Michael Pistner Instructor: Tammy Lancaster English 111-1151 7 October 2012 The Necessity of Capital Punishment Capital punishment or as many know it, the death penalty has been a matter of public controversy since its introduction. While one class of thought argues that the death penalty is very necessary for governments to control the more serious law breakers, others are of the opinion that the death penalty can in no way be allowed as there are various ethical, legal, economic, and cultural issues involved…
The stunning revelation in the article is that in the State of California, the annual legal costs related to capital punishment are estimated at $184 million. Also, it is claimed that by replacing death penalty with life sentences, this amount can be brought down to just $ 11.5 million. Admittedly, this claim Fagan makes seems attractive only to some hardcore do-gooders. People with a sane mind will easily identify that the lives of the citizens in a country cannot be put into jeopardy for economic benefits. It can be admitted that capital punishment invites extensive legal jargons in the forms of appeals and reviews. However, one has to remember the fact that this delay and higher expenditure only shows the ineffectiveness of our legal system; not the ineffectiveness of capital punishment. So, it is evidently irrational to set serial killers free to save the money spent on legal works. Also, as Nugent argues, locking up such insane shooters in jails for the rest of their lifetime will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. One is forced to think whether it would not be a better administration of justice if the killer is executed and this millions of dollars are paid as compensation to the next of kin of the victims. Moreover, as Nugent points out, it costs only ‘a 25 cent bullet’ to eliminate the criminal in cases like the Tucson shootout. If any money more than that is spent on legal battles, it is the justice system to be blamed; not capital punishment. Also, the figures put forward by Fagan are under criticism for lack of evidence. In fact, the work ‘Death penalty and sentencing information’ by Sharp points out that life without parole (LWOP) is nearly $1.2 to $3.6 million more expensive than death penalty. Another minor argument seen in the article of Fagan is that sometimes the society seems as guilty as the culprit in certain crimes. For example, the killer of a 22 year old female is found to be mentally unstable and brain-damaged. The investigation proves that the killer had a very horrible upbringing as a child as he had his birth as an impoverished Mono tribe American Indian. Also, he was taken away from his alcoholic parents at a very early age and was molested and abused in foster homes and other institutions. As a result, he was addicted to heroin and other drugs by the time he turned 5. Thus, Fagan argues that in such cases, giving capital punishment to the criminal is unjustifiable as the culprit is not guiltier than the family and society he lives in. It is with this insight that the article says that if capital punishment is replaced with life imprisonment, “you would also run no chance of executing an innocent person” (Fagan). However, the fact is that laymen or the citizens of a country cannot bear the brunt of setting mentally deranged people free. For example, Nugent writes in The Washington Times about the Tucson shootout which killed six and wounded 13. As Fagan argues in his article, in this case too, the culprit was mentally deranged. As a result, he is going to spend the rest of his life in the comfort of jail eating up the tax paid by obedient citizens. As Nugent argues, “you don’t need to be an overpaid prison psychologist to determine that (the criminal is mentally deranged) no ...
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Sustein and Vermeule (704) points out that most refutations to capital punishment are based on the points that it is “inherently cruel and barbaric”, and cannot be imposed in any way possible that adheres to the rule of law, and as it is administered currently, it could lead to the execution of some innocent people.
As a result, society developed systems of punishing those who commit serious crimes such as killing, stealing felony among others. One such way of punishing offenders was death penalty. Ideally, the authorities came up with procedures to be used in determining the crimes that warrant death penalty, the steps to be followed while executing individuals among others.
The Supreme Court's decision in Furman v. Georgia declared all existing capital statutes to be in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. But this was again reversed in Gregg v. Georgia. The death penalty remains arbitrary and capricious. ACLU states that the U.S.'s capital punishment process is fraught with error.
According to the report proponents of capital punishment speak the language of local option and states' rights not only because this insulates the pro-capital punishment orientation of most state governments from federal review, but because states and localities are the levels of government that usually hold power over ordinary criminal justice decisions.
According to Robert Ruby’s “Capital Punishment’s Constant Constituency: An American Majority,” capital punishment has long since been a heated topic of debate of fairness and of constitutional rights and ethics. Between the years of 1972 and 2007, the Supreme Court has gone through many moments of indecision in concerns of the capital punishment.
Supporters of capital punishment are of the view that in the absence of capital punishment, people may engage in more criminal activities. In their opinion, crime rates cannot be controlled without strong
The practice is not uniform across the states in the US. Some of the states do not allow capital punishment while others have the law permitting capital punishment. However, execution procedures may differ. As of May 2013, the District of Columbia and 18 other States have abolished the capital punishment for any kind of crime whatsoever.
Different punishments are recommended for different criminal acts but the position of capital punishment spurs up controversy if weighed against the ethical considerations and the serenity of life. The dilemma with capital punishment is that it undertakes to protect
Should the death penalty exist as a punishment for murder or terrorism? This paper will seek to interrogate the merits and demerits of the death penalty to determine whether it should continue to exist as a punishment for murder and terrorism.
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