Final Examination Rough Draft
July 26th, 2011
For years, people have viewed capital punishment as a better option than life in prison. Most people believe it is a lower cost alternative than life in prison. They believe that ending someone’s life, either by lethal injection or the electric chair would be much more cost-efficient than paying for someone to live out his or her life sentence in a prison while we pay for everything the convict does. They say that states that have capital punishment as an option see much lower rates of homicides. I know I will never forget when I was in Florida during the execution of Ted Bundy and McDonald’s had signs that read “Free fries if Bundy fry’s.” I remember seeing that as a child and thinking I would never want to be so hated that people would be cheering for my death. Another common way of thinking is, that with all the new technology we posses there is no way we can incriminate the wrong person, so ending his or her life is the best option. After all, some people are beyond rehabilitation so why keep them around running the risk of them being released in error? The truth is this is not the case. Contrary to previous beliefs, studies have found that capital punishment is not a deterrent to criminals, is not cost-effective, and the system is flawed.
Common sense would dictate that if people see what happens to convicted murders they would not want to have the same done to them and would refrain from committing the crime. The facts show this is not the case. Recently states have begun to second guess the use of the death penalty as a viable option for murder cases. Recent studies have found that states that have the death penalty have higher levels of violent crimes than states that do not have the death penalty, as the following graph shows. Figure 1 “Although Isaac Ehrlick’s 1975 American Economic Review paper analyzed U.S. time series data on homicides and execution...