The death penalty’s ultimate goal is to stop crime. What is the difference between a state killing someone and a man killing another man? Either way, someone is being murdered and murder is a crime. People think that if you execute a person that you are freeing up more tax dollars for the state. Then you have the issue of dealing with people’s moral and religious beliefs. When a person is given the death penalty, you are in essence giving them the easy way out of the situation. The death penalty has failed totally because it was a seriously flawed and unnecessary law. The death penalty should have never been considered, much less implemented and I feel that it should be abolished. The key part of the death penalty is that it involves death, something, which is rather permanent for humans. This creates a major problem when “there continue to be many instances of innocent people being sentenced to death.”(Hanks 142) In our legal system, there exist lots of ways in which justices might be poorly served for a recipient of the death sentence.
One way is the handling of one’s own defense counsel. If a defendant is without counsel, a lawyer will provide. But a lot of the attorney’s given to the defendant lack the qualities necessary to provide a competent defense. With payment caps or court-determined sums of, for example, $5 an hour, there is not much incentive for a lawyer to spend a great deal of time representing defendants. When you compare this to prosecution, “aided by police, other law enforcement agencies, crime labs, state mental hospitals, various other scientific resources, experienced prosecutors in these type cases, and grand juries”(Hank 144), the defense that the court provide is little no help. What if a defendant has a valid case to offer, but does not show it because he or she was represented wrong? Why should they be punished for an injustice that is created by the court itself when it appointed the incapable lawyer?
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The most frequent argument for capital punishment is that of deterrence. Society makes you think if you use the death penalty it will dissuade other criminals from committing violent acts. Numerous studies have been created attempting to prove this belief, “but the evidence taken together makes it hard to be confident that capital punishment deters more than long prison terms do”(Flanders 34). Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, has stated that “people are increasingly realizing that the more we resort to killing as a legitimate response to frustration and anger with violence, the more violent our society becomes”. He goes on to say that “we could execute all three thousand people on death row, and most people would not feel any safer.
A vast misconception concerning the death penalty is that it saves society the costs of keeping inmates imprisoned for long periods of time. “The average time between sentencing and execution for the 31 prisoners put on death row in 1992 was 114 months, or nine and a half years”(Flanders103). “Criminal justice process expenses, trial court cost, appellate and post-conviction, and prison cost perhaps including years served on the death row awaiting execution breakdown to cost a quarter-million dollars, but per execution cost over 2 million dollars”(Flanders106). When you compare this to the average cost for a twenty-year per prison term for first-degree murder is about 330 thousand dollars. It really is not worth it to kill someone because you can lose a life and a lot of money when you could keep them alive and make them suffer a lot more by being locked up and save millions in the process.
“Revenge is an unworthy motive for our society to pursue” (Winters 45). In our society, there is a great expectation placed on the family of a victim to pursue vengeance to the highest level, which is the death penalty. Pat Bane, executive director of the Murder Victims Families for reconciliation stated, “One parent told me that people made her feel like she was betraying her son because she did not want to have the person killed who murder him”(Winters 49). Even in the bible revenge is refer to as a sin. But in the Hebrew bible, the death penalty is fine by them saying “A life for a life, eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, and etc”(Shimron N&O). That right there would confuse me because, by forcing families to seek the death penalty, their own conscience will be burdened by the death of the killer. Tom Fewel from High Point, NC begged the jury not to give his daughter’s killer the death penalty.
He made this statement in the courtroom “If he is killed will it bring back my daughter” (Hayes Greensboro News). I feel at some point that man must stop this violence. Seeking this kind of revenge is not a logical basis for whether the death penalty should be used. Revenge sometimes to me is confused with retribution, and most would agree that punishment should fit the crime, society can not justify killing someone else simply on the basis that they deserved it. A killer can be sentenced to life without parole, and society would be just as safe as if he or she had been killed. In today’s society, the death penalty is becoming an unrealistic form of punishment. Then you have the possibility of mistaken execution. There will remain always the question of the innocence of those put to death. Finally, man nor woman is not a perfect being, so why should any other being have the right to inflict the punishment of death?