Capital Punishment
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, has been abolished in most modern first world societies, but not all. There is much debate as to whether it is right for countries like the United States to continue to use this type of justice, and if it is an efficient way to fight crime. However, there are many arguments as to why there is no place for the death penalty in a civilized society and that it is not an effective way of stopping crime. A justice system which is based on rehabilitation is far more effective in reducing violent crime than a strictly punishment system that includes a death penalty; this can be seen clearly when comparing Canada?s to the U.S.A?s crime rate. Not only is the death penalty ineffective at lowering crime rate, it also costs taxpayers more than imprisoning someone for life, contrary to popular belief. In addition to the previously stated problems with the death penalty is the fact innocent people are convicted every day; innocent people have and will continue to be murdered because of wrongful convictions. The ineptitude, cost and chance of wrongfully condemning someone to death are all reasons as to why the death penalty is not the answer to crime and that there should be no place for capital punishment in a civilized society.
Many people believe that the death penalty is not an effective solution to violent crime or even an efficient way of decreasing violent crimes. The fact that the death penalty does not deter crime is proven when comparing the homicide rates between Canada and the United States; although homicides are punishable by death in the U.S.A, the rate at which they occur is more than triple that of Canada?s (1.8 per 100,000 in Canada to 5.5 per 100,000in the U.S.A). These numbers reveal that not only does the death penalty not stop murders from happening, but in countries that focus on rehab rather than punishment the homicide rate is lower. Capital punishment makes little if any difference to homicide rates and has not helped countries like the U.S reduce violent crime, making it an obsolete and ineffective form of justice. The inability of the death penalty to prevent, rather than punish murder is just one of many reasons as to why it is the wrong answer for how to serve justice.
The death penalty has been and will continue to be argued from a moral, ethical and legal perspective. However, some countries have abolished this practice for one simple reason: money. Although most people believe that it would cost less to execute convicts rather than give them a life sentence, it is actually the opposite; life in prison is in fact cheaper than sentencing someone to death. An audit into the cost of death penalties in Kansas counted death penalty case costs up to the execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million. Non-death penalty cases were counted till the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of $740,000. For death penalty cases, the pre-trial and trial level expenses were the most expensive part, 49% of the total cost. The investigation costs for death-sentence cases were about 3 times greater than for non-death cases. The trial costs for death cases were about 16 times greater than for non-death cases with $508,000 for death case and $32,000 for non-death case. This audit of the Kansas justice system reveals that it not the actual execution but the trials leading up to the executions that cost the most. The extremely high cost of executions compared to a cheaper alternative that ensures the same result (crime cannot be committed while someone?s in prison) demonstrates why the death penalty should no longer be used.
Some wrongful convictions are inevitable in all justice systems. In most cases when the victims are found to be innocent they are compensated somehow, but if someone is sentenced to death there is no way to make up for that. The fact that an innocent person could be murdered simply because he or she was wrongly convicted is wrong. An example of someone being wrongfully executed is Johnny Frank Garret of Texas who was convicted and then executed for raping and murdering a nun. The flaws of the case were revealed after and Garret was soon proved innocent. In Canada