safe, deter crime, preserve ethical values, uphold the Constitution, and ease the taxpayer's burden.
A country and culture as advanced as the United States keeps sentencing repeat violent crime offenders to "life imprisonment without parole," when it would be so much more efficient and better for society if the criminals were executed. The "life imprisonment without parole" conviction is frequently sentenced, but rarely enforced. This is caused by the extensive list of backlogs in the United States' penal system. These backlogs create a dangerous situation for society, becau se the convicts often slip through the judicial system after a very short prison term. Newsweek reports that in the United States there are over 1,000 correctional facilities housing over 75,000 death-row inmates. Of theese inmates, more than hal f have lived past their given execution date (Anger 25). This is the result of the numero...
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...s. If we do not start instituting capital punishment regularly, the consequences will be detrimental to society.
Bowers, William. Legal Homocide. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1984.
Castberg, Didrick and Victor Rosenblum. Cases on Constitutional Law. Illinois: The Dorsey Press, 1973.
Death Sentencing. ACLU Pamphlet #15. Pennsylvania: Nelson Thomas Publishers, 1994.
Gibbons, Don. Society, Crime, and Criminal Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc., 1987.
Goshgarian, Gary and Kathleen Krueger. Crossfire and Argument. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 1997.
Haines, Herbert. Against Capital Punishment, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Masur, Louis. Rites of Execution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Streib, Victor. A Capital Punishment Anthology. Cleveland: Anderson Publishing Co., 1993.
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