Capital punishment: justice or outdated retribution?
June 19, 2013
Filed under Op-Ed
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Capital punishment; Used against the most heinous criminals, is considered to be the highest degree of retribution.
“The process for administering the death penalty in the United States is broken beyond repair, and it is time to choose a more effective and moral alternative,” said former President Jimmy Carter.
Throughout history, different methods of execution have been utilized such as decapitation, stoning, and burning. In more contemporary times, more humane methods such as lethal injection have been implemented. To the world, it may seem to be a favor, but the hypocrisy of the situation is undeniable.
The death sentence goes through the state judicial branch. The expense it costs the state totals over $4 billion since 1978, according to an assessment by Judge Arthur Alarcon and Professor Paula Mitchell. Such an economic effect causes higher taxes for that state.
It is much more costly than its closest alternative – a life sentence without parole. Capital trials are prolonged and more expensive than other murder trials. “Pre-trial motions, expert witness investigations, jury selection, and the necessity for two trials — one on guilt and one on sentencing — make capital cases extremely costly, even before the appeals process begins,” Richard C. Deiter, executive director of The Death Penalty Information Center said.
For years, politicians have used the death penalty to portray themselves in a new light- a zero tolerance policy on crime. It ultimately leaves people worse off with their war on crime. In this era, the criminal justice system is breaking down due to lack of funds while states are pouring millions of dollars into capital punishment.
It is hypocrisy that the government sponsors killing a person convicted of a crime. Capital punishment is supposed to teach a lesson. When the criminal’s life is taken, wouldn’t it be freeing them from this conscious punishment? This is the gaping hole of the death sentence.
and also the United States Bill of Rights states, “…excessive bail shall not be required, nor expensive fines imposed… nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Where is the justification in capital punishment when it goes against what a country was built on? It is being used as a tool of revenge, rather than justice.
“Perhaps the bleakest fact of all is that the death penalty is imposed not only in a freakish and discriminatory manner, but also in some cases upon defendants who are actually innocent,” said former Justice William J. Brennan Jr.. The danger of innocent people meeting their demise on death row is becoming increasingly worse. Since 1973, over 140 people have been exonerated and freed from death row.
The new wave of emphasis on quicker execution processes, less resources on the defense, and an expansion on the number of death cases are just a few reasons of innocent executions. It is a clear sign that our capital punishment system is fraudulent and with fundamental errors that will have a lasting impact.
The death penalty is a barbaric reminder of our ancient past. The promotion of an execution should not be publicized or taken lightly no matter what the case. It should be abolished due to its lack of morality, the reasonable doubt with any trial, and its economic costs. A person guilty of such a twisted crime that deserves to be put to death should instead suffer for the rest of their life in jail.