Capital Punishment

This essay has a total of 1154 words and 5 pages.

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment
Murder, a common occurrence in American society, is thought of as a horrible,
reprehensible atrocity. Why then, is it thought of differently when the state government
arranges and executes a human being, the very definition of premeditated murder? Capital
punishment has been reviewed and studied for many years, exposing several inequities and
weaknesses, showing the need for the death penalty to be abolished.

Upon examination, one finds capital punishment to be economically weak and deficient. A
common misconception of the death penalty is that the cost to execute a convicted criminal
is cheaper than to place a convict in prison for life without parole. Due to the United
States judicial system, the process of appeals, which is inevitable with cases involving
death as the sentence, incurs an extreme cost and is very time consuming. The cost of a
capital trial and execution can be two to six times greater than the amount of money
needed to house and feed a prisoner for life. "Studies show incarceration costs roughly
$20,000 per inmate per year ($800,000 if a person lives 40 years in prison). Research also
shows a death-penalty ease costs roughly $2 million per execution," (Kaplan 2). Capital
punishment is extremely expensive and depletes state governments of money that could be
used for a wide range of programs that are beneficial. As Belolyn Wiliams-Harold, an
author for the journal Black Enterprise, writes that county governments are typically
responsible for the costs of prosecution and the costs of the criminal trial, including
attorney's fees, and salaries for the members of the courtroom. All this money is spent at
the expense of the corrections department and crime prevention programs, which are already
is strapped for cash (Williams-Harlod 1). These "financial constraints," such as capital
punishment, do not promote a healthy, commercial society, but actually cost and harm the

As well as being economically unsound, the death penalty is socially biased. A class
system appears to be present in the United States of America this day in age, and the
lower classes seem to almost be discriminated against by the higher classes. This is also
true of capital punishment. Ed Bishop of the St. Louis Journalism Review , writes on how
these members of a lower class can not escape the death penalty. At the height of the
presidential campaign in 1992 Bill Clinton rushed back to Arkansas to sign the death
warrant for a man named Rickey Ray Rector. Despite severe brain damage from a botched
lobotomy in his youth, Rector was set to be executed. At the time of the murder and at the
time of his execution, Rickey Ray Rector was severely retarded (Bishop 2). "It took the
medical staff more than 50 minutes to find a suitable vein. Rector moaned throughout the
ordeal. Finally, he tried to help the staff trying to kil him by finding vein for them. He
eventually died - poor, retarded, confused, a nobody from rural Arkansas," (Bishop 2).
Because a man's brain did not function properly our society felt the need to exterminate
him. Perhaps, Darwinism is becoming a more popular theory to believe, only the strong
shall survive. This is now way to treat human beings, we need to bring these actions to a
halt and start acting in a civil manner.

Continues for 3 more pages >>