Positioning Strap

The Death Penalty/Capital Punishment?

I am writing a paper on capital punishment. In actuality, I do in fact support it. However, i feel my arguments are better against it, and will therefore be writing my paper from that standpoint. Do you have any cases that I could incorporate into my paper? Examples would be cases when someone innocent was executed, cases when more than one person was involved in the crime, but only one was sentenced to death, or any other case that you think would look bad for executions.

Also, if you want to bring up any good points either for or against the death penalty, feel free!

It costs less money than life in prison. Don't be fooled by the anti-death penalty advocates who claim it costs more. They like to point to the number of appeals involved in a DP case, and the high costs of those appeals. Yes, a DP sentence has a number of automatic appeals which are quite expensive. However, the anti-DP folks assume a life in prison sentence has no appeals at all, and that is just not the case. Inmates routinely file appeals for a LIP sentence, they are just not automatic as in a DP sentence. In Indianapolis recently, Desmond Turner was sentenced to LIP plus 88 years. His accomplice, James Stewart, was sentenced to 425 years. They broke into a house to rob it and gunned down a family of seven. Each are filing appeals.
And the anti-DP folks use average prison costs to calculate how much it will cost to incarcerate a killer for his lifetime. That sounds reasonable, but the average costs include minimum security prisons and even halfway houses. If they were to use the cost of a maximum security prison where killers will be held, the actual cost will be multiples higher.
They also do not include any geriatric medical costs in their calculations. The older someone gets, the more medical treatment they will need. Geriatric care is about $70,000 per year; nearly double the cost of a max security cell. This is just a fact of life (excuse the pun).
Another huge cost saving is the District Attorney's use of plea bargaining. Many killers are cowards and will plead guilty to a life sentence in order to avoid possible execution at a trial. This saves millions each year in court costs, and there generally are no appeals granted for plea agreements.
Don't get me wrong, I am not proposing getting rid of the appeals process as it is an important part of our system of checks and balances. I believe somewhere in the neighborhood of 130 inmates have been removed from death row due to trial errors, new evidence, etc. This shows how the appeals process actually works to prevent a wrongful execution. However, not all of those 130 were actually innocent of their crimes. But "legally innocent" and "actually innocent" are two different things. It is better to release a guilty man than execute an innocent man. There is no conclusive evidence (but much speculation) that an innocent person has been executed in the United States since the States took over the duties of execution from the local counties (circa 1900), and certainly none since the post-Furman era began in 1976.
Executed killers do not commit additional crimes. Period. There are hundreds of cases where convicted killers commit even more crimes. Many on death row today received a LIP sentence, and then killed again while in prison (an automatic DP sentence in most states). Others escape, some are paroled, even some are given weekend furloughs (i.e. Willie Horton). Execution is reserved for the most heinous criminals.
Some will argue that a LIP sentence is far worse than a DP sentence. This may even be true for a very small number of people, but the will to survive is strong in the human species. 99.9% of all penalty phases of a murder trial plead for life, not death. Read some last statements from executed inmates and make up your own mind on whether they'd rather be in a cell or in their current position strapped to a gurney.

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