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Death Penalty

Essay by   •  February 12, 2012  •  Essay  •  710 Words (3 Pages)  •  942 Views

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The death penalty is an extensively controversial form of punishment practiced by criminal justice systems in numerous countries, the United States included. To this day, there are ongoing debates questioning capital punishment on a list of aspects. The financial cost happens to be one of them, particularly from taxpayers. The Eighth Amendment protecting citizens from "cruel and unusual punishment" and the Fourteenth Amendment granting citizens "equal protection of the laws" are said to be violated by the death penalty as well. Moral value of what is right and wrong, and pursuing "An eye for an eye" is the very objective the criminal justice system wants to end on the streets, so why show that it's ok in a court?

The New Jersey Policy Perspective conducted a study in 2005, estimating that capital punishment cost the state $256 million since 1983, and the state had not executed a single inmate in that time. (Capital Punishment/Death Penalty, 2010) When a case goes through with the death penalty and taking into account, the endless appeals, incarceration times and the execution, the cost can be approximately $3.2 million per inmate. Instead, this money could be better applied to a more constructive project such as cleaning up the community, advancing education, funding of healthcare, hospitals...any of these causes would've been more suitable. The lengthy process of capital punishment requires substantial financial investment to judges, attorneys, court reporters, clerks, and court facilities out of taxpayers' money. Counties have to budget such high costs by decreasing funding for highways, police and sometimes education, and increasing taxes. Funding is hard to come by as it is, let alone taking from it to support unnecessary causes.

Capital punishment is the sentence of execution for a capital offence, punishable by death. The United States Constitution's Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments are often argued to be violated in terms of the death penalty. The Eighth Amendment regards protecting citizens from "cruel and unusual punishment" from the states, as well as against the federal government. As of 2009, the average time on death row before being executed was 12 years. (Criminal Justice: Capital Punishment Focus, 2012). Twelve years of being taunted by death, many would argue to be cruel. The tactics used to execute the sentence are what are classifies to be barbaric and uncivilized in modern society. The Fourteenth Amendment states, "...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." (Messereli, n.d.) Compared to sentencing an individual to life in prison, sentencing them to death is argued to be a violation of life.

When the moral and ethical makeup of society is reflected through a law, it's called law behind

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