Alternatives to Capital Punishment
Topics: Prison, Penology, Murder, Life imprisonment / Pages: 6 (1355 words) / Published: Mar 29th, 2014

“One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . . five . . . turn. One . . . two . . . three . . . It’s not right to make a man live like this...” (Rideau). More than 3,000 death row inmates within the United States’ penal system will spend the remainder of their days in a similar manner; locked away from society in their six by nine cells, awaiting a gurney to take them on their final trip. The debate over capital punishment has long been discussed, with the only alternative being life imprisonment. According to TheSentecingProject.org, there are 159,000 inmates serving life sentences without the chance of parole. Is there an alternative way for these inmates to repay a portion of their debt back to society, instead of continuing to add to it? There is something more productive that can be done with society’s monsters rather than to crate them like animals, pay for their continued existence, and await their inevitable death. Here are my propositions that, with legislation, could serve as practical alternatives to capital punishment; life imprisonment, indentured servitude, human research, and a worldwide spectator sport.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the only current alternative available, life imprisonment. The biggest pro to this alternative is that, despite what you may think, it costs society much less than capital punishment simply because of the lengthy judicial process required for the conviction. Since this is the case, I believe the legislation surrounding the death penalty needs to be revised. ‘’The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.2 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years. These trends have resulted in prison overcrowding and state governments being overwhelmed by the burden of funding a rapidly expanding penal system, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not the most effective means of achieving public safety.’’ (TheSentecingProject.org).

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