Thursday, November 28, 2019

Death Penalty Essays (1390 words) - Capital Punishment, Law

Death Penalty Virtually every major program designed to address the underlying causes of violence and to support the poor, vulnerable, powerless victims of crime is being cut even further to the bone? In this context, the proposition that the death penalty is a needed addition to our arsenal of weapons lacks credibility? Scott Harshbarge, Attorney General of Massachusetts Across the United States, police officers are losing their jobs, prisoners are obtaining parole early, courts are clogging with cases, and crime is on the rise. Over two-thirds of the states use capital punishment, which is a grave mistake by any measure of cost effectiveness. The government spends hundreds of millions of dollars in order to punish a few individuals each year. Yet, these actions do nothing to slow the rise in violent crimes. Moreover, the death penalty has been used to portray toughness on crime, but it actually leaves communities worse off in their fight against crime. At the same time that states are pouring money into the capital punishment black hole, lack of funds is also causing the criminal justice system to break down. Consequently, the public is left with fewer resources, which otherwise could benefit their entire community. Every working person in the United States pays taxes to fund the government. However, is the death penalty a cost-effective way to use the taxpayer's money? After evaluating the cost of the death penalty and the effects of paying that cost, one would agree that the death penalty is not a cost-effective way to fight crime and thus the government should abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is much more expensive than life imprisonment. In Texas, the death penalty cost taxpayers an average of $2.3 million each year, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years. Death penalty trials are also longer and more expensive than ordinary murder trials. A North Carolina study found that death penalty trials take 4 times longer and cost $200,000 more than non-death penalty trials. In California, capital punishment trials are six times more costly than other murder trials. A Kansas study also found that capital punishment trials cost an extraordinary amount more than ordinary murder trials. The irreversibility of the death sentence causes courts to heighten due processing through preparation and through the course of the trial. In the North Carolina study, twenty-four principal areas were identified as the causes of death penalty cases being longer and more expensive. Some of these areas are pre-tri al motions, expert witness investigation, jury selection, and the necessity for two trials. The two separate trials, one for guilt and the other for sentencing, are prime examples of the cost multiplier of pursuing the death penalty. The separate sentencing phase of the trial at times takes even longer than the guilt phase of the trial. Yet, if the death penalty was abolished, all these extra cost would be prevented. The trial itself could at times be avoided because defendants are much more likely to insist on a trial, when they are facing a possible death sentence. That is evident, as shown by the lack of guilty pleas in capital punishment cases. Self-preservation is a natural instinct. Therefore, even after conviction, defendants are constitutionally mandating appeals, which involves both prosecution and defense costs. Regardless of the outcome, these costs are the norm for every case where the death is sought. So in actuality, the true cost of the death penalty includes all the added expenses of the unsuccessful trials that sought the death penalty but failed to achieve the sentence of death.. And to make matters worse, if a defendant is convicted but not sentence to death, the state will still have to pay the price of life imprisonment, in addition to the increased trial expenses. In Florida, each execution costs the state $3.2 million. In California, it was reported that the state could save $90 millions a year if it abolished the death penalty. The New York Department of Correctional Services estimated that implementing the death penalty would cost the state about $118 million annually. The money that would be spent to implement the death penalty in New York for five

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