Death Penalty Essay

Words: 1397
Pages: 6

Joe Liquori
Ms. Kellogg
Intro to Law and Civics, Period 6
16 January 2013
Death Penalty Ever since the writing of Hammurabi’s code "an eye for an eye" has been one of the most debated phrases in legal systems. This term essentially means that the punishment should fit the crime: if you steal from someone, you should be stolen from; if you hurt someone, you should be hurt. In today’s world, this is often involved in the debate of capital punishment, or the death penalty. People in favor of the death penalty claim that it costs less than life in prison, it honors the victims and their families, and it prevents future crimes. People opposed to the death penalty claim that it is unfair to all people, has no effect on criminals’ mindset, and can cost less than life in prison if the trial is appealed. Besides saving money and honoring victims, the death penalty clearly prevents people from committing crimes in the future. It is for this reason that the death penalty should be used in our legal system today. The death penalty is an essential part of our legal system today. Without it, sick murderers like Adam Lanza might not be able to pay properly for the damage that they have caused. How could a person who has taken the lives of 20 children possible not be put to death? To avoid these disastrous situations, it is imperative that capital punishment becomes a way to punish a criminal. This option helps grieving families know that the criminal will never be walking the streets again. For grieving families, it is a necessity to have the death penalty as an option for horrible criminals. Another aspect of the death penalty is that is saves money. Although some may disagree, this process does save money when going to trial, according to ProCon.org, “JFA [Justice for All] estimates that LWOP cases will cost $1.2 million-$3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases.” This shows that an average death penalty case can save a lot of money for our country in the long run. At this moment for our country, anything to save money is needed, especially $3 billion per case. It costs a ton of money for the government to house, feed, and provide medicine for insane killers, when the death penalty could make it much quicker and cheaper. Finally, the death penalty should be used in the United States because it prevents future crimes from happening. Criminals are more likely to stop and think about what they are doing if the result may end up as death for them instead of prison. Ernest Van Den Hagg, PhD and law professor at the Fordham University agrees, “People fear nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death” (procon.org). Common sense tells us that criminals are less likely to do something if the punishment is worse. George W. Bush once said, “I don’t think you should support the death penalty to seek revenge. I don’t think that’s right. I think the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people’s lives” (notable-quotes.com). Overall, it makes more sense to have the death penalty for special situations for a mass murderer. It would save money, honor the families of the victims, and most importantly, prevent possible criminals from doing the same. Although the majority of America is in favor of capital punishment, (65% according to a 2012 study), 35% of citizens believe that the death penalty should be banned (http://www.statisticbrain.com). Those opposed to the death penalty claim that it can cost more at times to use the death penalty, it has no effect on criminals, and it is unfair for criminals. Many people dispute the claim that the death penalty is cheaper with statistics of their own. Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, says “The death penalty is clearly more expensive than a system handling similar cases with a lesser punishment. [It] combines the costliest parts of both punishments: lengthy and complicated death…