Today we will dig into the topic of whether or not we should use the Death Penalty to punish criminals. Capital Punishment can do a lot towards deterring future crimes, but it also not a finished product. I am going to show the positives and negatives of the Death Penalty and you can decide what side you’re on. The Bible speaks on the idea of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” You could make the case that the Death Penalty abides by this rule. Now, retaliation can sometimes be a bad method that shows poor character, but I do believe that there is good that comes from using the weight of capital punishment. There is the risk that many wouldn‘t want criminals to have a chance at parole, which would put them back on the streets, allowing them to create more problems with society. As Joe Messerli, expert analyst on the Death Penalty says, (Q)“It's time we put the emphasis of our criminal justice system back on protecting the victim rather than the accused. (Balanced Politics).” You can’t go out and do whatever you want and expect no one to mind. We would live in a world of chaos if that was the case. If you took someone else’s life, then you didn’t give them a chance to live, so should there be any remorse when it comes time for someone else to decide your chance of existence? You chose the outcome of someone else, so someone else can choose yours.
First, the question we all have is: How much does the possibility of losing one’s life deter a criminal to commit a crime worthy of capital punishment? The Death Penalty has had a positive effect on deterring criminals. (P) Since executing 98 citizens in America in 1999, we have steadily decreased the number to 37 in 2008 (Bureau of Justice Statistics). Apparently the fear of death isn’t in the minds of criminals as they commit these acts or maybe the following explains it for us; (Q) “Most people have a natural fear of death- it’s a trait man have to think about what will happen before we act. If we don’t think about it consciously, we will think about it unconsciously. Think- if every murderer who killed someone died instantly, the homicide rate would be very low because no one likes to die. The death penalty is important because it could save the lives of thousands of potential victims who are at stake (Bedau, H., 1982).”
Next, especially with the economy the way it is lately, we must find out which method is more financially efficient. Results show that (Q) “using conservative rough projections, the Commission estimates the annual costs of the present (death penalty) system to be $137 million per year. (Death Penalty Information Center)” Now, compare this to (Q) “the cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year. (Death Penalty Information Center)” The reason for this is because not only do states have to pay for the lethal injections, but because the cases take so many years to sort out, by the time they actually end up taking the criminals life, he/she has already served nearly a lifetime sentence. Although it’s cheaper, it’s still risky to
give a criminal the chance to get out and take someone
else’s life. As we stated in the argument of deterrence; we should speed up the trial time. This would allow states to pay for less time for criminals on Death Row. Life has no price tag, so we shouldn’t cut corners if it means risking others’ lives.
Now, many are worried over the possibility of innocent people being terminated. I believe that this used to be a reasonable concern with the Death Penalty, but now with the emergence of D.N.A., our concerns should cease. Here’s a case where D.N.A. let a man go free from Death Row: (Q) “Jeffrey Mark Deskovic, 33, spent nearly half his life in a New York prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. DNA testing cleared Deskovic and he...