The Death Penalty Should Be Legal

Good Essays
Natalie Baker
Class based assessment
February 8, 2016 Imagine that you are arrested and going to be tried for a crime that you did, or did not, commit. What if you cannot afford the cost of a lawyer? Will you be able to handle the physical and mental toll that all of the appeals have on a person? The death penalty, or capital punishment, is one of the most debated topics in America. It has been used for centuries, but many claim it to be barbaric, and want the practice to end all together. The death penalty should only be used in cases where there is absolute evidence that the criminal is guilty, because life in prison can be an alternative, there are many flaws in the justice system, and it can be a cruel and unusual punishment.
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Reporters Maurice Possley and Steve Mills doubt his guilt and think it is another who confessed to the murder multiple times. In August of 2005, a pardon was given to Lena Baker. She was executed for the murder of Ernest White. She shot him in self defense when he attacked her with a metal pipe, but she was still charged with murder and executed.
In 2003, a study found that death penalty cases cost 70% more than cases seeking life without parole. The average case seeking the death penalty costs 1.26 million, while the average cases not seeking the death penalty costs 740,000 dollars. For instance, in California, a state that uses the death penalty, it costs about 137 million dollars a year. If they did not use the death penalty, it would cost about 11.5 million dollars a year. The average cost of keeping a criminal in jail each year is anywhere from $30,000 to $168,000, depending when and where they are imprisoned. Many people also believe that using or not the death penalty will act as a deterrence, however 88% of criminologists do not believe that the death penalty has a big impact on preventing crime. 87% say that abolishing the death penalty would also have no big impact on crime and homicide.
96% of states have found patterns of discrimination. Since 1977, 48.6% of the death penalty has been used on caucasian criminals, 40.9% on African American criminals, 8.9% on latino criminals, and 1.6 on
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