Cost of the Death Penalty Essay

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Costs and Consequences of the Death Penalty, written by Mark Costanzo, neatly lists reasons for opposition, and abolishment of, the death penalty. Costanzo provides a review of the history of the death penalty, a review of how the death penalty process is working today, questions on whether or not if the death penalty is inhumane and cheaper than life imprisonment. He also questions if the death penalty is fairly applied and the impact, if any, that it has on deterrence. He closely examines the public's support of the death penalty and questions the morality of the death penalty. Finally, Costanzo provides his own resolution and alternative to the death penalty. Each of these items allows the reader an easy, and once again, neat view of …show more content…
With the process at this point, there was no way of knowing why juries were choosing death in one case, yet choosing life in others. Also, blacks were being killed at a much higher rate that any other offender. These two reasons, long with others, led the high court to claim the death penalty unconstitutional until further revamping, which was soon to come.
The second major decision from the Supreme Court was in the Gregg v. Georgia case. Here the court approved a series of reforms intended to eliminate arbitrary and discriminatory death sentences and established the two-phase system for the death penalty. The first phase is the "guilt phase" which is conducted on its own to find guilt or acquittal, without the job of issuing punishment. The second phase is the "penalty phase". Here the same jury decides if the defendant is to live or be given the death sentence. Each phase allows the jury to focus on one task, instead of letting death sway their decision on guilt. This bifurcated jury system is in place today.
For those sentenced to death, Costanzo argues that it is inhumane due to the fact that those on death row, going through appeals, sit in basic isolation for years being forced to face the thought of death each and every day and how this constantly occupies the boredom. He also argues that it is inhumane because of this…

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