Congratulations on becoming the 45th president of the U.S. As you wait to take your oath of office you are probably thinking about many issues. One of these should be the death penalty. There are many groups like the, NCADP, who are trying to remove the death penalty from our justice system. Their opinions are flawed, the death penalty is a useful punishment that is only used in special cases. The death penalty costs taxpayers less than imprisoning the horrendous criminals for life, it is used as a deterrent to prevent people from committing terrible crimes, and the death penalty is a way to get retribution for committing heinous crimes.
It costs an average of $31,268 per year to jail a convicted felon, according to a New York Times study (Source 4). That is more money spent than on educating a student for a year, $10,615. Taxes are better spent educating students, than keeping a serial killer or rapist imprisoned. The transfer of money to education will help lower the rate of crime in this country. If the money that would be spent on imprisoning serial killers and rapist is spent in education our crime rates will decrease and test scores will increase. By increasing the money spent on education children will receive better education, which helps the, get good jobs. Many crimes are committed by those who are jobless. When more money is spent on education more people be able to have high paying jobs. The absence of the death penalty allows felons who have committed unspeakable crimes to live out the remainder of their lives on the taxpayers dime. Taxes that could be put to use elsewhere.
Capital punishment is used to deter people from committing heinous crimes. The death penalty is only applied in very specific cases: treason, terrorism, rape, human trafficking, killing a police officer or court official, and lying in wait (Source 3). The death penalty is pursuable in these cases in order to protect the public from those who might commit these odious crimes. It also helps protect our police officers and court officials from falling to harm. In the absence of the death penalty many criminals would not hesitate to kill police or judges. In the case of the John Felix, who ambushed and killed two police officers, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty (Source 2). By seeking the death penalty in cases of slain officers it deters criminals from harming police. Without the death penalty many more of these horrendous crimes would occur.
The death penalty is a way of reaching retributive justice in abhorrent crimes. Retributive justice has been a part of human society since the time of Babylonia. Hammurabi’s Code is where we get the phrase “an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth”. The idea of giving punishments that are equal to the crime has been carried on from Babylonia into our current justice system. In the case of Arthur Shawcross, a man who killed 11 women, and received life in prison his punishment didn't fit the crime. The crime Shawcross committed was one of the worst crimes in our society and the punishment he received was disproportionate to his crime. Our justice system is based on punishment fitting the crime, so shouldn't one of the punishments for taking away a person’s liberty, peace, or life, be taking away theirs?
As you wait these next few months to take your oath of office keep the death penalty in mind and the use it has. It is one of the most important tools in our justice system that needs to remain in practice. The death penalty has been used for centuries to keep society safe from the worst criminals known to man. Outlawing the death penalty would be violating your duty to protect the people who elected you.
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"Death Penalty Sought for Man Arrested in Killing of 2 Palm Springs Officers." Fox News. FOX News Network, 27 Oct. 2016. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
"Federal Laws Providing for the Death Penalty." DPIC. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
Santora, Marc. "City’s Annual Cost Per Inmate Is $168,000, Study Finds." The New York Times. The New York Times, 23 Aug. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
"Top 10 Pros and Cons - Death Penalty - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.