The death penalty goes back as far as the 17th century. From burning alive to beating to death, the death penalty was carried out in some of the cruelest and most painful ways one could imagine. Although more efficient ways of execution have been discovered, such as lethal injections, capital punishment is still ruthless and a lot of times unnecessary. Capital punishment is like the easy way out of dealing with criminals by “eliminating the complexities of judge and jury” (Source J), when there are much more efficient punishments that could be used when dealing with a felony.
Capital punishment should not be used for so many different reasons; it is immoral, very costly and mistakes that could be prevented happen way too often. Some may argue that capital punishment should be used to remove the criminal because they are dangerous and they deserve to be executed but “the deed is done and taking another life cannot change” (Source A) the fact that one life is already gone. There are other ways of preventing the culprit from harming others, such as removing them for society by putting them in jail.
Being sentenced to “life imprisonment is a far more practical form of retribution” (Source F) for the defendant; it’s much fairer, more efficient and a lot less cruel than execution. Citizens are just as safe when the criminal is in jail as they would be if capital punishment was used. Plus, if the criminal was eventually found guilty then they could be freed from jail. According to the Declaration of Independence, “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (Source B).
Capital punishment “violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment” (Source K) by taking away the right to life that every citizen has. The criminal has the right to “equal protection under the law” (Source K) no matter what the situation might be. The death penalty is promoting violence more than anything else.
Executing someone for their wrongdoing makes it appear that killing someone is acceptable, but it’s not and shouldn’t be tolerated no matter what the circumstances are. Studies have shown that capital punishment does not affect the amount of crimes committed (Source F); therefore using the death penalty has no impact on preventing the murders from happening. Capital punishment is not only the most “cruel and uncivilized punishment” (Source F), but it is also the most expensive and most time consuming solution to punishing the criminal.
On average, one “death penalty case resulting in a death sentence costs approximately $3 million” (Source C), which is “a waste of taxpayer funds and has no public safety benefit” (Source K). Taxes need to be spent on improvements for the state, not on the execution of one person when there are much more efficient solutions to punishing the culprit. The most brutal part of capital punishment is the fact that it is possible to take an innocent person’s life, which happens way more than it should.
There have been 142 people “freed from death row after being exonerated with DNA or other kinds of evidence” (Source F), if that evidence wouldn’t have been found in time then any one of those innocent people could have been executed for doing nothing wrong. Some research shows that one in every ten people executed were later found guilty; if they hadn’t been put through capital punishment then many innocent people could have been saved from suffering for something they were never responsible for.
Not only are innocent people executed, also deciding “who should be sent to death row is arbitrary and discriminatory” (Source F). Studies by professors at North Carolina University have shown that the “odds of receiving a death sentence raised by 3. 5 times among those defendants whose victims where white” (Source C), which shows how race might have an impact on whether or not the death penalty is used in the case. There are so many reasons why capital punishment is not the answer to a crime. Everyone has the right to live and deserves a second chance.
The death penalty doesn’t prevent violence, it only promotes it. It is an expensive process that can end up accidently putting innocent people to death because they were blamed for something they really didn’t do. Without capital punishment, the world would be a much better place and many innocent lives could be saved, and the guilty criminals can get help and continue their lives while not harming anymore citizens. Capital punishment is unconstitutional and should be avoided at all costs, no matter what the situation may be.
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