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The Death Penalty: Killing Taxpayer’s Wallets...Not Criminals

1849 words - 7 pages

The Britannica Encyclopedia declares that capital punishment is a criminal sentence in which one is sentenced to death, after being found guilty of a capital offense, by a court of law. The death penalty and capital punishment are synonymous in terms of the law (“Capital Punishment”). Capital offenses are often serious, major crimes that usually involve either the murder or harming of another individual. The death penalty process has become a long and arduous process that can last a decade or more. This process can entail innumerable appeals, public defenders stalling time and dozens of trials and retrials that cost taxpayers millions. Therefore, the American death penalty process for death row inmates should be revised and if it cannot be repaired for the better, it should be totally abolished.
Death row inmates cost a substantial amount of money via the appeals process, but they cost a decent amount just sitting in prison too. Death row inmates often need higher security so they cost more than other inmates. In a cost benefit analysis that was done by Alex Piquero in Tallahassee, Florida it was reported that the average inmate in jail costed $107.71 per day in 2010 in Broward County (4). Now times that by 365 and the product is $39,314.15. That is how much taxpayers are paying for one inmate to stay in prison per year. According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Annual Statistical Report, in North Carolina it was slightly lower in 2010 with an average daily cost per inmate being $74.34, which totals out to be $27,134.10 per year (10). Apparently in North Carolina, some inmates are offered four year bachelor degree and two year associate degree, and various other academic programs. They can earn these degrees from honorable universities such as Shaw University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and/or North Carolina Community Colleges (20). Thus, death row inmates are allowed to get a prestigious college degree, and that degree will never be used because the inmate is on death row! Furthermore, while poking around on North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety website, one will see “dental services” and “nursing services” available for inmates. Around half of the American public does not have health insurance, much less dental, so how do these death row inmates get to enjoy all these services? How is this program funded? While the cost of the health services for inmates is not listed on the site, the website did state what death row inmates are allowed to do. Death row inmates can get a job (it is fairly low wage), watch television in their day room from 7 am until 11 pm, exercise (an hour daily), or just lay around while getting three meals a day (North Carolina, Department of Public Safety). North Carolinians, and Americans, should push for this over-the-top leisurely funding to be taken from death row inmates, and inmates that are sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The funding for...

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