Capital Punishment And Its Effects On The United States

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Capital punishment has existed for thousands of years, from ancient Rome to ancient China and even in the United States. The idea was simple and straight forward: death was to be a punishment for any crime committed and people were executed simply because the ruler of the time of the land said so. With obvious progression in the United States, through increased education and ethical understanding, this idea that someone could be sentenced to death for just about anything no longer seemed right. According to PEW’s Research Center; “Since 1996, the margin between those who favor the death penalty and those who oppose it has narrowed from a 60-point gap (78% favor vs. 18% oppose) to an 18-point difference in 2013 (55% favor vs. 37% oppose)”…show more content…
The death penalty, subsequently, must be eliminated. Money talks. In the pro capital punishment argument, supporters speak about the cost related to incarceration. In 1996, Martin Kasten published An Economic Analysis of the Death Penalty in which he stated, “Assuming annual incarceration costs are $17,957 and the average life expectancy for a death row inmate is 40 years in prison, the marginal benefit of executing one inmate is $415,071 when discounted at 3 percent over 40 years. When multiplying the benefit by 30, the approximate number of inmates executed every year, the death penalty saves $12,452,130 in reduced incarceration costs” (Kasten). These numbers were over twenty years ago, so imagine with all the inflation, that number is closer to three or four times that amount. This is the cost per inmate, now multiply this number by the thousands of prisoners in all fifty states. While the use of capital punishment is meant to be discretionary, just a few inmates sentenced to capital punishment have the potential to save the tax payers millions. Those for capital punishment don’t want the money they pay in taxes to go towards supporting the life of someone who has committed a crime; to them it is just providing the criminal with free room and board, access to healthcare and education programs in jail. To the people for capital punishment this isn’t really a punishment, sure the criminals are cut off from society but they have a staff catering to their potential
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