The death penalty is a government practice, used as a punishment for capital crimes such as treason, murder, and genocide to name a few. It has been a controversial topic for many years some countries still use it while others don’t. In the United States, each state gets to choose whether they consider it to be legal or not. Which is why in this country 30 states allow it while 20 states have gotten rid of it. It is controversial for many reasons the main one being whether it is moral or not do this. Leaving that aside I feel that we should get rid of the death penalty completely because we are wasting tax payer’s money when these people could just be in prison for life cutting down the cost to house them.
There is definitely many pros and cons that would come along with just completely getting rid of the death penalty at least in this country the main one being to save money. Some other include giving these prisoners a chance to do some good in their life, using the money wasted on death row for other things we actually need, and what gives us the right to play God and kill people it doesn’t make us any better than them. Sone cons for getting rid of it completely would be that there are some people who just deserve the death penalty, it causes more pain to those involved, and we need to more tough on crime.
To begin with, the process for a person to get executed is long from the trial to their time on death row we are looking at months that they could have just spent in prison anywhere. First, the person needs to be convicted for the crime and go through two trials. The first trial determines whether they are guilty or innocent of the crime they are being accused of. The next trial is called the sentencing trial where the jurors decide how to punish the guilty person. There are two choices that the juror can make they can either sentence them to life in prison without a chance for parole or the death sentence. From here the person is still allowed to appeal the decision which only furthers the time and money being wasted on someone who could have already been in jail. Once it is established that they are going to go on death row, they last years here before they are executed. The average person lasts a decade on death row, but there have been cases where they are there for twenty years. The cost to house prisoners ranges in price depending on the state, but on average in a regular prison, the cost is less than one hundred thousand per inmate. On death row, the price is over one million to house each prisoner a year. That is ten times the amount it would cost if they just put them in jail for life, now calculate that over the years it is an insane amount of money. The money that pays to house them is taxpayer money, I don’t know about you but I would much rather my money goes somewhere else. That is money that can go into our roads, schools, health, and even more help for our veterans.
If the average prisoner spends 10 years on death row that is over ten million spent on their stay that could have gone to other things. Things like roads don’t, you hate how it always seems like potholes don’t get fixed. They always seem to fix the roads that are fine and the ones that have holes everywhere are the ones that never get fixed. Or those shade roads where there always seems to be accidents because of how they are structured. It’s money that we can be used in schools to help the future of our country. There are schools that are falling behind others because as technology advances they don’t have the means for. When they go out to the real world they are more behind than other kids which only affects them. Or college tuitions a lot of people don’t go to college over cost this is money that we could be using to help them get through school. Another thing that this money can be used for other than prisoners on death row is on our veterans. Many of these men and women who expose their lives to fight for our freedom and we don’t do enough to make sure integrate well back into our society. Too often you see homeless veterans or even veterans that commit major crimes because they don’t get the proper help. With this extra money, we can make sure to establish programs that help them when they come back and until they are stable and back on their feet again. Something as simple as a program could make a huge difference in their lives. This will help our society as a whole because we will have fewer crimes and less homeless on our hands. Like I already mentioned this is an insane amount of money that we could use on other things that would only better our society and our lives.
Sentencing people to life in prison instead of death row could also help our society. In most prisons they have programs for the prisoners like helping them get their GED, programs that teach them specific jobs, some can even get jobs. They are in prison because they haven’t done well in the world, but maybe they can redeem themselves here. For those who go as far as killing people, no matter how much they do nothing will bring that person back but they can at least do some good in the world. They can’t change or control what happened anymore but they can attempt to be a better person. For those who work while in prison they get some money for themselves and they help out our society because they are contributing to it instead of sitting in a cell doing nothing all day. Just because they have done harm doesn’t mean that they can’t attempt to do some good to live a better life.
If we are killing people for committing a capital crime does it really make us any better than them? From a religious standpoint, people disagree with the death penalty because it’s as we are acting like God. We are judging them for their crimes and condemning them to death because we don’t agree with what they do. When in reality we are no one to judge them, they can stay in prison until the time comes and he can judge them. Once their times come they will be judged by him and he will decide what they deserve. Many people say that you do not begin to live until eternal life come maybe that is true and what you should pay for needs to be judged by him and only him. If we get rid of the death penalty, we would get rid of having to make the choice and judging people.
Like there are pros with getting rid of the death penalty there is also cons with getting rid of it. One would be that sometimes people do commit crimes that are unforgettable and they do require the death penalty. Of course, this a subject that is different for every situation in some cases it might seem too extreme, but there are situations where it might seem just right. This year we have been dealing with so many shootings, it sometimes feels like we are not safe anywhere. There have been so many school shootings, can’t even send your kid to school anymore with having even a little fear that they could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and you get a call that they are dead or injured. Just this year on Valentine’s Day there was the shooting at Stoneman Douglas Highschool in Parkland, Florida. The gunman killed 17 people and left so many terrorized in one of the worst school shootings in history. I’m not saying that he deserved the death penalty because I am no one to judge his actions but this is a case where a lot of people were affected and maybe the death penalty should be talked about. In this shooting, seventeen people died and the lives of so many people were affected. The families of the individuals killed are left to suffer the loss of their loved ones and it is something that no one will ever forget. The students and staff will never be okay after what happened it was a traumatic event that will forever change them. As a community, a state, and a country we were all changed by this one event. It changed a lot of things and affected a lot of people as I said above this is a case where maybe the death penalty. This gunman, caused so much pain to a lot of people that maybe life in prison isn’t enough for his actions. Sometimes even if we don’t completely agree with it the death penalty is needed.
Some may say that killing a person for their crimes they will not pay for what they did and this is somewhat true, but not really because like I mentioned earlier they spend years in a cell alone until they are executed. There are people who still may want the person dead so they pay for what they did. It really depends on how you look at it, sometimes it’s easier to see the aggressor gone. It will help those involved get the closure they may need to move one. Instead of having to worry about the aggressor still being out there. Even if they are already on death row there are programs that could further examine cases and help them get out. So, those involved still have to worry about that as well. In some cases, it is just easier for people to know that the aggressor is gone for good and can no longer hurt them or affect them in any way. And not only are they being killed but they suffer the entire way because they are left alone all the time only with themselves, that alone would drive me crazy. I do not want to break any law by any means just based on that not even speeding no thank you.
Keeping the death penalty would help to enforce the law more. It can persuade people to not commit crimes out of fear of getting to the point where you get a death penalty. Imagine if there was no death penalty and people would keep committing crimes. It is a proven fact that people don’t really fear prison if they did we would not have so many people in prison and as many repeat offenders as we have. Without the death penalty, the worst that would happen would be a prison for life and it must not be that bad if we are spending almost a hundred thousand dollars to house them. They can get an education and a job in prison, some even have a church type of thing where they can worship. All that they really lack is a few freedoms that those of us outside of prison have. With the death penalty in place creates more fear of what can happen. The last thing you want is to get the death penalty. What if you are wrongly being tried for a crime and on top of that you end up on death row. You have no money to clear your name and you are wrongly killed for something you didn’t do. This is why we should all be a better human being and not commit a crime so that we do not end up on death row. We need the death penalty for fear even if it takes forever to actually execute someone and millions of our hard-earned money go into it. It’s all in hopes of a better society for us to live and raise children in.
Overall, there are many factors that play into keeping or removing the death penalty. It is a controversial topic that we may never all agree on. In the end, it is very expensive we should consider getting rid of it. Like I said it would also be hard to get rid of because sometimes we need it. Maybe we need to look into other methods besides only offering those two choices. There has to be more alternative than giving them life in prison because even though that isn’t as expensive over all those years it is still very expensive.