On January 11, 2011, a 22-year-old male in Tucson, Arizona shot through the head of an Arizona congressional representative, Gabrielle Giffords. Jared Lee Loughner was the identified shooter. During the course of his attempted assassination of Giffords, he killed six people and wounded others. Among those who have died was a nine-year old girl. As of today, Jared Loughner’s sentencing is still an ongoing process. The prosecutors and survivors angered by his cold-blooded actions, argue for a dead sentence, while others recommend a life sentence behind bars. However, Loughner tried as mentally ill, but the court later discovered that he was stable and competent. Loughner planned his assassination motives beforehand, which discards the fact and beliefs that he was unstable and mentally ill. Which method would be the more appropriate and suited punishment considering his crimes was committed in competence and self-control?
In the Eighteenth Century, the establishment for the first laws of death penalty included the methods of execution: drowning, burning alive, hanging, beheading, boiling, crucifixion, impalement, and other heinous practice. The foremost common method of execution during the Tenth Century A.D. was hanging. In the 1700s, crimes that were punishable by death were theft, chopping down a tree, piracy, and other minor crimes considered as misdemeanor today. How does the death penalty differ from life imprisonment without parole in terms of morality? Death penalty has long been a controversial issue of judicial punishments. Nevertheless, as of today, thirty-five out of the fifty states in the United States have permitted the death penalty. On the other hand, over half of the countries around the world have abolished the death penalty. Why is euthanasia, a form of killing unlawful while capital punishment or execution regards as acceptable in a majority of the United States? Euthanasia and capital punishment both involves the killing of human lives in the hands of another human. It is arguable that killing a human being is unethical and immoral; however, the reason of killing is contradictory. Euthanasia is a term, in which involves assisting a merciful death of a terminally ill or suffering patient. The death penalty is the maximum consequence carried out upon an atrocious and prolific criminal. Death penalty is the execution of a criminal in hopes of terminating future and further crimes. Life imprisonment is the better method of punishment. The death penalty is nothing more than a form of revenge; it has little impact if any of crime deterrence, the process of execution is very expensive, and there is always a slight chance of wrongful executions.
Is the death penalty a deterrent to crime? Only statistics can verify the truth. According to credible statistics, death penalty is not more of a deterrent than is life in prison. In fact, statistics have proved that over the years, states with the death penalty have greater homicide crime rates than states without the death penalty. In addition, the death penalty does not guarantee rehabilitation. There is no way of bringing an executed person back to life. The death penalty is a form of revenge and does not guarantee rehabilitation or change, while life in prison can. A criminal being sentenced to life in prison has a decent chance of changing or rehabilitating. Every criminal deserves a second chance. Every single person in this world had sinned at least once, so it would be absurd to kill a person simply from one crime. The death penalty only guarantees one less criminal off the streets. As for executions, death upon criminals is instant, while life behind bars is torturous. For all we know, executed criminals may be in candy land or heaven as a joyful apparition. A victim’s family can rest assure that a criminal given life in prison is living in misery for the rest of their life behind bars. A question to take into account is which do criminals fear more between life in prison and an instant death? A majority of criminals may actually request a death sentence rather than prison. Criminals are not concerned about their own well-being meaning that life or death to them is just a notion. Unfortunately, the techniques of execution are not as heinous as it was few hundreds of years ago; otherwise, the death penalty would be incredible crime deterrence. The thought of pain, torture, or humiliation can petrify and intimidate criminals. The cruelest method of execution was slow slicing, or ling chi, where the public ties the condemned and a thousand of their pieces of flesh is cut, including severed limbs, ending with their beheading. The Chinese in 900 CE invented this method, until its abolishment in 1905. Today, the death penalty is nothing more than a short experience of pain. The modern death penalty is not an effective method of crime deterrence because it is not torture nor is it humiliation, but simply revenge.
Furthermore, the expenses upheld by the government in the cases of punishment are a concern. Most argue that the expenses of jailing prisoners are much greater than the processes of death penalty. They are wrong. Carrying out executions is much more expensive then sheltering inmates for the rest of their lives. In reality, the death penalty and executions costs much more than inhabiting criminals in prison. Why is that? The execution of a criminal is not the expensive part, but rather the process of long trials and appeals leading up to a decision of execution makes the death penalty an expensive method of punishment. It is important to provided additional prison guards for sentenced death row inmates, as well as situating death row inmates in an escape-proof and secured jail cell. This process alone, costs over $60,000 per year for each death row inmate. The drugs used for the death penalty costs $83.55 per execution. Although, the death penalty is has not been in active use, the sentencing of death row inmates has.
Possibly the most controversial reason against the death penalty is that the innocent may be wrongly executed. Over the past decade, there have been several cases of injustices. In the history of capital punishment, the innocent have been wrongfully executed, as well as wrongful imprisoned. There is a chance of imprisoning an innocent person to life in prison as well; however, the chance of repaying their dues and finding their innocence is superior to killing an innocent person. The idea of executing an innocent person is dreadful, let alone imprisoning them for life. How many innocent death row inmates have been executed or on the verge of execution? It would be awful to discover 17 death row inmates in the nation found innocent, but killed. Supporters of death penalty even suggested for quicker death penalty trials. Hastening the process of death penalty will only increase the chance of killing an innocent individual.
The better method of punishment for criminals is life imprisonment without parole. The justice system is very dysfunctional when it comes to life imprisonment. Life imprisonment without parole simply means life behind bars until a natural death. Governors and prosecutors should not interfere by requesting or endorsing an early release from prison no matter what. This is the reason the judicial system is flawed. Life imprisonment may be cruel and unusual, but it perhaps, can deter crime. It may be more torturous than the death penalty, but the death penalty is crueler because it is ultimately the end of life. Life imprisonment is the better method of punishment. Appropriate and sincere administration of life imprisonment may be the ultimate crime deterrence, as well as a rehabilitation strategy.
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