Should it be allowed? To have the authority to kill a human being that could possibly be innocent? Most agree that it is not right to have the death penalty in all countries. One very good reason for this is that it costs far more to execute a person than to keep him or her in prison for life. A 2011 study found that California has spent more than ? 4 billion on capital punishment since it was reinstated in 1978 and that death penalty trials are 20 times more expensive than trials seeking a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
California currently spends ? 184 million on the death penalty each year and is on track to spend ? 1 billion in the next five years. One billion pounds! Imagine what you could buy with that! Rather than keeping them in prison and let them find evidence to see if they were innocent or not. In a civilised country, like America, even the government doesn’t have the right to literally do what the criminals did to their victims. Like the punishment for arson, shouldn’t be to burn down the arsonist’s house as a penalty. Therefore, we should not punish murder with death.
The death penalty is simply a barbaric remnant of an uncivilised society. One of the biggest problems about the death penalty is that the amount of people that were executed and were innocent. These ghastly mistakes cannot be rectified, 140 men and women have been released from Death Row and some only minutes away from execution. In the past four years, four people that were killed were wrongly executed for crimes that they didn’t commit. This error rate is simply appalling, and completely unacceptable, when we are talking about matters of life and death.
Some may argue that the death penalty is a fundamental piece of a jigsaw for preserving law and order, that it deters crime, and it costs less than imprisonment for life. They contend that the saying “an eye for an eye” honours the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the future criminals never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy. I can assure you that this isn’t the case as it has no effect on crime (as you can see on the right) and it wrongly gives the government power over someone’s life.
It continues the existence of social injustice by disproportionately targeting people of colour (racism) and people who can’t afford good lawyers (classist). Additionally, lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than death. Another reason to abolish the death penalty being present is that in many parts of America, where the death penalty is still in use, they kill people by having the lethal injection. This process can be excruciatingly painful as one women found out. She said that she was going to have operations which include her having some lethal drugs being put into her.
One of these drugs is used in the lethal drug that is used to wrongly kill criminals. This woman was not given the drug to make herself numb. The pain that she felt when she was given this drug was as if she was ignited with fire. This is what prisoner’s feel when they are being executed and it is wrong for them to feel it or be killed even. A solution for this is to force the prisoners to do community work and the worse the crime the worse the job. A really bad crime like murder should result in, for example, the prisoner having to clean the sewers for the rest of their life.
They might perhaps help disabled people if the crime is a bit better. This solution doesn’t waste somebodies life and it helps them understand how precious life is when they are doing those jobs. In my opinion, the punishment is even worse if they were to do these jobs because if they died, they would feel anything but if they were cleaning out the sewers every day, they would hate it. To summarise all of this, the death penalty is a symbol of an uncivilised society, excruciates victims and gives the government reprehensible access to kill a human being.