Is the death penalty just in serving justice?
The death penalty is too crude to be used and should be abandoned. The deliberate taking of someone’s life is a permanent punishment to the individual and should cease to be accepted in the United States.
The death penalty in America is only used when prompted with the most heinous crimes. The US federal government lists 41 capital offenses that are punishable by death. Capital offenses that include crimes like treason and espionage. 20 states have since abolished the death penalty. Popular support for this punishment is declining rapidly, even the frequency in which individuals are given this sentence is dramatically decreasing. America should abolish the death penalty altogether. There is a great divide among political parties regarding the death penalty. As of 2016, the Democratic party believes that the death penalty is “cruel and unusual punishment” whereas the Republican party believes that the death penalty is “firmly settled” (DPIC).
The death penalty is not worth the trouble it causes to implement this punishment. The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty states, “numerous studies conducted in various states have concluded again and again that the death penalty is more expensive than alternative sentences”. It is suggested that converting all states death sentences to life imprisonment would save $170 million per year. The United States could use these saved endowments to fund more impactful government-funded programs. The public education system is an example of an institution that could benefit from this amount of revenue yearly, aiming to improve graduation rates.
This issue is not only detrimental to the United States prison budget but is also traumatic to the families of the individuals punished. It goes without saying that the person to commit such heinous crimes deserve to be punished in some way, but the strain the death penalty puts on their family is uncalled for. Each individual who is put on death row usually has an extensive amount of others connected to them. In a Florida Coastal Law Review Paper, Cynthia F. Adcock states, as of 2010, the almost seven thousand individuals who landed on America’s death rows since 1977 translates into tens of thousands of persons who potentially suffered collateral trauma from an execution (Adcock 293). This web of people connected to the individual put to death can be extensive. Subjecting all of these individuals and families to this emotional trauma is unacceptable as a nation.
The death penalty in America, as stated before, is too crude to be used and should be abandoned. It is a waste of limited government resources and lack of use should be precedent enough to have it abolished. The emotional trauma surrounding the victims is unheard of. Thousands of individuals having their lives so greatly impacted in such a negative way. These reasons and more, are reason enough to have the death penalty abolished.
Adcock, Cynthia F. THE COLLATERAL ANTI-THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF THE DEATH
PENALTY. 2010, www.fcsl.edu/sites/fcsl.edu/files/Adcock.pdf.
“Cost.” About the Death Penalty | National Coalition To, www.ncadp.org/pages/cost.
“Political Party Platforms and The Death Penalty.” Millions Misspent: What Politicians Don’t
Say About the High Costs of the Death Penalty | Death Penalty Information Center, deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/6493.
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