Capital Punishment Essay: Death Penalty Is Good For The Economy

1320 words - 5 pages

The Death Penalty is Good for the Economy

 
Crimes are committed everyday. Many people are caught, while many are not. In the United States of America, when a person kills another person s/he is considered a murderer. The instant that murder takes place all rights should automatically be revoked. Murderers should not be allowed to walk the streets. Once a person has killed there is a good change that it could happen again. Convicted murderers should be given the death penalty and have it carried out at once. The death penalty is a controversial sentence. Not everyone feels the same way, but I believe that, in America, the death penalty for murderers is beneficial to the economy and it's a punishment that fits the crime.

Anti-death penalty supporters argue the death penalty is unconstitutional -- "Capital punishment is a barbaric remnant of an uncivilized society. It is immoral in principle, and unfair and discriminatory in practice. It assures the execution of some innocent people. As a remedy for crime, it has no purpose and no effect (American Civil Liberties Union National Office 2-16-95)."

In 1972, the Supreme Court in Furman v. Georgia ruled that the death penalty for murder was unconstitutional. They also argue that the death penalty costs too much to carry out (Academic American Encyclopedia "Capital Punishment").

Yet, in 1976, the Supreme Court in Gregg V. Georgia declared the death penalty for murder is constitutional (AAE "Capital Punishment"). The death penalty is also fair and serves it justice -- surveyed police chiefs and sheriffs choose the death penalty as a primary method to combat violent crime (Montgomery 2-25-95). It cost less in the long run as well.

How does the economy benefit from the death penalty? First of all, the American economy has enough problems as it is. The government is trying to cut spending left and right. State and Federal prisons are overcrowded. What do these prisons have to do with the American economy? American tax money is used to support hard core criminals like murderers, rapists, etc. that are serving their sentence.

At the end of 1992 State and Federal prisons reached a record high of 883,593 prisoners. This record means that approximately 1,143 prison bed spaces are needed per week due to overcrowding. To put this in an economic prospective, on the average each prisoner cost $22,000 per year, and the cost of new construction averages almost $54,000 per bed (AAE "Prison"). The 883,593 prisoners are costing the American taxpayers approximately $19.4 billion plus another $61.7 million for the construction of the 1,143 spaces needed. Why should we, the tax payers/the victims, support these criminals? It's true that not all the prisoners are hard core, but in 1992, 2,575 prisoners -- all murderers -- were sentenced to death (BJS 5-93). 31 (one female) of the 2,575 (36 female) murderers had been executed during 1992. This is the largest number of people executed for any...

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