May 9th, 2015
WRTG 101s Kadena
Apx. Word Count: 1050
A congressional movement to abolish the death penalty throughout the U.S. needs to be made a reality. Many people hope and dream about getting rid of the death penalty in all states, and by making this dream a reality the states can cut down on the number of innocent people put on death row and furthermore keep them from being wrongly executed, they can also cut down on cost per state and by doing so you can cut down on cost as a nation; as it cost more to sentence someone to death then it is to merely keep them incarcerated. Many people also assume that it is a deterrent when in fact it is not, crime rates have actually increased substantially since the death penalty was implemented. By introducing and passing a bill through congress these and problems will be reduced or completely diminished. “The cost of housing a prisoner since 2000 when the BOP (Balance of Pay) the annual cost was $21,601 per incarcerated”. (Palazzo, J. May 7, 2015). Where as in a Seattle University study examining the costs of the death penalty in Washington found that “each death penalty case cost an average of $1 million more than a similar case where the death penalty was not sought ($3.07 million, versus $2.01 million).” (John, Sullivan. May 8,2015) With that simple statistic in Washington alone it is clear that the cost of capital punishment is far more expensive and time consuming then to house a prisoner. In some states it’s just the same or costs even more in an assessment of Costs by Judge Arthur Alarcon and Prof. Paula Mitchell stated that “the cost of the death penalty in California has totaled over $4 billion $1.94 billion--Pre-Trial and Trial Costs, $925 million--Automatic Appeals and State Habeas Corpus Petitions, $775 million--Federal Habeas Corpus Appeals, and $1 billion--Costs of Incarceration” (Alarcon, Arthur; Mitchell, Paula. May 7, 2015). The authors calculated that, if the Governor commuted the sentences of those remaining on death row to life without parole, it would result in an immediate savings of $170 million per year, with a savings of $5 billion over the next 20 years. It’s obvious and clear that capital punishment cases cost way more than life without parole in prison.
Capital Punishment has proven not to be a successful deterrent for crimes across the nation. According to a new study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, “Eighty-eight percent of the country’s top criminologist do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide”. Nationally, murder rates are significantly lower in states that don’t use the death penalty than in those with a death penalty statute and have been consistently for the past two decades. “In some years, the murder rate in non-death penalty states was as much as 46 percent lower than in death penalty states. In a 2008 survey, police chiefs from across the country ranked the use of the death penalty at the bottom of a list of effective crime fighting tools.”(Deterring Crime, n.d.) They said more law enforcement resources were the most needed tool for reducing violent crime. Once again as stated before the need for the death penalty is no need at all it’s just a strong want. Wrongful execution is the highest raised concern about the death penalty. In a recent study in Columbus, Ohio says that “About 10,000 people in the United States may be wrongfully convicted of serious crimes each year” (Tom Spring. May 8, 2015). The results are based on a survey of 188 judges, prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs and police chiefs in Ohio and 41 state attorneys general. The study also found that the most important factor leading to wrongful conviction is eyewitness misidentification. In a terrifying survey “as of May 4,2015 there have been 153 exonerations in 26 different states”.(Innocence and The Death