The Cost Of The Death Penalty Essay — страница 3

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executions from 1967- 1996. Mandatory death sentences would cut down severely on crime and cost. Mandatory death sentences would be more effective if there was also a limit on the number of appeals which someone on death row was entitled to. The average inmate on death row is there for approximately 10 years (www.prodeathpenalty), racking up countless appeals, which are extremely expensive. These appeals, on top of incarceration costs, make the death penalty as expensive as it is. Although appeals are a mandate for those on death row in order to cut down on the risk of executing the innocent, a limit of perhaps 6 or 7 years should probably do the trick. The most popular alternative is, morally and financially, is life without parole. This is shown to be cheaper than execution.

Although, as previously mentioned, the numbers can be fudged somewhat to attain a certain favorable appearance. In a 1993 survey, it was reported that most Americans would oppose the death penalty if convicted murderers were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole under any conditions. Life without parole is the alternative which is most accepted internationally. Today, either by law or in practice, all of Western Europe and most of the entire world has abolished the death penalty. The United Nations General Assembly wrote a formal resolution calling for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide. Some countries, such as Italy, refuse to extradite accused murderers to the US because of the possibility that they might be executed. Canada?s homicide rate has dropped

27% since they abolished the death penalty in 1976. The international community opposes the United States? use of execution, especially of those under the age of 18. Only Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the US execute people for crimes committed as a minor. Of these nations, the US has executed more juveniles (9) since 1990 than all the others combined (www.religioustolerance). At the end of 1997, there were about 3222 prisoners on death row in 34 states (www.essential). Although alternatives for capital punishment are there or could be implemented into legislation, recent laws have expanded the number of crimes for which capital punishment can be applied. Public approval of the death penalty remains high nationwide. The public tends to view execution as a

deterrent to crime, whether or not it actually is. This is important because politicians use the death penalty as a symbolic stance for being tough on crime. Capital punishment will continue to be controversial as long as it exists because the very nature of the policy polarizes people?s views and allows for wide interpretation of its legal, moral and financial legitimacy. As public policy, it is constantly being revised, updated and legislated. As is any piece of public policy in the US, there will be no radical change to the process, just slow incremental changes to this controversial issue. 1.American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network www.aclu.org/library/case_against_death.html 2.Capital Punishment: Arguments for Life and Death www.cpa.ca/cjbs/1996/ful_ogloff.html

3.Capital Punishment; the Death Penalty www.religioustolerance.org/execute.html 4.Death Penalty Information Center www.essential.org/dpic/dpic.r08.html 5.Death Penalty and Sentencing Information www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html 6.Justice Center Web Site www.uaa.alaska.edu/just/death/history.html