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The Death Penalty: Government Murder that Should be Abolished
In today’s modern world, the old-age adage “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” from the Code of Hammurabi of Babylon seems passé. This defective form of justice only brings a “band aid” approach to the U.S. legal system beleaguered with rising murder cases. The death penalty only renders the state a draconian legal right to participate in premeditative murder. Capital punishment is archaic tantamount to slavery, burning women accused of witchery and severing one’s hand for stealing. The death penalty is not befitting for a civilized society that condones killing in any situation.
It is apparent that the death penalty in the United States is a legislative measure implemented against the disenfranchised. The odds of a homicide case resulting in the death penalty are greater when the defendant is of a minority race and the victim is white. Prosecutors are predicated to pursue the death penalty more when a homicide victim is white than when the victim is of an ethnic race. In most instances, death row inmates could not afford their attorneys, as result the court appoints inferior legal representation. According to an article on Buzzle, these “free” lawyers that handle death penalty cases are ill-equipped and inexperienced in capital punishment jurisprudence.
Death Penalty Costs are Outrageous and Unfair
Despite contrary arguments regarding the cost of executions, the cost of a capital punishment execution is more fiscally intensive than life imprisonment. Before the actual execution takes place there are other prolonged stages of the legal process that entails death penalty cases. Resources are expended during the conviction trial and sentencing trail especially for jury selection. Also prosecutors incur expenses for investigation proceedings. Then ultimately the end result could lead to a retrial. Funds appropriated for capital punishment can have more of a positive impact when allocated in homicide prevention, education and programs for the families of the victims.
There is no cost benefit analysis that indicates that capital punishment is diminishing the homicide rates in this country. The death penalty only gives a false sense of security to the general public. There is a misconception among proponents of capital punishment that the death penalty makes would be murderers more apprehensive to committing these criminal acts. There are validated studies that prove states without the death penalty have lower murder rates than states with the death penalty. Evidently the death penalty is an ineffective policy in homicide reduction. Can there be equal justice for a person who kills another? A person that reaches a point of taking a human life has obviously been a victim themselves of society’s social injustices.
Supporters of abolishing the death penalty do not have misplaced sympathy for murderers. The ideology of completely abolishing the death penalty nationwide is support for a civilization that upholds the value of human rights. Putting a murderer to death will not bring the victim back to life and will only bring temporary pain relief to the families of the victim. The Indian spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi said “An eye for eye makes the whole world blind.” Murdering a murderer is a just a never-ending cycle of revenge.
Pakhare, Jayashree. “Reasons against Capital Punishment.” Buzzle.com December 2011. https://opinionfront.com/reasons-against-capital-punishment-death-penalty>
“ Top 10 Arguments Against The Death Penalty.” Akorra.com. March 2010.