Though the number of people put to death by the death penalty has been decreasing since 2000, the number should be zero. The number of death penalty members was 85 in 2000 and is now 17 in 2016 as of October 23, 2016. But that number should be zero, not even 5. According to the Death Penalty Information Center Website, it costs $90,000 for a death row inmate to be kept per year. California’s current death row population of 670 people, that accounts for $63.3 million annually to keep them.
The difference between this and the cost of holding normal inmates is much different. According to the same website “The cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration, in California, instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year.” The cost difference is over 50 million dollars. So why are we paying so much to kill criminals when it is cheaper to have them serve a life sentence and pay for their crimes instead of murdering more people and spending more precious tax money? With this tax money that is being used for the expenses of the death penalty can be used to upgrade the prisons we have now and build new ones to fix the overcrowding issue.
Some people will say that we need to get these criminals off the street and out of the over crowded jails. What doesn’t make sense though instead of killing them we could build another jail with the money saved.
So why do we still have the death penalty issue if the prisons we could have made could make them live out the rest of their lives in jail? This is a much better solution than killing them and taking them from wives, husbands, and children that they could be leaving behind. Though these children and spouses will be seeing them from behind bulletproof glass, it’s a better solution than seeing them out of a casket.