Capital Punishment11




Capital Punishment

Each year more and more people are added to death row. The death penalty is currently

the harshest form of punishment enforced in the United States. The death penalty and its methods

have become a controversial issue as death row becomes very populated. Important aspects of

Capital Punishment are the methods of execution, costs, and the pros and cons. The death

penalty’s interesting history has made it what it is today.

People who are against the death penalty say that it is “immoral and no person should be

sentenced to death” (Winter 61). It has no place in a civilized society, and since the death penalty

cannot be racially biased it should be banished. But people who favor the death penalty say that

the criminals deserve it, and it is the only way for justice to be served.

Major costs have always been an important factor when debating capital punishment. The

death penalty is more expensive than life imprisonment. Lawyers are paid an extensive amount

of money to keep appealing to the courts. These appeals delay the date of procedure, costing

more money for taxpayers, but if there were a limit on the number of appeals allowed, the cost of

the death penalty would be greatly reduced. In the end, it would cost even less than life

imprisonment.

It is irreversible and can be inflicted upon people who are innocent and there is no chance

to make restitution to the victim and/or the victim’s family. Those people, who did commit

felonies, deserve to be executed, and if not for capital punishment then they would be let off

without paying fully for their crime. Most of the people executed are rightfully prosecuted, and it

is very unlikely to make that mistake.

There have been many problems concerning capital punishment. The process of

convicting a felon and sentencing them to death is very long. With the conviction and

sentencing always comes appeal by the convicted. “The constant appeals can lead to years in

court, which costs millions of dollars. This is where the problem with a convict not seeing the

death penalty as a punishment for their actions. Some people might say to give the murderer life

in prison. This is hardly a punishment at all. (McCuuen 28)” Today, due to overcrowding in

prisons, many prisoners do not serve their full sentence.

Another thing about today’s prisons is that the prisoners get free meals, clothes, bed,

electricity, air conditioning and heating, cable and many other luxuries that make it a

comfortable place to live if you get used to the people. The death penalty should be given the day

after conviction. Many people believe that criminals live in prison off other peoples hard earned

money. The cost keeping a person on death row and the many years, sometimes as many is

twenty-five is excessively high. With new methods of presenting evidence of D.N.A., the

process needs to be sped up to make the death penalty to be a more effective deterrent.

Deterrence is defined, as "the punishment should fit the crime."(Draper 72) Under this

concept, the individual committing the crime and society are prevented from committing this

action again. In the case of the death penalty, an individual kills another human and he is

"punished" for it by death. Punishment is supposed to be a temporary penalization for a wrongful

action. Death is far from temporary. One is to learn from one\'s mistakes. By imposing the death

penalty, the individual does not learn from their mistakes and neither does society.

Race continues to play an unacceptable and powerful role in capital punishment. In

state death penalty cases, the race of the victim is much more important than the prior criminal

record of the defender or the actual circumstances of crime. More than half of those inmates on

death row are people of color, although they represent only 20% of the people of the U.S

although they are about 6% of the U.S population, about 40% of those on death row are African

American (Cole 33).

The last problem that should be observed is that of innocence. At least twenty-three

people in America have been executed who did not commit the crime they were accused of

(McCuuen 50) . That is only those that