Throughout the history of policymaking, capital punishment has always been one of the most controversial and disputable issues. I am against this measure of punishment and I personally believe that death penalty is unnatural and wrong from the perspective of religious, moral, ethical, economic, and social aspects.
In the first place, the existence of death penalty does not prevent or deter individuals from committing crimes. In fact, the statistic data proves that “for decades, murder has been more common in states with capital punishment than in those where it is not used. Data from 1973 to 1984 showed that murder rates in the states without the death penalty were consistently lower and averaged only 63% of the corresponding rates in the states retaining it” (Lamperti, 2010). One of the primary functions of death sentence is to deter other individuals from committing crimes by putting fear in hearts of offenders upon penalty of death. So, why do we still deprive people of their lives if capital punishment does not accomplish its primary purpose?
Secondly, speaking from the economic point of view, capital punishment is unreasonably expensive. For instance, the average cost of a capital punishment case in the state of Texas is about three times higher than the cost of a life imprisonment. Another controversial issue associated with the cost of a capital punishment case is the fact that it is carried out by means of taxes paid by citizens, the majority of whom have never committed a crime in their entire life.
Therefore, I personally believe that there are many other more rational and reasoned ways of spending such a considerable amount of money. “The extra money spent on the death penalty could be spent on other means of achieving justice and making the community safer: compensation for victims, better lighting in crime areas, more police on the streets, or projects to reduce unemployment” (Dieter, 2005).
There are two major ethical and moral concerns associated with capital punishment. Hutchinson (2007) states, “The fact is that the death penalty, like limb-chopping or stoning, is a morally outrageous practice whatever its deterrent effect: it reduces society to the ethical level of the murderer. In a society that aspires to be moral and just, there is no room for such a state-sanctioned uncivilized practice”. I definitely agree with this statement as no one in a civilized society has the right to deprive other individual of his/her life.
Dealing with criminals by means of their own methods is not only pointless, but also irrational, because the death penalty is, in fact, by protecting the right to life of one person deprives another individual of that right.That is the reason why 139 states have already abolished such measure of punishment. Secondly, there have been several cases in the U.S. and other countries’ history, when a guiltless person was sentenced to capital punishment. After a certain period, the court declared those individuals not guilty. However, it was too late. In my opinion, this should be the fundamental reason for capital punishment abolition.
Finally, I believe that a life imprisonment is a much more just punishment than a death sentence. In fact, when offenders are placed in solitary confinement, they have enough time to reconsider their actions and face their main enemies – loneliness and despair.
Dieter, R. (2005). Costs of the Death Penalty and Related Issues. New York State Assembly: Standing Committees on Codes, Judiciary, and Correction, 1-10. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/NY-RCD-Test.pdf
Hutchinson, A. (2007, November 19). Morality and the Death Penalty. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/20/opinion/l20death.html?_r=0
Lamperti, J. (2010, March). Does Capital Punishment Deter Murder? A brief look at the evidence. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from https://math.dartmouth.edu/~lamperti/my DP paper, current edit.htm