Jack mentioned in the podcast that it had to be more expensive to keep someone in prison for life rather than execution (I'm paraphrasing btw), and for anyone who cares about the subject its actually the reverse.
Here is the link to the Death Penalty Information Center financial facts page that highlights death penalty states and the costs that go into a capital case versus a non capital case. Enjoy :)
I'm never one for political correctness, so I'll throw it out there: I'm on your side Oddree, death penalty is an unnecessarily expensive procedure. If reforms to the system were in place, yeah go for it. But as it stands now, lifetime incarceration is a much preferred method.
I am glad you brought this up. Not only is it more expensive, but it also takes up a significant amount of judicial resources. And while we are on the topic of incarceration, lets talk about private prisons. I agree with Burnie on how perverse incentivizing incarceration is. One of the largest supporters of SB 1070 (the AZ immigration law) was the private for profit prisons who would be gain immense profits from the increase of prisoners. Honestly, I am disgusted by the prison-industrial complex.
In the same vein of political-industrial-judicial complexes, have you guys seen the story of the Florida Welfare drug testing? Here's the story, but the gist of it is this:
-Florida has its welfare candidates take and pass a drug test, if you fail, no welfare. -98% passed the test. -The testing program costs about $178 million a year. -The program saved about $60,000 over the course of last year. -The governor of Florida pushed for the drug testing. -He owned stock in the company that was awarded the sole contract for testing. -He then sold the stock for $62 million.
To me, even if it was cheaper in the long run to execute versus life-time imprisonment, that's not really the biggest cost concern with our prisons. The number of people sentenced for non-violent crimes is much higher and that's what causes the overcrowding, and subsequently the high costs of maintaining our prisons. Rather than someone arguing for the death penalty for monetary reasons, they should argue for something like the legalization of marijuana for monetary reasons. (Of course, that's a whole different thread.)
I've definitely heard that myth before about the cost of imprisonment being higher. And each time, I couldn't help but think the cost should never be the deciding factor on an issue like that. It's a person's life in the mix.
Technically, the Jury decides who dies and who doesn't because capital sentencing is done by the jury. I will give you that the state determines what a capital offense is, but it still is fellow citizens convicting and sentencing in capital cases.
I would just like to point out that there is more to it then just money. Imagine if the death penalty was a common in every state as a cheap means to get rid of prisoners. Sure there is the whole court thing but disregarding that. Now imagine being the guy that has to kill all those people sentenced to death over and over again. Think about the mental despair that would arise around that person after doing it a thousand times. If it was about money we would just have the death penalty over life sentences. The life sentence is there so that the people deciding the fate of another can rest easy at night knowing that that person isn't dead. Just locked up behind bars for the rest of their lives.
The over incarceration of nonviolent offenses is ridiculous here and ultimately its to make money. A great example of drug reform is Mexico, who legalized the carrying of small quantities of drugs in order to focus on the bigger problem of violent cartels versus casual user and low level dealers
Thanks everyone for giving their opinons. Its nice to see that people actually give a damn about what goes on in our borders
To me, the only affirmative for the death penalty is the money. People complain about having to pay for who they deem as worthless. They claim that for the death of the victim, the defendant should also be dead. How quickly people forget that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind Gandhi . On top of that, the people that press for the death penalty in order to save a few dollars are also putting a price on a person's life, which I think everyone can agree is morally wrong. Hopefully, advocates of the death penalty only reserve it for the charge of murder in the 1st degree, but when the death penalty is carried out, the only thing that separates a guy killing another guy on the street and the state killing the man accused of killing is that the people pay for the state to commit a murder, and see it as justice being served. The general masses want "fast food justice", a quick decision made lickety split, kill now, debate later. So many people are so gung-ho about making moral judgments concerning another man's life, and only ask themselves after it's too late if the man should have received the death penalty. It's disheartening to see that people are so willing to throw caution to the wind about a life that isn't their's to control in order for themselves to keep some money to themselves.
I though prison was about rehabilitation, seeming not. I'm glad there is no death penalty here in England, and it hurts me so much when I see people trying to get it it again. These are almost always people who have had a loved one murdered, so they're upset and don't think straight. The people who commit these crimes need rehabilitation not to be killed.
Rehabilitation is one of the primary justifications for punishment and incarceration. Other justifications are deterrence (the fact that there is a penalty discourages the crime), incapacitation (protects society by taking harmful individuals out of the population), and retribution (essentially an eye for an eye). While I do not support the death penalty in any way, you can certainly see how other individuals justify their opinion. Of course, death is the ultimate form of incapacitation. People like to think that the possibility of a death penalty discourages people from committing murder (although the empirical research seems to indicate no correlation). Finally, others just like to watch someone suffer if a wrong was committed (to punish the offender irrespective of any other goals). In the end, I believe the general consensus of this thread thus far is that it seems wrong for anyone to be killed, but it is important to know why the supporters of the death penalty believe what they believe.
In reply to HOORAH93, #13: In the end, I believe the general consensus of this thread thus far is that it seems wrong for anyone to be killed, but it is important to know why the supporters of the death penalty believe what they believe.
Alright I'll bite.
I "support" the death penalty because there are horrible crimes committed against other humans that many cannot forgive.
The one case that always comes to mind is the DC sniper or apparently as Wikipedia calls him the Beltway Sniper..
This man wanted to be called GOD and left cards at the scene describing himself as GOD. He felt he got to choose who lived and died. Oh and he also was teaching his son this the entire time. Read the Malvo testimony in the above article.
I won't judge other people and say they should or should not die. But I will say I believe the jury got it right in this case.
Some people are mentally ill and in my opinion should not be killed for something they cannot control. I feel the removal from society where they can receive help is a much better alternative than death.
Will have to agree to disagree then. I wish it was as simple as saying a person who takes the life of another human must me ill and need help. Sets a strange precedent though for anybody in the military.
These firecracker topics usually boil down to morals and EVERYBODY has different morals.
I think when you're talking about the sort of people who are in a possition where they could be up for a death penalty rehabillitation isn't going to do anything. No matter how many years that person is rehabillitated for I don't want them on the street again.
Whether or not I'm for the death penalty, if that person could be given one I don't want them to ever to be free again.
Here in Illinois a few years back, our old governor (the one serving a prison sentence for corruption, not the one serving a prison sentence for wire fraud and extortion) actually commuted the sentences of all 160 death row inmates to life in prison and began a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois. Last year our current governor (who hasn't been sentenced to a prison sentence... yet) signed a bill ending the death penalty outright.
I get that people have passionate views on both sides of the issue. For myself, there have simply been too many people found innocent on death row for me to be able to support it as an institution. One of the most gut-wrenching things I've ever read was this account of the trial, acquittal and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was found guilty of murdering his own children in a house fire the state argued he set intentionally.
The article's tl;dr summary? There were a lot of reasonable doubts raised and the nation's foremost arson investigator essentially took one look at the case and said, "There's no way this guy set this fire; it doesn't even look like arson." It doesn't even matter if the guy did it or not, there were a lot of questions that should have at the very least gotten him a stay of execution while the facts were reviewed. Instead, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles basically said, "Well, none of us are scientists, so we can't be bothered to listen to scientist's evidence, after all, it could be bullshit and we wouldn't be able to tell." So they executed him.
In some cases, it's clear who committed a certain crime, and I honestly can't say how I'd feel if it was my family that was taken away from me. But with the amount of people on the news everyday who are exonerated by DNA evidence or found to have been harassed until they confess to a crime they didn't commit, I can't say I remain too confident in our society's ability to protect the innocent from our own thirst for vengeance.
The living can be set free and given a shitload of money as an apology. The dead can only be mourned.