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Death Penalty Essay

1816 words - 8 pages

Is it justifiable and effective to murder a murderer? The death penalty is one form of severe punishment in the United States. People who have performed heinous crimes can be sentenced to capital punishment in some states; however, this type of chastisement is rarely performed. Capital punishment has more negative aspects than it has positive. The states that have legalized the death penalty face the excessive costs associated with it, which can be damaging to their economies. In addition, there is always the chance of executing an innocent person when carrying out capital punishment. Furthermore, life without parole is a more fitting and more effective type of punishment. The death penalty ...view middle of the document...

Twenty-five states with the death penalty did not execute anyone in 2013, meaning that significant funds were wasted on death penalty trials themselves (“Facts,” Internet). All in all, the death penalty’s high cost and low rate of effectiveness proves that it is a waste of funding.
Another reason the death penalty is ineffective is that the trial process is extremely expensive. Death penalty trials flush out local money resources (Dieter, Internet). This creates many issues for communities that cannot afford to exhaust their funding on unbeneficial tasks. They might have to cut funding to necessary programs to help recover from the cost of death penalty trials. Capital trials cost around $116,700 more than regular trials (Dieter, Internet). This shows the extremity of the wastefulness of the death penalty system. In addition to the augmented cost of the system, it is mandatory that two trials take place for all capital cases. Dual trials are necessary for capital punishment cases because the first trial addresses whether or not the defendant is guilty and the second trial determines if the person will receive the death penalty punishment (“High Cost,” Internet). This dual trial process creates many issues besides the wasted money. Capital punishment is more expensive than life without parole because it is constitutionally required that a long process be taken to try to ensure no innocent person is executed (“High Cost,” Internet). Although it is impossible to ensure that an innocent person will not be executed by capital punishment, the long process produces problems. Since most trials result in life sentences, not the death penalty, money will spent on the dual trial and the imprisonment (Dieter, Internet). In situations like the one mentioned above, twice the money is being spent on one case. To conclude, capital punishment trials are a major source of misused funds.
One example of a state that has wasted precious money resources on the death penalty punishment is California. The outrageous cost of capital punishment has a statewide effect; even those who are not directly involved in the process of the sentencing are affected by the price of the death penalty. In California, the death penalty has cost $4 billion since 1978 (“Financial,” Internet). Those $4 billion dollars should have been put into a more productive project. If the government still wanted to use that money for public safety, there are more efficient and beneficial enterprises. In fact, the annual cost of the death penalty system in California is $137 million per year (“High Cost,” Internet). This large sum of money is being spent on a punishment system that is not consistently used. “California taxpayers pay $90,000 more per death penalty row prisoner each year than on prisoners in regular confinement” (“High Cost,” Internet). That staggering statistic proves that the death penalty not only causes California’s government to suffer financially, its people also suffer. The...

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