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Frym or Stickm: Either Way It Is Wrong
Today’s system of capital punishment tolerates
many inequalities and injustices. The common arguments for the death penalty are filled
with holes. Imposing the death penalty is expensive and time consuming. Each year
billions of dollars are spent to sentence criminals to death. Perhaps the most frequently
raised argument against capital punishment is that of its cost. Other thoughts on the death
penalty are to turn criminals away from committing violent acts. A just argument against
the death penalty would be that sentencing an individual to death prevents future crimes by
other individuals. However, criminals are not afraid of the death penalty. The chance of a
criminal being sentenced to death is very slim. The number of inmates actually put to death
is far less than it was decades ago. This decrease in number shows that the death penalty is
faulty. With that being true, many criminals feel that they can get away with a crime and
go unpunished. Also, the less that the death sentence is invoked, the more conflicting it
becomes when it is actually used. Alternative can be found to substitute for the death
penalty. A huge misconception of the death penalty is that it saves society the costs of
keeping inmates imprisoned for long periods of time. Ironically, the cost of the death
penalty is far greater than the cost of housing a criminal for life. Appeals on the death
penalty become a long, drawn-out and very expensive process. There are those who cry
that we, the taxpayers, shouldn’t have to “support” condemned people for an entire
lifetime in prison-that we should simply “eliminate” them and save ourselves time and
money. The truth is that the cost of state killing is up to three times the cost of lifetime
imprisonment (Long 80). The process of sentencing one to death is not as simple as it
sounds. Once an individual is sentenced to death, he begins to appeal the court decision,
which can take many years. In many cases there are many years in between the sentence
and the actual execution. Trial courts cost and prison costs amassed while awaiting
execution, total up to large sums of money. Additionally, there are costs for prosecution
and defense. Comparing the cost of the death penalty to a life sentence makes the sentence
of life imprisonment sound like a good arrangement. Is it really worth the hassle and
money to kill a criminal, when we can put them away for life for less money with a great
deal more ease? The death penalty needs to be revised and altered so that it is more cost
and time efficient. Supporters of the death penalty claim, is that it is just retribution for
someone who commits the heinous crime of murder. The death penalty assures that the
convicted murderer is being paid back for his or her wrongdoing, and revenge has been
accomplished. If the state is interested in executing convicted killers in order to teach them
the high value that society holds for human life, doing so doesnt accomplish this. Killing a
person to show him killing another is wrong is an injustice in itself (Zimring 76). The
archaic view of “an eye for an eye” is expressed often by supporters of the death penalty,
yet this view is not associated with any other crimes. A court would find it difficult to
sentence a rapist to suffer a sentence of rape, as they would have trouble burning down
the house of someone who was convicted of arson. These punishments would
undoubtedly be considered as cruel and unusual, and would never be permitted in todays
society. The same views should be held regarding the death penalty. In addition, the
executing of a killer to enact revenge will never bring back the life of a victim. At some
point, the violence must be stopped. The most common rationale for support of the death
penalty is that of deterrence. Logically, a person who knows that they might be executed if
they are convicted of a capital crime will think twice before committing the offense. The
fact of this matter is that the majority of the people who do commit these crimes are not
very logical at the time of the offense. There are a great number of murder cases, in which
the killer was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, psychologically distressed, in
emotional turmoil, or in some way or another unable to control their


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