Essay Sample on The Death Penalty, Right or Wrong?
Death penalty is a legal process which sentences a person death by the judicial authority as a punishment for a crime. The judicial judgment to punish anyone this way is a death sentence, while the very process of killing the criminal is an execution. Capital punishment is considered to by those who are in favor of as not just useful, but essential for the successful existence of any modern society. The purpose of the death sentence is not to perform the act of revenge, at least no judicial authority can admit the probability of such a case. However, in the third-world countries where bribery flourishes immensely, this process can be used to abuse the rights of the other people. The fundamental purpose is to correct people. Death sentence can be particularly effective in showing potential perpetrators their errors on the example of others and assist in their rehabilitation so they can live in the society without endangering fellow citizens (Arguments for and against the Death Penalty n.d.).
The majority of people refers to the inhumanity of the death sentence to the opposition of the democratic and liberal rights of humans. However, I do not see a normal, effective existence of the society when there is constantly a possibility of murderers escaping from prison or being released from them and starting to commit the same crimes. The opponents also stress on the possibility of innocent people being executed for nothing, just due to the wrong evidence or someone’s ill desire for them to die. This point is stronger, but to eliminate such a possibility at all, the government should reform the judicial system more in order to make it look for even deeper pieces of the evidence, act still more professionally and seriously so no innocent people can be put to death.
People can oppose the death penalty as much as they wish to point out to many bad examples and prove that a life sentence is enough to rehabilitate a person, but they do not seem to look at the problem deep enough. If a criminal has enough money, his stay in prison can be quite comfortable. Moreover, life sentence, in my opinion, only makes the human heart more stony and ferocious as those prisoners realize that they will have to spend the rest of their life within a limited territory, which triggers in them the power to escape and cause even more harm to everyone who put them there.
Furthermore, the government spends quite much money on keeping criminals in prisons. In the entire world, people are suffering from hunger; however, a good number of law-breakers can enjoy their free bread for killing others. For example, in 2008, the average cost of keeping a prisoner was $100-$130 per day – the figure differed according to the area of the country. Therefore, about $40,000 is spent nationwide for each prisoner per year; that is an average wage of a worker in the United States (Ornellas n.d.). The economic advantages which are obtained by the companies that use inmate labor are drastic, and most of them facilitate annual profit margins twice their costs (McLennan 2008). Those companies who agree to have prisoners in their factories do not have to pay rent for storage, buildings or insurance and give only very little (if any at all) money for labor discipline and supervision. Probably most importantly, prison contractors buy inmate labor far below free-market rates (Chang et al 2002). Thus, prisoners work and bring profits to the nation too; however, there are many restrictions for the life-sentenced prisoners’ labor as the society does not really consider it moral to use the products manufactured by the killer (LeBaron 2012).
Another good example can be a country which executes death penalty and is considered the safest country in the whole world – Singapore in Southeast Asia. It is not possible to find cleaner and more organized country than Singapore. The rules are so strict there that no one even dares to throw a piece of paper on the pavement or spit on it as they will pay a very large fine or even get into prison. Many people say that such treatment is not democratic and restricts the freedom of the person greatly; however, because of this treatment citizens have learnt how to lead a highly-cultural life where manners and morals at the top place (Arguments for and against the Death Penalty n.d.).
Criminals who commit rape, murder or any other heinous crime know what they are doing and what punishment they can carry. Countries without death penalties therefore have larger criminal rates as people are sure that the worst what can happen to them is life imprisonment, which for many of them is not that bad in case they are leading quite lousy existence anyway. They are not conscious as much about their actions as citizens of the countries that execute criminals.
It is also important to note that the majority of violent crimes are committed by men whose age range is 18-40. For the government, it means that they still may have to live a bigger part of life, at least as the statistics shows. In other words, such criminals may cost the country as much as approximately a million dollars during the whole period that they spend in prison without the slightest chance of release or rehabilitation (Arguments for and against the Death Penalty n.d.).
It may sound ridiculous, but at the second part of 2008, the United States kept more people in prisons than there are people in Switzerland. If all these people were to form a separate country, it would be on the 94th place according to the population with a possible GDP of the area of $300 billion, which is much more than South Africa, Argentina, and Portugal (Ornellas n.d.).
Going even more back to the history of the United States from 1968 till 1976, there were no executions at all. During that period, the murder rate increased by a stunning 50 percent making people feel free in whatever they did. The next 20 years changed the situation a little bit: the murder rate fluctuated within 15 percent of the 22,000 per year figure.
An interesting fact started to be evident from 1994 – the amount of murders and other violent crimes was decreasing. This happened due to the significant increase in the execution rates when the government had finally decided to reintroduce the death penalty or at least those prisoners who served the life sentence were executed (Ornellas n.d.).
Death row prisoners can await their fate for over ten years and cost the country much more than standard prisoners. The inmates have access to the whole legal process that at the end costs a small fortune. To keep those prisoners in the right place, the taxes are taken from citizens who have nothing to do with the murders and just wish to live in the safe country (Ornellas n.d.).
It is quite unusual for me to hear that my co-citizens join the Armed Forces of their free will. However, when they are sent to a place with the ongoing military activities (for example, Afghanistan), they try to look for the way to escape from their duty. They knew what they were signing for; however, they try to avoid the responsibility when it comes to it. The same situation is with the murderers, rapists, and others they should bear the full responsibility for their actions. I do not have pity for them as each of them chooses their own way in life – they chose murder, so they will be executed for it.
I recognize that my position may sound very callous and even cruel, however, I am sure that the majority of people across the whole world would accept it if not publicly (because they are afraid to being accused in undemocratic and inhumane behavior) but definitely deep in their hearts as the crime should be equally punished. Moreover, let us think about the feelings of a mother whose son was murdered and the murderer is free to spend his life in prison, communicate with others, walk, eat, read, work sometimes. What will this mother want? Will she be satisfied with our judicial system? Will she consider our government to be just and caring for its citizens? The answer seems to be quite obvious. Therefore, various organizations can stand up for the life rights of everyone as much as they wish. However, there should be a limit to everything – to respond with kindness to a capital crime means to undermine our own safety.
“Arguments for and against the Death Penalty”. Michigan State University and Death Penalty Information Center, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
LeBaron, Genevieve. “Rethinking Prison Labor: Social Discipline and the State in Historical Perspective”. The Journal of Labor & Society, September, 2012, Vol. 15, pp. 327-353.
Chang, Tracy, Thompkins, Douglas. “Corporations Go to Prisons: The Expansion of Corporate Power in the Correctional Industry”. Labor Studies Journal, 2002, 27 (1): 45-69.
McLennan, Rebecca. “The Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776-1941”. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 2008.
Ornellas, Lori. “Death Penalty Arguments: This Paper in Memoriam of Sean Burgado”. Pro Death Penalty, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
Death Penalty Analysis Essay http://delawarelitigator.com/journal/death-penalty-analysis-essay-28bf82