Marshall Frank, author of “Ending Death Penalty is Right in Every Possible Way” from the Florida Today newspaper in January of 2016, states, “Of 196 countries in the world, the United States ranked fifth for confirmed executions in 2015,” (Frank). It seems almost unreal that America is ranked so high.
A country like the USA should be ashamed to still be implementing such an old, cruel, and downright inhuman form of punishment. There are far better and less cruel means of justice that can and should be used instead, and several more reasons why. First of all, the cost of the death penalty is way too high. Even without having anyone die. Williams Richard wrote “The Cost Of Punishment” and states, “ The state had spent $254 million over 21 years administering it without executing a single person,” (William).
That’s over 10 million dollars per year for absolutely no reason. Williams Richard also says that “ California has spent more than $4 billion on the death penalty, since 1973, executing 13 criminals. That’s about $184 million more a year than life sentences would have cost,” (Williams). The cost to taxpayers is so big that it’s not even financially viable to continue using the death penalty.Some might say that they deserve to die because they killed someone else, but this is dangerously hypocritical, especially when you think about that there’s a chance of false conviction. So without even killing anybody or doing anything wrong someone could die.
Even when prisoners are released after being proven not guilty they still had to go to prison for years.“While Juan Roberto Meléndez sat on Florida’s death row… It took 17 years, eight months, and one day… It took considerably less time to send him to death row, (Burge). That’s insane to consider, although he got sort of luck and hadn’t been executed. Although, he did have almost 18 years of his life and, “the state of Florida provided him with a new shirt, a pair of pants, and $100 and set Juan Roberto Meléndez free,” (Burge).
So, after all, he had been through the state of Florida only had the decency to give the man 100 dollars and a few clothes. He would have to be insanely resilient to live off of such a rudimentary set of things. The worst part is this is one of many examples of someone having their life ruined and almost ended with false convictions. Yet another thing to consider is that capital punishment hasn’t been proven to reduce violent crimes. Parks, Peggy J. with the article “The Death Penalty. Current Issues,” she says “Although numerous studies have been conducted, most criminal justice experts say that it is not possible to definitively prove (or disprove) whether the death penalty deters violent crime,”(Peggy).
The death penalty doesn’t quite discourage murder, but sometimes it can encourage some to murder. This is what happened with Robert Gleason. He had a life sentence and knew he could get the death penalty. This possibly getting out of life in prison caused him to kill his cellmate. Unfortunately, this only got him to move to a higher security prison. In this prison, there was only one hour per day out of his cell in a cage next to other of these cages, yet he was able to murder the man in the cage next to his. He had told the judge to give him the death penalty for the second time, and he finally got his wish. This shows a perfect example of the death penalty doesn’t discourage murder, and in some cases even encourage it. Therefore it should no longer be implemented in America.
In conclusion, the death penalty is an imperfect system that is should no longer be implemented in America. There are other forms of punishment already in place so there is no excuse to continue to use the death penalty. So as a country we need to move past this old and cruel method of “justice.”
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