November 17, 2014
Why the Death Penalty Should Be Banned
The issue of whether the death penalty should or should not be banned is a popular, controversial issue that has been going on for over a hundred years. People who support the death penalty argue that the death penalty deters people from committing murder because they are scared of the sentence to death. It may scare some people, but in actuality, it would not change anything because a murderer would kill anyway, because of their irrational thinking, regardless of the consequence. Many people who are sentenced to life in prison feel that they are being handed a worse punishment than the death penalty. They believe that being put to death would put them out of the misery of being locked away for life. The death penalty should be banned because it is too barbaric, it is unconstitutional, it is extremely costly, and many innocent people die as a result.
The death penalty is the most inhumane and barbaric way to kill someone. Within the United States, eighteen states have abolished the death penalty while thirty-two states still have the death penalty (DPIC). The methods of the death penalty we use include lethal injection, hanging, gas chamber, electrocution, and firing squad, but the most common method is lethal injection. Only one state permits the firing squad as a death sentence, and only two states permit hanging. Lethal Injection is viewed as the most painless and harmless method. In the states that use the three-drug protocol, the prisoner is injected with sodium thiopental or pentobarbital. These anesthetics intended to put the inmate to sleep. After the inmate is unconscious, he is then injected with pancuronium bromide. This paralyzes the entire muscle system and stops the inmate's breathing. Most times this process lasts between twenty minutes and one hour. During that process, the prisoners are seen gasping for air, grimacing and even convulsing during the process (Parker, Nicolas M 50).This type of torture is morally unjust and shouldn’t be done to any human, even if they’re guilty of murder.
The death penalty is also unconstitutional. Twice in the last decade, the Supreme Court has struck down specific applications of the death penalty. They say that it violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment after determining that a “national consensus had developed against” the relevant application (Parker, Nicolas 71).
The extremely high costs of the death penalty are viewed as a waste of money to many citizens of the United States. Billions of dollars are spent on these executions. As a result, many police officers are getting laid off in the states that have the death penalty because of the insufficient funds available. This is very detrimental to our safety. In North Carolina, the death penalty costs about 2.16 million dollars more than a sentence of life in prison without chance of parole. (DPIC) In Texas, the death penalty costs about 2.3 million dollars that are around three times the cost of imprisoning someone for 40 years (DPIC). Florida would save $51 million each year by punishing all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole, according to estimates by the Palm Beach Post. Based on the 44 executions Florida has carried out since 1976, this amounts to an approximate cost of $24 million for each execution (DPIC). “The fact that it simply costs more to kill prisoners than…