Why capital punishment should be banned in the USA.

As some states are starting to ban capital punishment. Is it time to ban it country wide...


"E. The Hangman's Noose" by John Twohig Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Jimmy DeVos, Staff

At this very moment, 62 people are currently waiting to die; 62 prisoners who have committed unspeakable crimes. Currently in 30 states the maximum sentence is death. It’s no question these prisoners deserve a hard punishment, but should it be death? The maximum punishment in the court of law should be changed to life without parole.

From a logistical standpoint, it almost makes no sense to have capital punishment. A 2014 study commissioned by the Nevada legislature found the cost of the death penalty in Nevada is 1.03 to 1.3 million dollars non death penalty 775,000. That is $525,000 Americans are losing every time we sentence someone to death when we can just sentence them to life.

Over time the costs can pile up too. An assessment of costs by Judge Arthur Alarcon and Prof Paula Mitchell concluded that since 1978, California has spent 4 billion dollars on capital punishment. If the state we’re to get rid of capital they would save 170 million a year and after 20 would save a combined total of 20 billion.

Although the crimes committed by death row inmates are crimes that deserve a harsh punishment. Killing them is immoral, especially when there’s a scary rate of execution mishaps resulting in botched executions. 7% of all lethal injection executions were botched according to statistics by Austin Sarat.

There is also the risk of innocent people being killed on death row. Data gathered by deathpenaltyinfo.com showed that since 1973, 115 people in 25 states were found innocent on death row and later released. 115 lives that did absolutely nothing wrong were almost killed legally by our own government. These are just the people who were released, who knows how many people’s last moment on Earth were in a death row cell block completely innocent?

Capital punishment is a practice that should be banned in the USA. The amount of money be saved would be great, the chance of innocent people being murdered  would be eliminated, and botched executions would be a thing of the pass.