Essay Example on More than two-thirds of the countries in the world have removed the death punishment









According to the Amnesty International's report in November 2017 more than two thirds of the countries in the world have removed the death punishment from their legal system the latest being Mongolia where the capital punishment has been completely abolished In the US 31 out of 50 states are allowing capital punishments as of 2017 Additionally the numbers of death sentences and executions have been noticeably reducing in recent years according to data Death Penalty Information Center 2017a However the debate about whether the death penalty should be abolished or not still remains This paper shall discuss 3 main reasons why the punishment should be eliminated including cost uncertain efficacy and the unfairness toward poor people First of all there is a common myth about the death penalty being cheaper than other punishments However data have shown the complete opposite The death penalty costs considerably more than less severe penalties for example the life sentence Tennessee spent 48 more on death penalty cases than life punishment cases Morgan 2004 In Maryland the gross cost for one case of the death penalty is three million dollars about 3 times more than cases without the death penalty Roman et al 2008 In Kansas it cost an average of 400 000 dollars per death penalty case about 4 times higher than other cases Kansas Judicial Council 2014 Capital cases often have a more lengthy and complicated process than the others the cost is higher as a result 

Even when the process is shortened the cost remains more expensive Abolishing the death penalty can save states lots of money This money could be invested in other beneficial fields for the states such as child education victim assistance or better crime prevention The death penalty is indeed costly However is it worth the money being invested in or in another word deterrent This is a very common argument regarding the effectiveness of the penalty The capital punishment has the most deterrent effects amongst the available penalties The logic of the deterrent effect is that if the penalty can deter crimes there should be fewer criminals in the area therefore the crime rates should be lower However it seems that in states with the capital punishment the murder rates are higher than states without the penalty according to statistics In details recent data from 2010 to 2016 showed that in states where the death penalty is not available the rate was 18 28 lower than states where it is still applicable Death Penalty Information Center 2017b In fact so far there has been no conclusive data to prove the actual deterrent effect of the death penalty According to a report in 2012 by the National Research Committee written by Daniel Nagin and John Pepper flaws have been found in research on the efficacy which led to such results 

There are numerous flaws the most noteworthy being data collection analyzing methods and how other aspects that affect the crime rates were not considered in research No studies take different alternatives to the death sentence into account no studies consider the potential murderer s perception of his risk of execution as written by Nagin 2014 in the report summary Poor people often get into disadvantageous trials in which they have a higher risk of receiving death sentences They are often lack of access to necessary knowledge of the legal system as well as their own rights and commitments United Nations 2012 This led the defendants to inadequate awareness of proper representation The fees and cost can be unaffordable for poor people which are encountered at every stage of the legal process along with several indirect costs United Nations 2012 p 12 Additionally few of them can actually afford their own lawyers while the rest rely on legal aids in trials A good legal team can save the defendants from being sentenced to death Stephen Bright 1994 stated that the death penalty will continue to be imposed not upon those who commit the worst crimes but upon those who have the misfortune to be assigned the worst lawyers However there are often problems with the legal aids system in the US and the court appointed attorneys

Many law attorneys suffer from excessive workload and low payment which led to their uncompetitive and unproductive performance on court For example Dawn Deaner who used to be Metro Public Defender in Nashville said that in 2012 her office took up 1000 misdemeanor cases each lawyer as twice as the average standard leave them with less than 1 hour for preparation before trials Hale 2017 The attorneys underperformance greatly affects the defendants as it lowers their chance of getting out of death punishment Despite the three arguments above there are a lot of arguments in support of the death penalty One of the most common arguments is that the death penalty deters the crime because it prevents the criminal from recidivism Of course the penalty deters the murderer simply because if he is dead he can no longer remain a danger to other people and commit more murders Therefore the death penalty can be society's self defense before the murderer Nathanson 2001 p 16 The abolishment of the death penalty has been a controversial issue for a long time The world is on the way to completely eliminate the penalty from legal systems in many countries When not focusing on human rights and morality but rather looking at the cost efficacy and poverty issues it would be beneficial for the states economy and the society to abolish the punishments In addition to that governments should improve the life quality of the citizens crime prevention and provide aids and assistance to those with underprivileged economic backgrounds

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