The death penalty should be abolished due to the harm it has on the United States society and judicial system as a whole.
The majority of Americans support the death penalty. However, to use this as evidence for its implementation is absurd. It is the perfect example of the logical fallacy “ad populum.” The majority does not define moral standards, and certainly does not change facts about issues. This can be clearly observed in the violent majority views within the Middle East and militant Nazi Germany.
A common misconception about the death penalty is that it is cheaper than life in prison. Robert C. Dieter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, writes: “A study in Kansas indicated that capital trial costs $116,700 more than an ordinary murder trial… The irreversibility of the death sentence requires courts to follow heightened due process in the preparation and course of the trial.” There are more factors than just the method used to kill the criminal. The trials surrounding the verdict cost thousands.
An expected response to this evidence would be a call for possible shorter and fewer trials and a subsequent quicker death. However, this would enlarge the already absurd number of people unjustly killed. A 2014 study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that one in twenty-five of death row inmates have been falsely convicted. If the judicial process is sped up, this number will only rise. Even the current number is unacceptable. This number is not insignificant, but represents human beings faced with an unjust death. For the government to hold the power to immorally murder the innocent is absurd, and its citizens should be wary of this power.
Abolishing the death penalty would have immediate positive effects. Judge Arthur Alarcon and Professor Paula Mitchell in a Death Penalty Information Center article observe that states would gain significant money by immediately prohibiting the death penalty. This money could go towards rehabilitation programs that could actually benefit the local area. Prisoners could adapt to society through rehabilitation and become contributing members to local businesses. The economy and judicial system could thrive under the abolition of the death penalty.
Lastly, for others who observe the death penalty as too light a punishment for murderers and rapists, life in prison will be a more gruesome punishment. Joe Messerti, creator of BalancedPolitics.org notes that “For those of you who don’t feel much sympathy for a murderer, keep in mind death may be too good for them. With a death sentence, the suffering is over in an instant.”
If the death penalty is abolished, many exceptional events can occur. From a judicial standpoint, it can be revealed that a person accused is innocent and can be released. Concerning a Christian worldview, it gives time for Christian prison ministries such as Prison Fellowship to reach criminals with the love of Jesus. From a financial point of view, it will save states millions. For those who desire unbridled justice, it will be a worse punishment than the death penalty. Overall, the death penalty must be abolished in order to obtain these benefits.
By: Paul Marselus