Capital Punishment Has On The State Of California

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Judge Arthur Alarcon and Prof. Paula Mitchell of California have recently done a study on capital punishment and the cost that it has had on the state of California. Their findings may shock some, California has spent $4 billion in the past thirty years to up keep the death penalty, and the average capital trial cost $1 million more than non-capital trials (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2011). Capital punishment is a legal process where the punishment for a crime is death. This is a concept that has been around for a long time. One of the earliest written documents that support capital punishment is Hammurabi’s Code with the theory of “an eye for an eye” (Mark, 2011). The topic of capital punishment has become a very controversial one in the past couple decades. Many people are against it, saying that it is a “cruel and unusual punishment” and those for it fight say what a great deterrence it can be. While capital punishment may have had a purpose in the past, in our modern society I believe it should be an obsolete practice. As stated before, capital punishment is very costly. $90,000 per year per inmate is the difference between an inmate on death row and one sentenced to life without parole (Tempest, 2005). On average California spends $250 million on each execution, these numbers start to add up and they are most certainly more than what it would be to sentence them to life without parole. The side that is for capital punishment would say that these cost are necessary to keep our
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