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Death Penalty or Capital Punishment

Essay by   •  July 17, 2011  •  Essay  •  563 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,354 Views

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The death penalty or "capital punishment" as others like to call it is a topic that has caused uneasy debates on whether if we should keep it or abolish it, but it has continued to grow. The side that supports the death penalty believes it prevents criminals from committing crimes again, sets examples for other criminals, and consoles the friends and family of the victim by killing the killer. The side that wishes to abolish the death penalty believes it degrades society to becoming murderers of murderers, playing god among society, and overall wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars.

The death penalty is an ineffective method that is costly and barbaric. It costs so much less to keep them locked up for life than to execute them for several million dollars. According to amnestyusa.org in Maryland death penalty cases cost 3 times more than non-death penalty cases, or $3 million for a single case, and In California the current system costs $137 million per year; it would cost $11.5 million for a system without the death penalty. Two states cost over $140 million in taxpayers' dollars so with the whole country paying for the death penalty would be an overwhelming amount society should not have to endure.

There have been cases where the person accused has been found innocent. Innocent blood should not be shed since the goal is justice for those wronged. Innocentproject.org points out some that have been falsely accused like Frank Lee Smith who died of cancer on Florida's death row after serving 14 years for a murder and rape he didn't commit. He was cleared by DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project 11 months after his death. People have been proven innocent and for some it becomes to late with their life already taken from them and even for those who are able to get out, years have been taken that they can never get back.

Those in power have been known to become corrupt as well. There was a case where the cop tortured the accused to confess to a crime they did not commit. How are methods as the death penalty supposed to be enforced when there are still problems among those enforcing it? Are we not playing "god with peoples' lives when decisions are made to end their lives? How are those in charge supposed to know that the person they are taking the life from is innocent? The answer is they don't.

The death penalty does keep criminals from committing crimes again, it does scare those with bad motives from committing crimes, and it does provide satisfaction to the victim's family and friends but should society stoop to becoming murders as well. Isn't killing murderers considered murder? Shouldn't society realize that they can walk away the better humans? Overall the death penalty has its good points, the mistakes that make those who knew the victim feel better but that's because they let their emotions get the better of them.

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