Kill or Be Killed: the Death Penalty in America

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Kill and Be Killed: The Death Penalty in America

Kill and Be Killed: The Death Penalty in America

Gary Gilmore was executed on January 17, 1977 for going on a killing spree. He was shot in an old wooden chair by prison guards behind the state prison in Utah. Gilmore was the first person ever to be executed in the United States (Bole, W., 2009). The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is when someone is put to death for committing a heinous crime such as rape or murder. Think about that for a moment. A person is killed for killing someone else. Is killing the murderer not just as bad as the murderer killing their victim? It is like mothers everywhere used to say, “Two wrongs do not make a right”. The death penalty is wrong because it costs taxpayers way too much money, they could have the wrong guy, there is a risk of it being botched, and it just prolongs the suffering of the prisoner's family.

One reason the death penalty is wrong is because it is just too expensive. On August 3, 2006, Diane Grey Davis, an avid blogger, researched this topic and posted a blog on the Greensboropeerpressure website showing the cost of execution versus the cost of housing an inmate for life. It said that in California, the death penalty costs taxpayers $114 million per year beyond the costs of keeping convicts locked up for life. Also, in Indiana, the costs of the death penalty exceed the complete costs of life without parole sentences by 38%. In Texas, the death penalty costs on average $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years (Davis, 2006). Studies show that the cost of building a maximum-security prison cell is $63,000, which breaks down to about $5,000 a year in principal and interest. The annual cost to maintain an inmate in this cell is about $20,000 a year, which when combined, equal a total of $25,000 a year to hold an inmate in prison. An inmate serving a life...
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