Ineffectiveness of Death Penalty

Effectiveness. One of the most important aspects of our criminal justice system. Every part of the criminal justice system attempts effectiveness, but the question is, does it really achieve effectiveness? More specifically, does the death penalty achieve effectiveness? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. A firm, loud no. 

One of the worst negative ramifications of the death penalty is its expense. According to this article, the cost of Florida’s death row inmates is more than a $1 million. California’s death penalty costs them $137 million a year. As taxpayers, that means that we are wasting our hard earned money on housing and feeding criminals on death row who do nothing but waste away in prison. 

In Pennsylvania, the situation is worse. According to this article, they currently have 215 people awaiting execution, but only 3 people have ever actually been executed since 1978, when the law came into effect.  This is absolute, concrete proof of ineffectiveness of the death penalty. Still not convinced? 

In addition to wasting money and not doing its job, the death penalty doesn’t even act as a deterrent. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, states without the death penalty had lower murder rates compared to states with the death penalty, thus proving, again, the repeated ineffectiveness of the death penalty. 

According to Matthew Robinson, a professor in government and justice studies, says that studies have shown that North Carolina’s taxpayers are wasting an additional $11-$20 million on the death penalty alone every single year. 

In the Daily Iowan, it talks about an article written by ABC news about a man who actually saw the death penalty as a means of escape from punishment. The man’s attorney says this: “He does not see the death sentence as punishment. He sees it as an escape from punishment,” Savitz said. “He believes that he will be reunited with his first wife and the child that he killed, Maggie. He wants to die and has gotten the state to help him carry it out in what is essentially a state-assisted suicide. He is not doing this because he feels a sense of remorse.” The article also talks about the high suicide rates as well. Obviously, this man was suffering from some kind of mental illness, but dying was not deterring him, again proving ineffectiveness of the death penalty. 

Effectiveness. Fiscal responsibility. Deterrence. These are the three main issues concerning the death penalty, and studies, as well as the links provided in this article, prove that the death penalty is neither effective, deterrent, or fiscally responsible. Death row inmates spend their lives wasting away in prison, living off of our taxpayer dollars. The death penalty has also fails to even execute people, as shown in the second link of this article, and does not deter crime either. Clearly, the death penalty is ineffective, as well as being fiscally irresponsible and a non-deterrent.