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Death penalty/capital punishment

Essay Topic:

It makes people think twice about their actions, instil fear evidence Michael Summers, PhD, MBA, Professor of Management Science at Pepperdine University, wrote in his Nov. 2, 2007 article “Capital Punishment Works” in the Wall Street Journal: “… [O]ur recent research shows that each execution carried out is correlated with about 74 fewer murders the following year… The study examined the relationship between the number of executions and the number of murders in the U. S.

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for the 26-year period from 1979 to 2004, using data from publicly available FBI sources…

There seems to be an obvious negative correlation in that when executions increase, murders decrease, and when executions decrease, murders increase… Paul H. Rubin, PhD, Professor of Economics at Emory University “Recent research on the relationship between capital punishment and homicide has created a consensus among most economists who have studied the issue that capital punishment deters murder. Early studies from the 1970s and 1980s reached conflicting results. However, recent studies have exploited better data and more sophisticated statistical techniques.

The modern refereed studies have consistently shown that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect, with each execution deterring between 3 and 18 murders… 2) Justice for the victim is achieved only through the death penalty. Refutation, opposition says it does not bring justice because mistakenly convict the innocent person With the life sentence the criminal somehow still gets back on the streets and then might kill again. The people who survive need a peace of mind that the person who committed the crime can never come after them again. ife sentence does not work out; the judicial system gives a person life sentence but somehow they get back on the streets and statistics show that nearly 30 convicted killers released from jail over the past 10 years have gone on to kill again thanks to the “fair” judicial system. Evidence Frederick A. Romano remembers his mother’s panic-filled voice as she talked to his father, of himself grabbing the phone only to hear his father tell him that his older sister had been hurt. “It’s justice,” Fred Romano said. “It’s not revenge. ”

His wife, Vicki Romano, agreed, then elaborated. “Revenge would be going out and killing one of [the murderer’s] family members,” Vicki Romano said. “The death penalty isn’t revenge. It’s the law. ” FactsMarch 31st, 2009| | There are many reasons the death penalty should be abolished. It is a complex issue and it is difficult to point to any single fact or argument as the most important. 1) Executions are carried out at staggering cost to taxpayers. It costs far more to execute a person than to keep him or her in prison for life.

A 2011 study found that California has spent more than $4 billion on capital punishment since it was reinstated in 1978 and that death penalty trials are 20 times more expensive than trials seeking a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. California currently spends $184 million on the death penalty each year and is on track to spend $1 billion in the next five years. 2) There is no credible evidence that capital punishment deters crime. Scientific studies have consistently failed to demonstrate that executions deter people from committing crime anymore than long prison sentences.

Moreover, states without the death penalty have much lower murder rates. The South accounts for 80% of US executions and has the highest regional murder rate. 3) Innocent people have been convicted and executed. The wrongful execution of an innocent person is an injustice that can never be rectified. Since the reinstatement of the death penalty, 140 men and women have been released from Death Row nationally…. some only minutes away from execution. Moreover, in the past two years evidence has come to light which indicates that four men may have been wrongfully EXECUTED in recent years for crimes they did not commit.

This error rate is simply appalling, and completely unacceptable, when we are talking about life and death. 4) Race plays a role in determining who lives and who dies. The race of the victim and the race of the defendant in capital cases are major factors in determining who is sentenced to die in this country. In 1990 a report from the General Accounting Office concluded that “in 82 percent of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i. . those who murdered whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks. ” 5) The death penalty is applied at random. Politics, quality of legal counsel and the jurisdiction where a crime is committed are more often the determining factors in a death penalty case than the facts of the crime itself. The death penalty is a lethal lottery: of the 22,000 homicides committed every year approximately 150 people are sentenced to death. 7) The USA is keeping company with notorious human rights abusers.

The vast majority of countries in Western Europe, North America and South America — more than 139 nations worldwide — have abandoned capital punishment in law or in practice. The United States remains in the same company as Iraq, Iran and China as one of the major advocates and users of capital punishment. 8) Millions currently spent on the death penalty could be used to assist the families of murder victims. Many family members who have lost love ones to murder feel that the death penalty will not heal their wounds nor will it end their pain; the extended process prior to executions can prolong the agony experienced by the family.

Funds now being used for the costly process of executions could be used to help families put their lives back together through counseling, restitution, crime victim hotlines, and other services addressing their needs. 9) Bad Lawyers are a Persistent Problem in Capital Cases Perhaps the most important factor in determining whether a defendant will receive the death penalty is the quality of the representation he or she is provided. Almost all defendants in capital cases cannot afford their own attorneys. In many cases, the appointed attorneys are overworked, underpaid, or lacking the trial experience required for death penalty cases.

There have even been instances in which lawyers appointed to a death case were so inexperienced that they were completely unprepared for the sentencing phase of the trial. Other appointed attorneys have slept through parts of the trial, or arrived at the court under the influence of alcohol. 10) Life Without Parole is a Sensible Alternative to the Death Penalty In every state that retains the death penalty, jurors have the option of sentencing convicted capital murderers to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentence is cheaper to tax-payers and keeps violent offenders off the streets for good. Unlike the death penalty, a sentence of Life Without Parole also allows mistakes to be corrected. There are currently over 3,300 people in California who have received this alternative sentence, which also has a more limited appeals process last approximately 3 years. According to the California Governor’s Office, only seven people sentenced to life without parole have been released since the state provided for this option in 1977, and this occurred because they were able to prove their innocence.