Essay, Research Paper: Death Penalty Advantages

Legal Issues

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As much as people complain about the laws in the United States are they strict
enough? Are there any penalties for murder that are enough to scare a person
away from the crime they are planning to commit? The answer in most cases is no,
this is why the death penalty should be used in all states and more often. The
death penalty is a cost effective deterrent for the USAís problem of violet
criminals. The death penalty has been part of justices systems since the
beginning of civilization. It was used as a way to punish criminals for crimes
of all types. The law was a lot stricter in history, you could be executed for
things such as stealing, being accused of being a witch and many other things.
The majority of the executions in history until around the 1830ís most
countries performed the executions in public. Now there are very few countries
that hold public executions but it is not completely unheard of. The methods of
execution were also much more cruel. Methods such as burning at the stake,
stoning, thrown to animals, thrown from a cliff among other things. If anything,
the methods used today are a walk in the park compared to methods used
throughout history. When some people think of the death penalty they think that
it is wrong for the government to take away this persons life. When you stop to
look at the Gulbin - 2 subject it is only fair and in the end it is in the best
interest of the country. Every year cold blooded killers are sentenced to life
in prison, which is not fair when they sentenced their victim to death. The
problem in the USA today is we are not hard enough on our violent criminals.
There are to many repeat offenders who could have been stopped the first time
the committed a crime. In 1993 criminals on parole committed 84,800 crimes, this
included 13,200 murders, 12,900 rapes and 49,500 robberies. Statistics like
these shows that some criminals are not effected by the penalties we give them.
Criminals have the upper hand in most cases. Around sixty two percent of violent
crimes result in death and even less result in jail time. The average person in
jail for murder spends just under three years before they are released. These
criminals only loose three years of their life while their victims lost all of
it. Something is very wrong with these statistics and something like the death
penalty should be brought into effect to put an end to it. The death penalty has
the potential to be a very effective deterrent. If the death penalty was
enforced on a regular basis and at a swifter pace it would have criminals scared
stiff. One way to look at it is, how many people would commit a murder if as
soon as their victim died they would die. If this were the case not many people
would murder unless they also wanted to die. The problem in the US is we take to
long to carry out the process. "Commute me or electrocute me, donít drag
it out" (Jesse Walter Bishop). The average inmate on death row is there for
nine years. This time costs the state massive amounts of money. In those nine
Gulbin - 3 years the state has to pay to keep the inmate in prison but in
addition they must pay for the countless appeals they inmate carries out. If
there was a limit and stricter grounds to place an appeal the death penalty
would be a cheap and permanent solution to killers. "The death penalty is a
warning, just like a lighthouse throwing light beams out to sea. We hear about
shipwrecks, but do not hear about the ships the lighthouse guides safley on
their way. We donít have proof of the number of ships it saves, but we do not
tear the light house down" (Hyam Barshay). This quote is showing that even
though we canít say how many murders capital punishment has prevented it is
still known to help prevent people from killing. Even with all the appeals and
jail time, capital punishment is cheaper than life with out parole. On average
it costs three million dollars for a life without parole inmate. This costs
comes from the thirty four thousand per year for the cell for fifty years and
seventy five thousand dollars for the trial. On the other hand it only costs
about one point eight million dollars for an inmate severing a death sentence.
This cost is from the sixty thousand a year for the cell for six years and one
point five million dollars for the trial. The death penalty is cheaper now than
life without parole and if there were less appeals the whole thing would be even
cheaper. One big question is what crimes warrant the death of the perpetrator.
The obvious one is murder. This goes with out question, anyone who takes
someoneís Gulbin - 4 life in a premeditated murder should have their life
taken from them as well. Other crimes that may warrant a death sentence is drug
dealers. This may seem very harsh and outlandish but it would be sure to stop
the problem. Some people see drug dealing as a simple and easy way to make big
money fast. They understand there is a risk involved but not a very big one.
They would be sure to think twice if they were going to die if they were caught.
In many countries in Asia they have very strict rules like this and most of
those countries are very safe to live in. One example of this is Singapore. They
have very strict rules, people canít even chew gum, but when you walk down the
streets they are all spotless and you donít have to worry about being mugged.
So while their rules may seem unfair, it makes the country a very nice place to
live in. Many people who oppose the death penalty argue that it is not ethical
to execute a murderer. When one stops to think about this, the statement does
not hold much water. This punishment seems to be the only fair punishment for
someone who took someoneís life for whatever reason. "an eye for an
eye", someone took a persons life and the same should happen to them. If
someone close to an abolitionist was murdered they would make a quick conversion
to a supporter because they would want the criminal dead. This is why most
abolitionist are people who grew up in a well off family and in a nice
neighborhood. They support the penalty because chances are, they have never been
affected by a murder or a violent crime. Capital punishment not only serves
Gulbin - 5 as retribution for the victim but also for the family of the victim.
It would not seem fair that someone took a way a loved ones life and they spent
a little time in jail, death is the only fair punishment. Abolitionists also say
that when the state executes someone, it is really just like murder. If it is
murder when the state executes a criminal, is it kidnapping when we put inmates
in a cell and they are held against their will? In both cases the answer is no.
There is a difference between premeditated murder and a criminals execution.
When a murderer kills someone, there is no trial, there was no crime committed,
there is no reason why that person should loose their life. An execution is not
wrong because this person has commitied a crime thatís punishment is death. A
big issue is are the methods we use to execute criminals today painless and
ethical? The answer is no, todayís methods are not always painless. All
methods can be botched and result in pain for the criminal. Is this fair to
them? Some would say that it is wrong to put them through that kind of pain, but
one must imagine the fear and pain that the victim was going through right
before the inmate killed them. So if it takes three times to electrocute someone
and there hair catches on fire, or the chemicals are not mixed right for the
injection and it is not painless or the noose is not tied right and it takes
five minutes for them to die, or when the pellets are dropped and they cough and
gag as they gasp for air, chances are it was not half as bad as what the victim
went through. Although the criminal Gulbin - 6 should not be offered a painless
death, there are methods that can be used that are completely painless. One such
method is asphyxiation by nitrogen. With nitrogen the inmate would not feel any
pain, a couple of minutes after the nitrogen is pumped into the room they would
go unconscious. Then they would die painlessly in the next couple of minutes.
Another plus to this method is that their organs could be donated to hospitals.
This method would save lives by taking a criminal off the streets and giving
organs to a dying person. There is a chance that an innocent person could be
convicted and executed by mistake. While this is a chance, it is not a very
probable thing to happen. Todayís legal system has may things to prevent this.
Trials for capital crimes have to phases. The first phase is only concerned with
the guilt of the accused. The second phase is devoted to the issue of the
sentence. Also with the advancements in technology with DNA and such, we are
able to prove most times with out a doubt if someone committed the crime. Out of
the eight thousand criminals that have been executed, it is thought that only
twenty-three of them may have been innocent. Out of these twenty-three cases
twelve had very little or no evidence to prove that the person was guilty. The
United States is the last major commercial country in the west that is still
using the death penalty. Some say that this shows that we should stop because
everyone else is, but this quote from Ernest Van den Hag makes a valid point,
"I canít give much weight to the argument suggested by Prof. Conrad
because many Gulbin - 7 countries have abolished the death penalty, we to should
abolish it. If many countries follow the Soviets and institute cruel
concentration camps, should we to follow? Should our national decisions follow
international fashion?" This country has a fairly large crime problem and
it is about time that it buckles down and takes action against it. This country
is being to easy on criminals and not being fair to the law abiding citizens.
The streets should be made safer for everyone. Police are on the streets trying
to make this a safer place to live, and they should not have to worry, that the
next person they pull over for speeding is going to pull out a gun and kill them
to try and avoid being arrested. People like that should not have a chance to
commit an atrocity like that more than once and others thinking about it should
have a reason to be scarred away by the fact they may loose there life it they
pull the trigger. So while there are still people that say it is a much better
solution to put criminals in jail for life, should research the subject deeper
and see all of the benefits of capital punishment and how it could better the
United States. The money that is saved from this should be used for important
things such as schools, the homeless, and people who need and deserve it. It
should not be used so a heartless murderer can stay alive in jail and possibly
kill again. When it comes down to it, there is not reason that the death penalty
should not be used and not used more often.
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