Capital Punishment

Topics: Murder, Capital punishment, Prison Pages: 5 (1549 words) Published: March 28, 2015
Capital punishment, also known as death penalty is a “legal enforced deprivation of life based on a court decision; a lawful infliction of the extreme penalty on a person convicted of a grave offense. The morality of this practice is the subject of public debate, in which philosophical and ethical arguments play an essential role” (Nikolaichev, B. O). The issue of capital punishment can be a sensitive issue to approach on the grounds that individuals view it differently. American citizens are split over death penalty as a form of punishment. “People support or oppose punishment for complex, often emotional reasons” (Pataki, George). There are several reasons given by the supporters and the opponents of capital punishment in support of their feelings and views towards this form of punishment.             Those who oppose the capital punishment argue about the economic impact of keeping an inmate on death row than to keep the offender on life sentence. The process of prosecuting and appealing a murder conviction is considered expensive. “Opponents of the death penalty say prosecutors may be seeking the death penalty less often because of the costs of a capital trial, sentencing and post-conviction proceedings” (Kenneth Jost, p 965). The main reason why capital punishment is expensive is due to the time consumed during the hearing proceedings compared to a typical hearing in any other case. However, supporters of capital punishment argue that the problem lies within our judicial system where a case is dragged for more than a decade, thereby wasting money on appeals. They claim that it would be much more effective if murders were executed shortly after conviction.             An opponent of capital punishment made a statement on California’s system, “Life without parole provides swift and certain justice while the death penalty will cost the state $1 billion over the next five years, not counting the waste of public time and money devoted to the global search for lethal injection drugs and related legal challenges” (Clermont, Woody, 328- 329). An inmate, Jonathan Reed “has been on death row since 1978, which means that he has been anticipating execution for most of his life” (Robert Perkinson, 38). Reed’s case is an example where the opponents of death penalty would claim that it is cheaper to just sentence a convict to life imprisonment than to keep wasting money fighting the death penalty for decades. Conversely, in a case like Reed’s, supporters of the death penalty argue that, once convicted, death should be imminent to the murderer. “The time that prisoners spend on death row before execution should also affect murder rates. Many prisoners on death row try to delay their executions as long as possible with multiple appeals and requests for stays.” (Shepherd, Joanna M, 292)This implies that executions of convicts who have stayed on death row for a short time have a strong deterring effect than those who stay on death row for a long time.             Proponents of capital punishment claim it as a useful tool in deterring crime. They believe that men fear death more than any other penalty, and that alone is strong evidence that death penalty is an effective tool in reducing the number of murders in our society. “Even though statistical demonstrations are not conclusive, and perhaps cannot be, capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else… And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard, or offenders about to be arrested and facing a life sentence” (Schonebaun). “Most people have a natural desire to live and will do everything in their power to keep themselves alive. The same desire holds true for most prisoners on death row, as evidenced by the number who spend years appealing their death sentences” (Parks, Peggy J). Advocates for capital punishment say it is a form...
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