Let us suppose that killing, as a form of punishment, is morally and universally accepted. Would it then be acceptable to issue this to some, while letting others avoid it? It is acceptable to our criminal justice system for it seems to be standard operating procedure. Many believe the death penalty based on the Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth concept. The death penalty is improper due to the price and time of executing someone, that it isn t a deterrent against violent crime, and how immoral and contradicting it is.
There are popular arguments in today s public to support the death penalty. Some say that if we kill a man sentenced to the death penalty, it costs less than to keep that inmate locked up for the rest of his life. Also, the public feels that if we show violent offenders that they will be killed if they kill another, it will make them think twice about killing. Finally, people feel if someone is convicted of murder, they should be sentenced to the death penalty. However, research and facts show these arguments are not well founded.
A popular argument says that we spend too much money to incarcerate prisoners. A study done in Florida shows the price tag on issuing a death penalty is 3.1 million dollars; as where the typical life sentence costs 1 million dollars (Walker 108). That is a 3100% difference in the price of executing someone compared to putting them in jail for life. Also, executions take up to fifteen years or longer to be carried out, which goes into the price as well (Walker 106). That difference in money could lower taxes or better help out other areas in the United States, rather than taking a person s life.
The next big argument is that the death penalty is a form of deterrence. The proposal is that knowing you will be executed if you choose to kill another will make you change your mind. Many studies have been done to attempt to prove this belief. However, all the evidence taken together makes it hard to be confident that capital punishment deters more than a long term prison sentence (Cavanagh 4). If a man is in a hostage situation and has already killed and knows he is going to be executed once he is captured, he is possibly going to kill as many people as he can, to go out in flying colors. Bryan Stevenson, the director of the Montgomery based Equal Justice Initiative, has stated, People are realizing that the more we resort to killing as a legitimate response to our frustration and anger with violence, the more violent our society becomes. We could execute all three thousand people on death row, and most people would not feel safer tomorrow (Frame 51). Killing violent offenders neither deters criminals or makes the public feel any safer.
We are contradicting ourselves when we kill people for the fact that they killed another. Who are we to decide whether or not we can take a person s life? From religion s view, the use of the death penalty is morally wrong and against people s human rights. Killing a person is irreversible, and that person can never be brought back. Sometimes capital punishment has taken the lives of innocent people. For example, in Britain an innocent man was hung for the murder of three women. After he was hung, another man came forth and admitted to the murder of the women (Tabak 80). The man that was hung can never be brought back and died a disrespectable way.
The death penalty doesn t work as a punishment due to the above information. The death penalty costs much more than simply imprisoning someone and isn t a deterrent against violent crime. The death penalty is immoral and contradicting because we are encouraging violence. The death penalty is not proper or the right way to help stop violent crimes from happening.