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The Controversy Over Capital Punishment Essay

1715 words - 7 pages

The Controversy Over Capital Punishment
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There have been many controversies in the history of the United States. Ranging from abortion to gun control, but capital punishment had been one of the most widely contested issues in recent decades. The questions of fact concerning capital punishment fall into three general areas: does capital punishment save money. Does capital punishment strikes fear into offenders, saving innocent lives by deterring would-be killers? And finally, the courts make mistakes; what does capital punishment mean to an innocent person wrongly accused? Therefore, I opposed capital punishment because it is not a deterrent to murder, it is expensive, and it is unfair.
Critics of capital punishment sometimes argue on utilitarian grounds that the expense involving executions is substantially greater than the cost of life imprisonment. The costs of appeals and legal counseling are the principal expenses. Thus, the extra financial burden of capital punishment contributes to a greater balance of unhappiness vs. happiness. There are three problems with this argument. First, such financial calculations typically do not take into account that much of the legal counseling for death row inmates is free, which does not cost the taxpayer. Second, even if this is a true description of the cost of capital punishment in the United States and other developed countries, it is not representative of the cost of criminal executions worldwide. Indeed, one might reasonably expect that in many developing countries executions are substantially cheaper than life imprisonment costs (Gottfried 3). Assuming that critics of capital punishment object to its practice in any country, this argument not only lacks universal application, but might in fact be used as an argument in favor of capital punishment in countries with less expensive appeals processes. Finally, even if executing criminals is more costly than life imprisonment, it is not immediately obvious that the extra expense either contributes to a greater balance of social unhappiness or even tips the balance towards unhappiness. Society may actually be pleased with, or at least content with, the value it is getting for its capital punishment dollar. Those who favor capital punishment say that why to keep murder in prison and feed him for the rest of his life from out taxpayers money. Study shows that putting a man for execution is far more expensive then keeping the man for life imprisonment. "Putting a man at execution is six time more expensive then keeping him for life imprisonment" (freedman 2).
There are substantial evidences that capital punishment does not deter crime. The state of Florida is the most executing state with the number the number of executions from year 1973 to 1995, are 870. But why are so many tourists murdered there? These are terrible crimes, committed in the states with the largest death row and the largest score...

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