The Ineffectiveness of Capital Punishment
For many years, capital punishment has been in use, but it is not been effective. Theodore Robert Bundy in 1978, slipped into a Tallahassee sorority house and bludgeoned two sleeping women to death, then killed a 12-year-old girl in Lake City. He was sentenced to three concurrent death sentences in 1979. Nine years later, Bundy is alive and well on the Death Row (Von Drehle 1A). A prisoner sentenced to death spends an average of 10 years, nationally, on death row waiting for their execution. More than 2,100 people live on America's death Rows. At the current execution rate, it would take eighty-two years to kill them all. Death Row is going to get bigger, the wait for execution is sure to get longer, and the cost is bound to get higher. At this rate, it seems that capital punishment will never become a reasonable or efficient means of controlling violent crime.
Charles Proffitt murdered Joel Medgebow by stabbing a bread knife into Joel's chest while he was sleeping, an act well determined to be premeditated in the case’s court sessions. Three years after the crime was committed, using Profitt vs. Florida as its test case, the US Supreme Court officially gave its support to Florida's death penalty. "Profitt could be dead in six months", said Attorney General Robert Shevin (von Drehle 1A). Today, 15 years after his heinous crime, Charles is still alive and well, and living off of the money paid by Florida state tax payers, as should be well noted. He is sewing uniforms at the Florida's state prison. The Supreme Court commuted his sentence last year to life in prison. The state of Florida spent five hundred thousand dollars in one decade to bring Proffitt to justice and half of that was spent to send Proffitt to the his death in the electric chair.
The death penalty is slow and weak. It actually ends up costing much more than life in prison without parole, and all of that cost coming from tax payers’ money. It has cost Florida at least fifty-seven million dollars since 1973 to achieve eighteen executions. There is an average cost of three million two hundred thousand dollars per execution (Miami Herald, July 10, 1988). Thirty-six inmates on the Florida's death row have been there more than 10 years. Florida's senior Death row resident, Howard Douglas, is in his 15th year awaiting the consummation of his sentence and his execution is nowhere in sight. Half of all death sentences are overturned on appeal, usually after several years of expensive lawsuits and rigorous legal proceedings. For every actual execution in America, courts sentence thirteen more people to die. Experts are coming to a conclusion that little or nothing can be done to fix the system if it continues to allow the legal processes concerning the death penalty continue as they are.
According to a study prepared for the Federal Judiciary...