Friday, March 23, 2012
The Death Penalty
Every year a great number of people are sentenced to death by lethal injection because they have committed some of the worst crimes, but do they all deserve it and are all of them actually guilty for the crimes they are accused of? The answer to that is simply no, since 1973 a total of 140 (fact provided by deathpenaltyinfo.org) have been exonerated of the charges they were sitting on death row waiting to die for, and I’m sure some have actually been executed who have been innocent. Even though the death penalty is not all bad and does punish criminals for the harsh crimes they commit, but is it alright to have a system in place where there is a chance that some of the innocent could slip through the cracks and lose their lives for something they truly did not do? On average a person who is sentenced to death and then found to be not guilty, spends 9.8 years in prison (fact provided by deathpenaltyinfo.org) before they are released. That has to be a very frustrating feeling, to be sentenced to a crime you did not commit then waste that many years of your life locked up in prison. It has became such a serious problem that a little over a year ago Illinois decided to abolish the death penalty that they had set in place because of the fear that some innocent people were being executed. For the 15 individuals in Illinois who were still on death row waiting their execution, their charges were changed to life in prison. The death penalty is not all bad; it can help bring justice to the victim’s family. Not only can it bring some relief to those families who have lost loved ones because of violent offenders, but it also prevents those criminals from reaching the streets and killing once again. Also the death penalty is much cheaper then keeping people in prison for a long period of time. According to realcostofprisons.org, the cost of housing an inmate in Tamms is about $64,805 and that is per year for only one inmate.
Even though there are a lot of good reasons to have a death penalty I believe that there can be just as many arguments against it. If you could go to the website http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002000 it shows how every reason there is for the death penalty has both positives and negatives and mistakes can easily be made. With that being said I do believe that a more fair system should be put in place because I don’t believe it is fair for any innocent people to be sentenced to death but I also don’t know of a more fair way of figuring out how to punish the most serious offenders. The only solution would be to give them life in prison so they can be locked in a cage and have to think about the seriousness of their actions that led them to spending the rest of their lives in prison. With all of that being said I would like to ask all of you if you believe that the death penalty does more good than it does harm or is it something that should be abolished because of the chance that some wrongly accused could lose their lives?