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Should the death penalty be abolished? Show more Show less
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Capital punishment is the government-sanctioned execution of an individual as retribution for a crime. Although most countries have abolished death penalty sentences, many retain this practice, including the United States, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Should we abolish the death penalty, or support each government's right to punish crime as it sees fit?

Yes, we should abolish the death penalty Show more Show less

The death penalty unjustly targets vulnerable demographics, wastes taxpayer money, and violates the sanctity of human life.
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The death penalty wastes taxpayer money

Contrary to popular belief, the death penalty is more expensive than life in prison sentences.

The Argument

Although death penalty supporters often argue that executing a criminal costs less than giving a sentence of life without parole, evidence suggests that maintaining the death penalty is actually more expensive than getting rid of it.[1] For example, the death penalty costs the state of Florida 51 million dollars more than the cost of sentencing all first-degree murderers with life in prison. [2] According to a study conducted by Susquehanna University "on average, across all 50 states, a death row inmate costs $1.12 million more than a general population inmate." [2] After learning that approximately 2,500 prisoners currently face execution in the United States, it is plain that the death penalty's cost is exorbitant. [3] Death penalty supporters argue that execution is a more economical option, but studies prove that it is actually more expensive. For this reason, the death penalty is a waste of taxpayer money.

Counter arguments

Although the death penalty's exorbitant cost is unsettling, the criminal justice system's chief concern should not be financial convenience. If we carried this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, we would give all criminals the lightest possible sentence in hopes of saving taxpayer money. The criminal justice system should execute people who deserve it. We cannot let financial concerns stand in the way of doing justice.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The death penalty is more expensive than a life in prison sentence. [P2] The death penalty wastes taxpayer money.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/policy-issues/costs
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/comparing-the-costs-of-death-penalty-vs-life-in-prison-4689874#:~:text=Total%20Additional%20Costs%20of%20the,than%20a%20general%20population%20inmate.
  3. https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/death-row/overview
This page was last edited on Friday, 19 Jun 2020 at 02:10 UTC

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