Should the United States continue to use the death penalty? Why or why not? Is there a crime for which life without the possibility of parole would be just as suitable as a punishment?
ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTION AND THEN REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 150 WORDS EACH)
I believe United States should not continue to use the death penalty. When it comes to the worst crimes life without parole is better for many reasons. I say this because I’m against the death penalty not because the pity for criminals but because it doesn’t reduce crime, costs taxpayers much more than life sentences. More importantly, I can just imagine how more emotionally draining it is for the families of victims than life in prison without parole and worst of all risk’s executions of innocent people.
Speaking of innocent people, the worst thing about it. The system can make tragic mistakes. I have seen in the news or read about it as of now, 159 wrongly convicted people on death row have been exonerated. As I write this now in 2020, we’ll never know for sure how many people have been executed for crimes they didn’t commit. As of matter of fact DNA evidence doesn’t even exist in the overwhelming majority of homicide cases. If so then, it’s often inappropriate, can’t guarantee we won’t execute innocent people.
However, by keeping killers off the streets for good. Its commonsense life without parole on the books in most states also prevents reoffending. This way by spending the rest of your life locked up knowing you’ll never be free is no picnic. I say this because there are two big advantages: For one innocent person serving life can be released from prison and the other life without parole costs less than the death penalty.
As you know costs is a big surprise to many people. It is obvious that the death penalty costs far more than life sentences if you know it or not. Not many people know why. The upfront part of the legal process as well as appeals are much more complex in the death penalty cases because the punishment sought is irreversible. I know and we know that innocent people were executed in the past in the US and elsewhere. It’s important to know that the largest costs come at the pre-trial and trial stages and they apply whether or not the defendant is convicted let alone sentenced to death.
It is also important to say about crime reduction (prevention): Homicide rates for the states that use the death penalty are consistently higher than for those that don’t. The most recent FBI data confirms this. As for people without a conscience fear of being caught is the best deterrent. Perhaps the death penalty is no more effective in deterring others than life sentences.
My point is who gets it. The death penalty magnifies social and economic inequalities. I hate to say it obvious it isn’t reserved for the worst crimes but for defendants with the worst lawyers. Also, it doesn’t apply to people with money. Basically, everyone sentenced to death had to rely on an overworked public defender. All be honest when was the last time you saw a wealthy person sentenced to death let alone executed?
Lastly, the victims like no other punishment it subjects families of murder victims to a process which makes healing even harder. Even families who have supported it in principle have testified to the prolonged and unavoidable damage that the death penalty process does to families like theirs and that life without parole is an appropriate alternative.
In conclusion, the death penalty comes down to revenge or retribution. The only plausible reasons to support it.
“The Case Against the Death Penalty.” American Civil Liberties Union, www.aclu.org/other/case-against-death-penalty.