The Death Penalty The Death Penalty can be considered one of the most debated issues in the United States. The death penalty is a judicially ordered execution of a prisoner for a serious crime, often called a capital crime (Capital). There are many people that oppose the death penalty and then there are many people who are for the death penalty. People who oppose the death penalty feel that it is not humane or it might be too expensive. The people who are for the death penalty feel that it gives a chance for individuals to be accused for their wrong acts.
Most convicted murderers face the possibility of execution. The nature of the case is what decides whether or not the convict qualifies for the death penalty. People who oppose the death penalty take the side that is too much money. They feel that it is far more expensive to execute the convict than keeping them in prison. In Texas, the cost of each execution case is roughly three times greater than detaining an inmate for forty years with the tightest security. Other states have similar statistics on how the death penalty is more expensive than imprisonment.
One poll, 'The Budgetary Repercussions of Capital Convictions's tates that the cost of capital trials from 1982-1997 was $1. 6 billion (Costs). Part of the taxpayers money goes to the cost of executing a criminal. Many feel that the money can be used for education or medicare.
Also, many people opposing the death penalty feel that many convicts are innocent and they are being accused and executed. This example almost was reality for a suffering man, Greg Wilhoit. After learning his wife was brutally murdered, Greg was found guilty of the awful crime. He was sentenced to lethal injection and was placed on death row for five years. What saved him was the blessing of a new trial that found him innocent.
After eight years of pain and misery, Greg has to carry on with his life. This shows that the death penalty can end the life of an innocent person just because the evidence was not sufficient. There are some basic reasons why people support the death penalty. Many people believe in the death penalty because the Bible requires death penalty for a wide variety of crimes. Also people feel it is justice. If a person commits such a crime then receiving the death penalty is the only reasonable response.
People think that death penalty will deter crimes. If a person knows they will get the death penalty then crimes may be reduced. The death penalty can also be used as a form of safety. If the convict is killed then people will never have to worry about that convict committing another crime.
An example of someone who deserved the death penalty was Timothy Mc Ve igh. He was convicted for the Oklahoma City bombing which kill 168 people (Bowman). Some of the present procedures of execution are the lethal injection, hanging, firing squad, electrocution, and gas chambers. Thirty eight states are still participating in the usage of the death sentence. The most common death sentence technique is the lethal injection. Idaho, Oklahoma, and Utah are the only three states that are using the firing squad method of execution.
The old method of hanging is used by Washington, New Hampshire, and Delaware. The main crimes that result in the death penalty are espionage, rape, kidnapping, treason, and murder. The minimum age for execution ranges from ages sixteen to eight teen in the United States. 7254 death sentences were issued between 1973 and 2002.
These had led to 820 executions, 3557 prisoners on death row, all for murder, 268 who died while incarcerated of natural causes, suicide or murder, 176 whose sentences were commuted by governors or state pardon boards, 2403 who were released, retried or re sentenced by the courts. There were 59 executions in 2004 (Capital). Bibliography Bowman, John. Timothy McVeigh.
Costs of the Death Penalty. Vollertsten, Nancy. Condemned to Die: The Story of Greg Wilhoit. Capital Punishment. Wikipedia..