Capital punishment should not be used in society. There are many reasons for its abolishment.
The first reason comes from the human factor. As long as men are making the decision concerning a man's life, there can be no absolutes. Unless it has absolutely been determined that a person was responsible for taking the life of another person, then capital punishment should not even be a consideration.
When DNA began to be a viable part of the evidentiary aspect proof of guilt or innocence, several cases were examined and the defendents were found to be innocent. They had been incarcerated in death row for years, and yet were not guilty. As long as there is the chance that the jury system might find someone guilty that did not commit the crime, capital punishment cannot be used.
In addition, it has been found that capital punishment is rarely a deterrent. For those crimes, that are not premeditated a person does not stop to consider what the ramifications of the crime might be. Many law enforcement agents have spoken out against capital punishment as a deterrent:
A recent survey of the most leading criminologists in the country have found that the overwhelming majority did not believe that the death penalty is a proven deterrent to homicide. Eighty-eight percent of the country’s top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide, according to a new study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
Similarly, 87% of the expert criminologists believe that abolition of the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates.
Use of the death penalty is far more costly than keeping a person in prison for life. The court system allows many years of appeals. A man can be on death row for 12 to 15 years waiting for his final appeal. The additional cost of confining an inmate to death row, as compared to the maximum security prisons where those sentenced to life without possibility of parole ordinarily serve their sentences, is $90,000 per year per inmate. With California's current death row population of 670, that accounts for $63.3 million annually."
This is a comparison between the death penalty and life in prison:
- Annual costs per innate on death row is $90,000.
- In California, for the death row system the cost is $137 million per year. If continued estimates expect the costs to increase to $232 million per annum.
- The cost of keeping prisoners incarcerated for life is $11.5 million per year.
The last reason that I have for abolishing the death penalty comes from a personal belief that I do not think that it is the responsibility of society to take the life of another human being. I understand that there are despicable people who have committed heinous crimes. However, it is my belief that those lives should be left to the hands of God.