Essay on Death Penalty

546 Words 3 Pages
The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and violates the right to life. It's hard for me as a Swede to understand that a country such as USA still have that kind of punishment. For many people and nations the USA serves as a model, so it is to me very difficult to imagine how you can persuade nations like Burma and China to respect basic human rights when you don't do it yourself.


A. Concerning the Death Penalty

Capital punishment -- the death penalty -- is supposed to select the worst criminals who committed the worst murders and punish them and protect society by taking their lives.
In numbers far beyond our greatest fears, innocent people are being convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
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In Florida, it costs S3.2 million per death case, six times the cost of a life sentence; in Texas, $2.3 million, three times the cost of sentencing a defendant to 40 years in a single cell in that state's high security prison.
Wouldn't it really be better to spend those millions of dollars on programs that might actually do something to reduce or prevent crime? Hire more police officers, improve education, provide better prenatal care, take your pick!

D. The death penalty hasn't been shown to be a deterrent to committing murders.
Since 1976, the number of executions and the size of death row have steadily increased. Yet there has been virtually no change in the national murder rate. And the murder rate remains higher in death penalty states than in non-death penalty states. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, states with the death penalty have homicide rates of 7.4 to 100,000; states without the death penalty have a homicide rate of 4.9 to 100,000

It's natural to feel the need for revenge when a loved one is murdered. But what society needs is a system of criminal justice, not a system of criminal vengeance. Many places in this country get along fine without it: here in the Midwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin all seem to be relatively civilized and peaceful places, even without the death penalty.
In addition to the United States, the countries with the most documented executions in 1997 include

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