Death Penalty Essay, Research Paper
1st Negative case
You have heard from the affirmative side and you may disagree or agree with some of their points, but the reality is that their plan will not and cannot succeed in today?s society. True, on paper the plan looks very good, but it will not work. Today?s present system, with the death penalty is much better off then without it.
The negative side, which my partner and I represent, feels that the death penalty should not be abolished and that today?s system, which allows states to choose if they want to impose the death penalty, should continue to be used. It is true that innocent people have been executed, but that number is miniscule compared to the amount of ?true? criminals that are rightfully executed. There is 28-step procedure necessary before any person can be given a death sentence. By having the process consist of numerous steps and involving many different people, human error is greatly reduced.
The death penalty is not racially or gender bias, much to the contrary of what the affirmative team believes. The fact is that men commit more crimes, so they will be convicted at a greater rate then women. The ratio of men to women on death row and executed is 68:1 or 3400:50 (NAACP Spring 1996). From 1976-1994, men committed 7 times as many murders as women or a 7:1 ratio (Sourcebook ?94). Therefore, it may be statically shown that men are, by a 70:1 ratio, more likely to be on death row then are women. Like gender bias, racial bias is nonexistent in the rulings involving the death penalty. Whites represent 56% of those executed, and blacks 38% (NAACP Summer of 1996). The other 6% are other minorities. The death penalty is not bias to any race, but by just looking at the numbers it may seem that it is. The total populations of each race will give the illusion of bias, but that is not true.
The affirmative side also argues that the cost of life in prison without parole is much cheaper then the cost of the death penalty, but this, like their charge of bias, is also untrue. The death penalty is millions cheaper then life without parole in the long run, but when our numbers are compared to the affirmative?s numbers no right or wrong conclusion can be reached. No one team can give impartial numbers since studies by both sides are bias.
There is no need for change because the current system is working just fine. Why fix something that is not broken. The death penalty deters crime. When someone is caught, charged, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death, that person?s execution would be what will serve as a deterrent to others from committing a major crime. Houston had the highest murder rate in 1981, with 701 murders. In 1982, Texas resumed executions. Since then Houston has executed more murderers than any other city or state, except Texas, and has seen the greatest reduction in murder. The city went from 701 murders to 216 murders in a 15-year span. This is a 63% reduction and represents how many people that were saved by the death penalty. The innocents, the-would-be victims were saved from a harsh death by the death penalty that supposedly did not work. An econometric study from 1994 indicated that each execution deters 8 or more murders. That is the goal of the death penalty, not to get revenge on the criminal, but to prevent more crimes of the same nature form occurring. Execution equals deterrent, which ultimately leads to prevention.
If a convicted murderer is put into prison for life without parole, that person is given another chance to kill again. What will happen if that person kills again in prison or even if they escape and kill again? According to the affirmative side, that person will be put back into prison and given another chance to kill. If the death penalty would have been imposed that person would have never had the second chance. Again the death penalty prevents.
The death penalty is not cruel and unusual because most states favor the lethal injection, which is not cruel in anyway. It is true that botched executions do occur, but like innocents that are executed, it is rare. What about the victim, who was killed, was it fair for them to die and suffer? If one is to say that the death penalty is cruel and unusual, then wouldn?t the killing of the victim also be considered cruel? The victim was murdered for no reason, while the murderer would be executed for no reason. If one is going to break the law, they must be prepared to face that same law down the road. Why should any citizen be allowed to wrong the laws of this great country and not have to face the same fate as their victim? By not imposing the death penalty it is an insult to society and the victim. By not administering the death penalty, the victim?s life has no value according to the affirmative team.
The death penalty needs minor repairs, which include being more consistent and lower the number of appeals allowed. Lowering appeals will result in a lower cost and shortening the time that the entire process takes. With these two repairs and a few other minor repairs, but still relying mostly on the present system, the death penalty will be able to be used to its fullest extent.
The affirmative team?s plan will result in extra spending in the areas of building more prisons in order to accommodate the overpopulation that will occur because no prisoners will be put to death, also extra security will be needed in order to keep the larger population in order. With overpopulation comes a greater need for rehab. More room and extra counselors would be needed in order to address everyone. This cost even more money. The real prisoners, who could be rehabilitated, will not have the chance because with more prisoners in rehab, they will not get the right amount of attention. The affirmative team?s plan lacks in many areas and as already pointed out will not work in the real world. We, the negative team, offer a plan that already has been proven, has limited negative aspects and innumerable benefits, and as a whole captures the ability to get the job done.