Death Penalty vs. Life in Prison
The death penalty continues to be a very controversial topic that is debated all over the United States. Also known as “Capital Punishment”, it is the punishment of execution that is administered to someone that has committed a capital crime. According to the “Death Penalty and Information Center” about 31 states in the U.S administer the death penalty when it is needed. Many people have their own beliefs and opinions on whether the death penalty should even exist altogether. The belief of some people is these certain individuals should have the right to live and spend the rest of their lives in prison and pay for the crime they commited. Others believe that the person that commited the horrific crime should have their life ended by lethal weapons, lethals injections, electrocution or other methods depending on the state. The states that do not have the law of the death penalty sentence life in prison for those that have committed a capital crime. This is more reasonable way of having someone to pay for their criminal offenses rather than have their death date predetermined
In New Jersey, the death penalty was abolished in 2007 when Governor Jon Corzine signed the bill that changed the death penalty to a sentence of life in prison without parole. The state of New Jersey is one of the 19 states in the U.S that does use the death penalty. Prior to the abolishment in 2007, New Jersey had not executed anyone since 1963 when Ralph Hudson was executed by an electric chair for stabbing his wife. According to the “Death Penalty Information Center”, Governor Corzine sentenced 8 inmates that were waiting to get executed to life sentence in prison without parole the night before the bill had passed.Jon Corzine stated, “I believe society first must determine if its endorsement of violence begets violence, and if violence undermines our commitment to the sanctity of life. To these questions, I answer yes” (Corzine 2007). He believed that the death penalty was a “state-endorsed killing” and that is was unconstitutional.
Studies have shown that the number of people that have been sentenced to life in prison is at an all time high. According to Ashley Nellis’ article called “Still Life: America’s Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences”, she states, “Nearly 162,000 people are serving a life sentence – one of every nine people in prison. An additional 44,311 individuals are serving “virtual life” sentences of 50 years or more”. For the states that do not have the death penalty law, the rate of life in prison sentencing as gone up tremendously. When it comes to terms of money, a death row case is $1.26 million as a case without the death penalty cost $740,000. Cases with death row come out to be very costly and maintaining the prisoner is about $90,000 more per year than a general prisoner. Every state that has the capital punishment law has their own specifics how much is spent on a death row case per year compared to a...