Socratic Dialogue - Capital Punishment
In May 1990 Jesse Tafero was convicted for the murders of two florida highway patrol officers and was executed by electric chair. This conviction was overturned in 1992 after a recreation of the crime scene revealed another person had committed the murders. In 1974 James Bain was convicted of breaking and entering, rape, and kidnapping and was sentenced to life in prison. This conviction was overturned in 2009 after he was found innocent through DNA evidence.
What follows is an analytical comparison between the two cases and an explanation as to why capital punishment should never be used.
What is the main similarity between the Tafero and Bain cases?
After Tafero and Bain were sentenced to their punishments, both were found innocent.
What is the main difference?
After Bain’s sentence both his conviction and punishment were withdrawn while only Tafero’s conviction could ever be taken back. No apologies could ever be given to him, he can not be compensated for his troubles, and he will forever pay the price for his court’s mistake.
How does this translate into your opinion concerning capital punishment?
I believe that due to the capital punishment's nature, its permanent effect, no convicted criminal should ever have to be put under that kind of a risk. A risk that is taken up by the imperfect judicial system of any government.
Is this the only problem with capital punishment?
No. Contrary to popular belief, in this day and age, the cost of the process of trial preparation, jury selection, frequent appeals, and the execution itself needed for capital punishment, meets or surpases the cost of a life sentence given to the same convicted criminal.
So is the life sentence the most logical alternative for capital punishment?
Does the life sentence have any advantages other than cost compared to capital punishment?
In my opinion, the life sentence is a more punishing penalty. When a criminal...
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