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More Reasons to End the Death Penalty

W. Scott Cole

Posted on January 17, 2019 02:47

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There are many reasons to end the death penalty besides botched executions. Some are economical and some are humanitarian. Some depend on realizing there is a difference between justice and retribution and realizing that the deliberate taking of a defenseless human’s life, even government sanctioned, is murder.

Ask anyone their opinion of the death penalty and you will get many answers, both for and against. The reasons for it have always rung hollow, while reasons against it seem to grow stronger and stronger as time goes by.

One of the more popular reasons in favor of it is the deterrence effect. In theory, if a person knows he may be executed for murdering someone, he will (supposedly) think about whether or not he wants to face that fate and so not commit the murder. Since some states have eliminated the death penalty, it has allowed studies based on that thinking.

The truth is, homicide rates have fallen in every state that has abolished the death penalty with the exceptions of Maryland and Illinois, and it has been postulated that the reason for no decline in those two states is increased gang violence in Baltimore and Chicago.

One need only look at New Mexico for a recent example of this in action. From 2009 to 2016, there was a slight uptick nationally in the homicide rate. New Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2009, when it’s murder rate stood at 9.9 per 100,000 citizens. In 2016, it’s rate stood at 6.7 per 100,000 citizens. Obviously, the availability of the death penalty does not keep many people from committing murder.

Death penalty proponents don’t really want to look at the cost of the death penalty to society, but it deserves to be looked at, too. When you compare the cost of a capital case from trial to execution to the cost of life in prison without parole, there really is no comparison. Florida estimates that it spends $3.2 million per capital punishment case, trial to execution. At an average $40,000 per year for life without parole, it would take over 70 years for the state to reach that number.  If North Carolina had abolished it’s death penalty in 2005, it would have saved $11 million per year every year. Nebraska could have saved their citizens $14 million in 2015 alone.

Then there is the one thing nobody wants to think about. How many innocent people have been executed over the years? Between prosecutorial misconduct, police fabricating evidence, and inadequate defense attorneys, it is ludicrous to think it has never happened. In truth, it has happened often enough to give anyone pause. The number of innocent people executed can never be known, but an estimate can be extrapolated from looking at how many have been wrongly sentenced to death that have been exonerated. That number today stands at 160 since 1973. It has been estimated that 4.1 percent of the people on death row are innocent. That is far too many.

Finally, I have only one reply to those that say the murderer made his victim suffer, so he deserves anything he gets. Do we really, truly want to lower ourselves to the same level as the murderer?

W. Scott Cole

Posted on January 17, 2019 02:47

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Source: FOX News
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