I used to believe in the Death Penalty. Over the years though, I came to change my mind.
I know there are a lot of people that believe the death penalty is a deterrence to murder, but there’s nothing any statistics that show this to be true. Here’s a webpage that lists murder rates by state in the USA since 1996.
With the exception of a few outliers, and strange ones at that, murder rates per 100,000 population has decreased in both states with and without the death penalty. These numbers weren’t made up from some anti-death penalty group. Look at the source. I think we might all want to at least try and believe that the numbers crunched by the FBI are fairly accurate.
What good does putting a person to death do then? Clearly it doesn’t do what a lot of advocates say it does. There are people on death row right now in many states that have committed horrible crimes.
I really do believe it is some sort of vengeance. Some people say that putting an evil person to death means they will never kill again. On it’s face, that’s true. Keeping them locked up for life will accomplish the same. Looking at it in the crass, economic fashion? It costs states many times more just to prosecute and send people to death row than it would to sentence them to life in prison. Then the appeals process kicks into motion.
There is an automatic appeals process once someone is sentenced to death. Life in prison is really more economical. Emotions weigh heavy though. When the news carries stories of brutal murders of innocents as a society our first response is to want eye-for-an-eye retribution. It’s normal. It doesn’t solve the problem though. The death penalty satiates some barbaric sense of justice.
Did you know that there have been 144 people sentenced to death since 1971 that have been freed? Either they were acquitted or ‘charges dismissed”. Our technology in the past 20 years has advanced that now forensics has been able to with more than 99% certainty show a person committed the crime or didn’t.
Think about those freed if they’d been put to death only to find out later that they were innocent. Is it really right for us to make even one mistake?
I don’t believe so.
I filed this under “Politics”, because that’s all it comes down to.