Defending the Death Penalty

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Defending the Death Penalty
Death row: the place where prisoners live the remainder of their lives and wait for their deaths. Some will eventually recieve execution, while others will continue to appeal again and again. How would you feel if someone shot your innocent mother, and she ended up dying? Would you want the person responsible for her death to go about living his everyday life as if he was just like everyone else? The death penalty should remain a part of today’s society because it serves as justice for the victims, the money used to fund the convicted while in prison can go towards other things, and the prisoners would have no opportunity to commit other crimes. Using the death penalty has not just recently arisen in the world. It goes “as far back as the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon” (Death Penalty Information Center). The United States has gone back and forth between using the death penalty and outlawing the use of it. In 1976, the death penalty came back, where it had previously shown up as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1972. Since then, nearly one thousand citizens have experienced execution because of the death penalty. On the other hand, over one hundred people were released from death row after their offenses received further investigation. Appeal Courts and prosecutors realized that the evidence showed they were not guilty of the crime that they had been previously accused and convicted of in the first place (Death Penalty Information). The death penalty has brought many issues and sorrow to people. Most people seem torn between whether or not to support or oppose the death penalty. Some feel it is not moral or American to use.

If states enforce the death penalty, it can act as a threat to the citizens. If one fears the possibility of the death penalty, then they would think twice before committing the crime, thus saving money for the state because of the price of court costs, prison costs, the death penalty and cutting down on the crime rate. Lower crime rates also can raise revenues for states because the area is now a more desirable place to live in. States with less defined penalties will lead to more violent crimes, because the citizens will know that there is no possible way they can use the death penalty for the crimes they commit. Keep in mind that some guilty criminals have previously sat on death row for many years, and they eventually got released from prison. If the prisons kept the killers from death row in the same location as the other criminals, then they could save money by having to pay fewer guards and staff, using less space, and using less electricity and water. This would help a great amount, due to the fact that in California “[i]t costs approximately $90,000 more a year to house an inmate on death row, than in the general prison population or $57.5 million annually” (Los Angeles Times). State leaders continue to show concern with the money aspects of the death penalty, “[i]n 2007, time and money were the reasons New Jersey became the first state to ban executions since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976” (Sullivan). Although the death penalty shows up as the more expensive decision, money cut backs can help the justice system carry out their sentences when found guilty, instead of supporting them on death row for multiple years.

Not in all cases, but in many, prisoners repeatedly commit crimes. We do not want convicted criminals to believe they can repeatedly get out of their punishment. Criminals sometimes get let out early due to good behavior, but “[s]tatistics show that 30% of adult offenders released from state prisons often end up re-arrested within the first six months of their release” (The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Alabama). Convicted murders are less likely to be released; therefore the percentages show up as much less dependable. Ninety percent...
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