Death Penalty 10 Essay, Research Paper
The death penalty is needed in the country, do to the high crime rate and violence. It helps as a deterred, stopping people from committing crime, such as murder. With the death penalty it also brings closure to the victims family, because they are reassured that the person that committed the crime is going to pay for what they have done.
The death penalty can also help save the taxpayers money if the execution is done an a timely manner. But as everything in this world nothing is perfect, with the death penalty affected some innocent people will be sentence to death, some of their rights might be violated, and with all the hatred in the world you will find a lot of racism.
The death penalty is costly do to the appeals process. A murder trial will normally takes much longer when the death penalty is an issue. Litigation cost includes the time of the judges, prosecutors and public defenders, as well as court reports and the high cost of briefs, all which are paid by the taxpayers.
A 1982 study showed that when the death penalty was reintroduced in New York, the cost of the capital trial alone would more than double the cost of a life term in prison. (NY State Defenders Assn., Capital losses 1982) Florida with one of the nation largest death rows, has estimated that the true cost of each execution is approximately $3.2 million, or approximately six times the cost of life imprisonment sentence. Life without parole prisoners face a average of 30 to 40 years in prison while the annual cost of incarceration is $40,000 to $50,000 a year or more. One way to make the death penalty a better buy than imprisonment is to weaken due process and curtail appellate review, which are the defendants only protection against to grossest miscarriage of justice. What would save money is to do as the Jamaicans, limit the appeals process. After five years of appeals and guilty charges you must be executed.
With weakening due process it will also increase the deterrence and create fear of committing a crime. Some people probably, abstain from murder because they fear that if they committed murder they would be executed. Hundreds of thousands abstain from committing murder because they look at it with horror. A reason why they look at it with horror is that murderers are executed. The severity and finality of the death penalty is appropriate to the seriousness and the finality of murder. A 1985 study published by economist Stephen K. Layson at the University of North Carolina that showed every execution of a murderer on average 18 murders. The study also showed that raising the number of death sentences by one percent would prevent 105 murders. However only 38 percent of all murder cases result in a death sentence, and of those only 0.1 percent are actually executed. On occasion circumstances have led to meaningful statistical evaluations of the death penalties deterrent effect.
After the death penalty was reintroduced in 1976, Gary Gilmore faced a firing squad at the Utah State prison on January 17, 1977. There had been 55 murders in that state during 1976. During 1977 in the wake of the Gilmore execution there were 44 murders, and 20% decrease.
Texas which had the highest murder rate in Houston (Harris County) occurring in 1981 with 701 murders. Since Texas reinstated the death penalty in 1982. Harris County has executed more murderers than any other city or state in the union and has seen the greatest reduction in murder from 701 in 1981 down to 261 in 1996 a 63% reduction representing a 270% differential.
So as one can see capital punishment is capable of deterring murder if we allow it to, but our legal system is so slow and inefficient, criminals are able to stay several steps ahead of us and gain leeway through our leniency. Several reforms must be made in our justice system so the death penalty can cause a positive effect.
Now with the death penalty we can bring closure to the family of the victim.
When a murder occurs there is nothing anyone can do to fully repay such a devastating loss. But the state should do everything in its power to administer justice in such a circumstance.
The family would be at peace knowing that the criminal is going to be executed and can t cause pain to other families. Where as if they give him/ her life in prison, they may come up for parole every two years or even get out on parole. The family will have to relive the pain all over again every time its time for a parole hearing . The criminal should pay a penalty that is roughly equal to the loss incurred by the crime. In most cases of murder, where life is outlandishly cheated, the only punishment that can even approach that tremendous loss is execution.
Many activist believe that innocent people will be put to death. They believe these innocent people that are executed impose a burden on society. The innocent convict, and their families, were wrongly deprived of their lives. They believe that we have a choice that lets us reduce the wrongful action of wrongful conviction, we can choose incarceration over capital punishment. (Western Herald by Elisabeth Carnell)
Sometimes the innocent are put to death but by this happening it helps to make a better system. An execution of an innocent person is an accident no one intents to put the wrong person to death. Accidents happens in all walks of life, with cars, electricity and airplanes. No one hear activist crying out don t make cars, take them off of the roads or don t use electricity it might start a fire and that airplanes kill people don t fly. All of these accident, helped people to improve the products and problems. So sometimes innocent people are put to death, but most of the time the guilty are put to death. If we don t execute criminals for serious crimes we would have an even greater problem on our hands, such as hard core criminals killing innocent people trying to go on about their lives. So sometime innocent people will be put to death in trying to build a stable justice system. All human institutions are imperfect, innocent people are convicted of other crimes, but we should not throw out our entire criminal justice system.
Criminal rights activist claim that the death penalty is unconstitutional by quoting the 8th amendment which forbids cruel and unusual punishment. The death penalty violates the constitutional guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. It is applied randomly at best and discriminatorily at worst. It is imposed disproportionately upon those whose victims are white, on offenders who are people of color, and on those who are themselves poor and uneducated. (Hugo Adam Bedan The death penalty in America 1982) Death row as a semipermanent residence is cruel because convicts are denied the normal amenities of prison life. Thus, unless death row residents are integrated into the prison population the contining accumulation of convicts on death row should lead us to accelerate either the rate of executions or the rate of commutations. (Ernest Van Den Hagg 1986 Harvard Law Review)
You can only say its cruel punishment if it excesses the crime. When someone is executed it is done in a painless manner. You can t say this for their victims, many of them suffered some kind of pain or fear before their death. I believe that when they commit such a crime they are giving up all their human rights. Just as they had taken all the rights from their victims.
Death penalty has been employed almost exclusively in a few formerly slave holding states, and there it has been used almost only against killers of whites, not blacks, and never against white killers of blacks. This is the American system of capital punishment. It is the system not some idealized one, that must be defended in an national debate on the death penalty. (Jack Greenberg 1986 Harvard Law Review)
Most of those sentenced to die are poor or black, often both. Most of them did not have benefit of proper legal counsel before and during their trial. Statistics continue to show that the most reliable way to get sentenced to death is to be black and to kill white. Being white or killing a black is much less likely to lead to the death sentence. So it s pretty clear that there is a big dose of racism at work here.
The fact that the death penalty is optional makes it seem more prone to racial discrimination. It has been called racist since a prosecutor can seek a death sentence against a black person for a capital crime, but not a white person for the same offense. You never hear prisons called racist, because they are mandatory for many crimes. If the death penalty were the same way, you would be forced to concentrate only on the crime committed as it should be.
The death penalty has no special power to reduce crime or political violence. It has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishments. It has often been used disproportionately against the poor, against minorities, and against member of racial, ethnic and religious communities. As long as human justice remains scapegoating the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated.