The death penalty, a topic that could be debated about for days. Should we replace the death penalty with a life-without-parole sentence? Well “many who are sentenced to death will never see the death chamber”. Or how about, when speaking of how expensive the death penalty is fox news commented “Every time a killer is sentenced to die, a school closes”. The death penalty has more cons than pros. Although people who support the death penalty may argue minor things such as the belief that murderers will get out and kill again. Those risks are little compared to what goes on to keep the death penalty in effect.
To start, the death penalty costs a lot more than life without parole. It costs California an extra 1 billion dollars every five years to keep a person on death row. This can add up very quickly and in a nation that is in need of money now more than ever, we could save millions and possibly billions by getting rid of the death penalty. Money that could be used to build bigger jails to house all of our prisoners and the money could also go towards education and societal benefiting programs. “Even if all post-conviction proceedings (appeals) were abolished, the death penalty would still be more expensive than alternative sentences”. The death penalty is expensive because of the many appeals a prisoner on Death Row is entitled to. The appeals during a death sentence are mandatory and sometimes result in the reversal of cases. This means that even after years of spending our citizens hard earned tax money to put a murderer to death, he can just as easily walk away and the money will have already been spent.
California’s death penalty alone is about 336 million dollars and just housing a death penalty prisoner costs taxpayers an additional 90,000 dollars per person, per year. It’s because these prisoners are not housed with other prisoners and are in need of special services throughout their sentence that these costs are so high.
Bibliography: Dow, David R. (2012) http://www.thenation.com/article/170852/life-without-parole-different-death-penalty#
Hess, Amanda (2011) http://www.good.is/posts/weighing-the-death-penalty-vs-life-without-parole/
Please join StudyMode to read the full document