The Death Penalty Must Be Abolished

1407 words - 6 pages

The death penalty is legal in thirty-two states. I shall argue that capital punishment should be abolished in our country because it is never moral to kill a human being no matter what they have done, because it often costs more money to keep someone on death row than to keep someone in prison for life, because of the men and women who are wrongly accused of a crime they did not commit, and because death is the easy way out.
I believe that there is a standard when it comes to morality. The basics of that standard includes knowing that murder, rape, torture, treason, kidnapping, larceny, and perjury are wrong. What does it mean for something to be wrong? It means that the majority of human beings can argue that those crimes hurt rather than benefit individuals or a society as a whole. The death penalty can be implemented for any of the crimes listed above when a judge believes that the crime is serious enough. However, the death penalty uses one of the crimes itself; murder. If the government uses the death penalty as a punishment in order to show that murder is wrong, how can they murder and assume it is right? Opponents of this statement could argue that the government has a judicial system in order to uphold the moral code within our society, and that the death penalty honors human dignity by allowing the defendant to control his own destiny. However, I argue that the death penalty objectifies and takes away the humanity of the defendant.
The average time an inmate stays on death row between sentencing and execution rose between 1986 and 2006 from seven years to twelve years1. In 2013, the trend has only continued, making the period between trial and execution even longer. When the constitution was written, the time between sentencing and execution could be measured in days or weeks. Rather than capital punishment, I suggest that the nation use permanent imprisonment. The price tax payers pay for capital punishment exceeds how much they would pay for regular imprisonment. This is because of the direct fees of the death penalty through lethal injection and other methods, as well as all the fees of all the appeals, more pre-trial time, many experts, twice as many attorneys, and the two trials that must be conducted: one for guilt and one for punishment.2 With that said, in the simple state of California, the state could save $1 billion over five years by replacing the death penalty with permanent imprisonment. California taxpayers pay $90,000 more per death row prisoner each year than on prisoners in regular confinement. 3 If one state could save that much money, imagine how much money abolishing the death penalty could save our entire country.
I am certain that every reasonable person can argue that the killing of innocent people is wrong (relate back to definition of the word “wrong” in previous paragraph.) Because of a lack of evidence, a strong attorney, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it...

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