Essay, Research Paper: Death Penalty

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 USA’s 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 1830’s 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, don’t 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 don’t 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 can’t 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 someone’s 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 can’t even chew gum, but when you walk down the streets they are
all spotless and you don’t 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
someone’s 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 that’s punishment is death. A big issue is are
the methods we use to execute criminals today painless and ethical? The answer
is no, today’s 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.
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