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Death Of A Criminal Essay, Research Paper

The Death Of A Criminal

Crimes are committed everyday. Many people are caught, while many are

not. In the United States Of America, when a person kills another

person he/she is considered a murderer. The instant the murder takes place,

all rights should automatically be revoked. Murderers should not be

allowed to walk the streets. Once a person has killed, there should be no

chance it could happen again. Convicted murders should be given the

death penalty and have it carried out at once. The death penalty is a

controversial sentence. Not every one feels the same way, but I

believe that, in America, the death penalty for murderers is beneficial

to the economy and it’s a punishment that fits the crime.

Anti-death penalty supporters argue the death penalty is

unconstitutional and that capital punishment is a barbaric remnant of an

uncivilized society. It is immoral in principle, and unfair and

discriminatory in practice. It assures the execution of some innocent

people. As a remedy for crime, it has no purpose and no effect

(American Civil Liberties Union National Office 2-16-95).”

In 1972, the supreme court in Furman v. Georgia ruled that the death

penalty for murder was unconstitutional. They also argue that the

death penalty costs too much to carry out (Academic American

Encyclopedia ?Capital Punishment?).

Yet, in 1976, The Supreme Court in Gregg V. Georgia declared the death

penalty for murder is constitutional (AAE ?Capital Punishment?). The

death penalty is also fair and serves its justice. Surveyed police

chiefs and sheriffs choose the death penalty as a primary method to

combat violent crime (Montgomery 2-25-95). It cost less in the long run

as well. It is a lot better to get rid of the scum then to feed,

clothe, and shelter them.

How does the economy benefit from the death penalty? First of all, the

American economy has enough problems as it is. The government is trying

to cut spending left and right. State and Federal Prisons are

overcrowded. What do these prisons have to do with American Economy?

American tax money is used to support hard core criminals like murderers

and rapists that are serving their sentence.

At the end of 1992, State and Federal prisons reached a record high of

883,593 prisoners. This record means that approximately 1,143 prison

bed spaces are needed per week due to overcrowding. To put this in a

economic prospective, on the average each prisoner cost $22,000 per

year, and the cost of new construction averages almost $54,000 per bed

(AAE ?Prison?). The 883,593 prisoners are costing the American

taxpayers approximately $19.4 billion plus another $61.7 Million for the

construction of the 1,143 spaces needed.

Why should we, the tax payers/the victims, support these criminals?

It?s true that not all the prisoners are hard core, but in 1992, 2,575

prisoners–all murderers–were sentenced to death (BJS 5-93). 31 (one

female) of the 2,575 (36 female) murderers had been executed during

1992. This is the largest number of people executed for any year since

1976 (BJS 12-92). By executing these murderers, the American tax money

could be used for something more useful. Thus the economy benefits from

the death penalty. In addition, it helps lower the prison population by

the number executed.

The average time a death row prisoner has to spend in jail until the

death sentence is carried out is about nine years and six months (BJS

12-92). It?s more economical to keep them in prison for those nine

years and execute them, rather that let them spend their life in jail

taking up space and tax money.

Those who argue that it?s more expensive to execute a prisoner don?t

look at the overall picture. Suppose the Amount A equals the amount of

money to support on prisoner per year ($22,000) and Amount B equals the

cost of the Execution (neglible). We are talking about paying Amount A

times the nine years spent in jail plus Amount B for the execution plus

the cost for new construction during the nine years (total is approx.

$690,000). as opposed to paying Amount A times and average of 60 years

the prisoner would spend in jail plus the cost of new construction

during an average of 60 years ( total approx. $4,560,000). Even if the

prisoner spent 20 years in prison, the cost would be approximately


How is the death penalty a punishment that fits the crime? Well, not

every prisoner deserves the death penalty. People who kill someone in

self defense should not be treated as one who kills just for the sake of

killing. This is one instance anti-death penalty supporters will bring

up. The criteria for evaluating whether or not a person is sentenced to

death varies from state to state. The states that have death penalty

laws are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut,

Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,

Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada

New Hampshire, New jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma,

Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Caroling, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,

Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. The choices of execution are

hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad, and lethal injection

(BJS 12-92). These choices also vary from state to state. There are

guidelines that are followed before a prisoner is sentenced to death.

Of those, one of the most important reads, ?Capital punishment may be

imposed only when guilt is determined by clear and convincing evidence

leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the fact ( Crime

Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch 5-25-84). ?

We live in a day and age where killing and raping happens everyday, and

many get away with it. Those who are caught don?t deserve for American

taxpayers/victims to pay for them to stay in a jail cell for the rest of

their life. If the death penalty were to be implemented more maybe

would-be murderers and rapists would think twice before committing their

crimes. If we could rid our streets of those people, there could be a

safer place for everyone. Men and women could feel safer jogging or

doing errands at night. Single women could feel safer in their homes.

Children could feel safe playing in their yards. By sentencing

murderers to death the economy benefits, and the punishment fits the

crime. Thus the death penalty is beneficial in that it saves money and

lets us feel secure.


Academic American Encyclopedia. ?Prison?, ?Capital Punishment.?

Danbury: Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1995.

American Civil Liberties Union National Office. ?New York Civil

Liberties Union say No to death Penalty.? February 16, 1995

Bureau of Justice Statistics. ?Capital Punishment 1992.? May !993.

Bureau of Justice Statistics. ?Prisoners in 1992.? May 1993.

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch. ?Safeguards guaranteeing

protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty.? May 25,


Montgomery, Lori. ?Death penalty ineffective, police say.? Austin

American-Statesman, February 25, 1995: A20

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