Death Has No Escape
There's a reason why Benjamin Franklin once said that death and taxes are certainties in life. It's safe to say that we are a ways away from immortality, and death, while it can be delayed, is truly unavoidable; everyone dies at some point. Pardon me for starting on such a morbid note, but when governments play God and deem themselves fit to decide whether people deserve to die, society's true colors (and values) are on full display. Such a thought begs an all-too-important question; is the death penalty the most cost-efficient, just and moral way to punish criminals?
The answer, in my eyes and those of many, is a clear and emphatic no. In reality, the death penalty is the poster child of the flawed judicial systems that a plethora of countries have around the globe. Despite the penalty’s triviality, there are still scores of politicians and prominent figures who support the application of it; however, a large majority of their main points are almost exclusively based on pure misconceptions and faulty information.
Here's a little reality check; people who are sent to die against their will are rarely guilty of the crimes they are accused of. Since the 1970s, 161 people have been pardoned from death rows in the United States. While it may seem obvious that the justice system isn't perfect, it's vital to emphasize that the execution of a person is eternally irreversible. There is truly no escape to death.
Nonetheless, there have been cases in which prosecutors have withheld crucial information from the jury, and have even occasionally coerced the defendants to accept guilty pleas. It's also important to note that most defendants in capital cases are unable to afford adequate legal representation, playing a key role into an imminent death sentence. While people may want to believe that the system is incorruptible, that’s simply not the case here.
Furthermore, the system targets those who aren't able to afford proper counsel. In capital cases, public defenders are usually overworked and at times unprepared for the case at hand, prompting criminals (who again, may or may not be innocent) to face their fate. Simply put, it's not just.
Although it may be reasonable to think that certain people deserve to die based on the heinousness of their crimes, the death penalty is by far the most flawed legal processes in the system and happens to be one of the most expensive as well. It may seem like common sense to think it’s cheaper to execute a criminal than to house, feed and take care of them for the rest of their natural life. In reality, however, it's quite the opposite; studies conducted by U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Loyola Law School Professor Paula M. Mitchell of the largest death penalty system in the world; (which happens to be in California); show that a death sentence costs up to 18 times as much as a sentence of life without parole would cost.
In this contemporary world, the judicial system is incredibly flawed as it is. The abolishment of the death penalty would be a step towards better times, and overall, a more efficient criminal justice system.
ProCon.org. "Top 10 Pro & Con Arguments." ProCon.org. 9 Dec. 2016,
“Why Amnesty Opposes the Death Penalty without Exception.” Death Penalty | Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/death-penalty/.
“5 Myths About the Death Penalty.” Death Penalty Focus, https://deathpenalty.org/facts/5-myths-death-penalty/