The Controversy Over the Death Penalty Essay

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The Controversy Over the Death Penalty

Why is the death penalty used as a means of punishment for crime? Is this just a way to solve the nations growing problem of overcrowded prisons, or is justice really being served? Why do some view the taking of a life morally correct? These questions are discussed and debated upon in every state and national legislature throughout the country. Advantages and disadvantages for the death penalty exist, and many members of the United States, and individual State governments, have differing opinions. Yet it seems that the stronger arguments, and evidence such as cost effectiveness, should lead the common citizen to the opposition of Capital Punishment.

Those who choose to support
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Keeping a prisoner in jail for life will be very expensive considering that it costs $80,000 a year; and the bad news is that the money comes from the taxpayer's pocket. Thousands of people will attack the death penalty. They will give emotional speeches about the one innocent man who might be executed. However, all of these people are forgetting one crucial element. They are forgetting the thousands of victims who die every year. This may sound awkward, but the death penalty saves lives. It saves lives because it stops those who murder from ever murdering again (Bryant). These opinions represent some of the strongest and most influential views that proponents hold. However, if our prison system could rehabilitate more effectively, perhaps those who murdered once, could change.

Texas being one of the states within the U.S. that allows Capital Punishment also has one of the largest death rows. Jim Mattox, former Attorney General of Texas, who supported the death penalty during his term of office, does not believe that murderers in Texas are hindered by the death penalty. Mattox interviewed nearly all the people executed in Texas between 1976 and 1988 and concluded that the death sentence never crossed their minds before they committed their crime. "It is my own experience that those executed in Texas were not deterred by…

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