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Reasoning Against The Death Penalty in America

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The death penalty has been a controversial issue which has not only been apparent recently but has also brought havoc in our American history for an extensive amount of time. There are an abundance of economic, social, and political factors that depict how there is an underlying corrosive nature to deciding who will succumb to this cruel punishment. This conflict is circumstantial in that each case dictates the degree of severity, yet deciding who receives this faith is alarming more than what you would initially perceive. There are a lot of arguments against the death penalty, and this form of judicial execution must be outlawed undoubtedly because there is a solution that can be implemented when dealing with the felonies of an individual rather than taking away their life. So the point of this essay is anti-death penalty, and how it can be substituted.

From an outsider perspective, we disregard the vast amount of finances that are required in order to have additional trials for these criminals as well as simply house them in their cell for the time being. You may not have realized but we also have to give a portion of our incomes to the government in order for them to afford the instruments required to execute as well as maintain the security at these segregated locations. It requires much less extraneous effort to put an individual accused of first degree murder in jail rather than extracting more time and capital into extra procedures. It may appear as if we are contributing to society by removing these hindrances, yet in fact it is actually coming at an unideal cost. Many taxpayers are providing money to maintain cohesive aspects of the criminal justice system that seems great in theory, yet is actually inflicting more financial harm. This is because majority of these individuals are put on a retained status waiting for their upcoming jury trials to speak of their testimony. Those days spent housed in a separate facility waiting require for these new death row inmates to be given the basic necessities and increased security available thanks to the taxes paid. Majority of these inmates end up dying within their cell or are never sentenced to the death penalty. This causes the public to evoke an irritated presence of how their money is being handled. The reason is due to it appearing as if there is only stagnant progress occurring when it comes to determining an outcome of a death penalty case. This makes you realize that the criminal justice system is heavily unorganized despite its meticulous nature due not being able to determine the outcome of a perceived criminal in a timely manner. Not only does it take a significant crater of your money, but we are essentially contributing to deaths of multiple people. Of course it is rational to view it as just to punish those who have murdered another human and to make them suffer for their despicable actions. However, they won’t be able to vividly understand the extent of their indecency if they are not alive to suffer on a daily basis. It wouldn’t be coherent to kill individuals if it comes at the cost of wasting extra money, since these people could merely rot in prison. Making them decompose within a silent cell will have to suffice and is overall a less costly alternative that would evade the issue of wasting time on these cases. Furthermore, there was a case in which a Seattle University gathered data and discovered that millions of dollars are spent more when the death penalty was sought in multiple counties. In this article they were arguing there was more extraneous decisions practiced such as a careful selection of jury (finding people willing to impose the punishment), prosecutors spending more on death penalty proceedings, separate sentencing phase, and double the hearings at court. These authors’ statements depict how much more perplex a case is when affiliated with the death penalty because there is attributes not apparent in non-capital cases. All this time and expense of many involved will gradually over time provide hardships including having to pay more taxes to abide with execution as an acceptable form of punishment. Instead it would be more reasonable for America to save itself from despair that can be averted by ending this policy in order to achieve a greater substance of economic stability. In addition, Nevada’s legislature stated that more resources are used towards these death sentences rather than any other type of case. They concluded that the most amount of money was spent on cases with the death penalty being sought but no one getting executed. This displays that it’s pointless to be spending $532,000 more on average for these cases if no one ends up getting executed as a result. Similarly, the next most expensive type of case was where individuals were actually executed with the death penalty sentenced. Considering that Nevada is one of 30 states that don’t revoke the death penalty conveys that they are acknowledging the financial impact. During this study within Nevada, certain prosecution and court costs in counties couldn’t be acquired to the estimated total cost indicating that this approximate value is merely a quantitative fraction of the grand total spent. Likewise, it reflects that states within our country are gradually comprehending, based on current trends of data, that perhaps these expenditures could be put to better use in other lacking industries to improve their counties. Also as time has progressed these cases have gotten more complicated with experts in specific professions being highly demanded. Consequently, this causes for prosecutors and defendants to spend a large influx on what they believe are the best certified to give MRI’s or CT scans because improved technology signifies more concrete evidence. So the first argument against the death penalty is that it ultimately is not nourishing the economy but instead is making it seem adequate to be draining Americans hard worked money into cases that never seem to make consistent progression.

It is trivial for us to want a person deceased regardless of the circumstance because it doesn’t align with basic ethics that humanity must thoroughly abide. Especially since this death warrant is on an opposite spectrum from what equality symbolizes due to there always being a possibility that someone has a prejudice towards specific identities. Our system has many flaws in which those executed coincidentally compose of predominantly certain demographics of people committing the same crime and overall the methods of execution lacking morality. According to a Washington governor named Jay Inslee who has recently opposed the use of death sentences stated, “I believe the legislature should move on this subject, that it should change these capital cases to life in prison, to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole”. Inslee is essentially offering a compromise to this national issue at hand in which the suspected criminal is able to face punishment without having to hand in their life in exchange for his or her alleged conviction. Of course not all the states follow this method, yet it would drastically prevent having to kill another human. America in general makes the topic of death penalties a bit taboo to the extent that it isn’t discussed too often within the general public and we are only educated a miniscule amount. Majority of the decisions that are cemented in relation to capital punishment tends to leans towards more of an emotional appeal rather than factual evidence. This characteristic of our justice system inevitably results in a deprived state from equality because actual evidence gets disregarded for personal sentiment. Inslee stating “We need to spend more time listening to the evidence of reality, rather than just making emotional decisions” reflects that the system hasn’t been enforcing its power as unbiased as most would expect. It as well raises suspicion of the possibility that countless of the death row inmates have been unfairly convicted because of a racism or simply not enough emphasis on the actual evidence found inside the case. Furthermore, there is no prudent argument that can contradict the cruelty of killing another human regardless if some forms of execution appear to be more humane. What is quite alarming is the relentlessness of some states to ensure a diverse range of executions that consist of lethal injections, hangings, electrocutions, gas chambers, and firing squads. For instance, Jimmy Lee Gray was an inmate executed in 1983 by a gas chamber in which he desperately gasped for air until he chose to repetitively bang his head against a pole to die faster. Gray having to agonize to this extent of death is not what justice resembles, but is rather having him facing consequences that our moral principles find acceptable. In this situation he was deemed guilty, yet not every inmate is liable for what they have been charged with in their death penalty sentence. There have been cases in which some of the death row inmates were in fact innocent, despite having already been executed prior to this conclusion. These mistakes occur frequently which vividly validates how often the death penalty fails to properly accomplish its purpose. The unfortunate reality is that majority of these deaths were determined due to external factors such as the quality of the lawyers, the race of the suspect, and how wealthy the suspects are socio-economically. This serves as reasoning towards not being able to vindicate the judicial execution from being corrupt due to skewed judgment often playing a vast role. It consists of being less attentive to the actual circumstances and instead focusing disproportionately more on the suspect’s racial background. Not surprisingly since 1976, almost half of death row inmates who have been executed or are still alive comprise of black people. What is even more peculiar is that 80% of these alleged criminals were charged for killing a white person, yet there has only been 20 white people executed for murdering a person of black descent. This evidently outlines the true colors of what this legalized killing represents and how racism is still found in America, despite all the progress we have made to become more transparent amongst each other. Can we as Americans truly be content to have an outdated system where our friends, who simply are of a different skin color, are more likely to be executed? Our fellow brothers and sisters do not deserve to suffer for a brief moment or be incarcerated all their life in a dark cell without extensively analyzing the substantial evidence to prove their guiltiness. This is the second reasoning against capital punishment.

Ever since 1976, there has long been political turmoil as to whether the death penalty is unconstitutional because it negates the 8th amendment of prohibiting cruel and unusual punishments. Different perspectives have flared over the executing of inmates for their behavior throughout counties across America, yet this national dilemma fortunately has progressed in the early 21st century. In 2002 there was case known as Atkins v. Virginia that revoked any person with mental deficiencies to be killed which conveys that the government was gradually understanding the severity of this policy. However, it didn’t halt there because the court’s rulings allowed juveniles under the age of 18 to abstain in the case Roper v. Simmons and have murder be the only criteria for death penalty in Kennedy v. Louisiana. These court gatherings show the growing sentiment towards not finding the death penalty suitable and thinning out the criteria to decrease the amount of executions occurring within the nation. By abolishing principles of the death penalty we are gradually improving the chances of the court declaring capital punishment entirely unconstitutional. Likewise, it can be concluded that the government is capable of change, yet the question is when this will occur in the future? The only plausible future solution for this issue is to be addressed is at the state or county level, since it will inflict a larger impact. For instance, an abundance of executions occur in scattered desolated counties throughout the nation. A great portion is held in Texas which is considered “the nation’s death penalty state”. This lack luster title indicates that it isn’t an exception to the tainted practices of an unbalanced racial distribution of death row inmates or false representation at trials for those convicted. However, we can spark action by expressing our resentment towards this policy through peaceful civil disobedience. A single reform can prove to be the anecdote to this devastation, but that will only occur if more Americans become brave in vocalizing their opinion. It does not matter if the trials are occurring in Texas or any other county because there is nothing that can justify the exploitation of individuals. As Americans it is undoubtedly our duty to fight for our beliefs, despite other contradicting perspectives. Similarly, there are masses of people who have made their own conclusions that align with an ideology that judicial execution is ensuring our safety. Many rebuke the role that racism has played and instead advocate that any individual must pay for their actions regardless of their skin color. What is interesting is that majority of these who have expressed this type of mentality engulf a large portion of Republicans than Democrats. This is a heavy underlying reason that has kept the death penalty the way its structured these past decades. Those for the death sentence strongly argue that the justice system is fair without a single grain of insincerity, despite countless incidents that invalidate this claim. It seems as if they are not entirely educated on the topic because of their shallow narrative that consists of it being humane or much less costly. There could be some substance or depth behind all these remarks, yet evidence of where money is spent just make these people appear inconsiderate with a bias. It has been recorded that the crime and violence rate increased in Texas after the death penalty was brought back in 1976. This fact portrays that it’s contradicting it’s purpose of ensuring safety, so how can we justify a policy that is ineffective. Additionally, people make critiques against towards pro-abolitionists for only having the 8th Amendment to rely on nullification. In actuality this amendment is what has paved steps towards a better future, so even one resource is enough to capitalize on this conflict. You can’t perceive the executions to be humane when you aren’t being the victim giving your life away.

Ultimately, we are at gradually leaving a crossroads our nation has been cemented in for many years. We must keep in mind that death isn’t reversible and we are bound to make mistakes when coming to an agreement in a trial. It is normal to make errors because we are humans, yet this comes at the cost of someone’s life. Not only are we spending more money as a nation but we are going against what our government stands for in an unethical matter. We should stand against the death penalty. By disposing of this death penalty in exchange for a life sentence our country will undoubtedly have sturdier future prospects. 

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