What is more justifiable, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT or LIFE IMPRISONMENT? Please give me a good answer. Thanks.?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Individuals who have committed crimes that are viewed as extremely heinous such as murder, drug trafficking and high treason are usually punished by either capital punishment or life imprisonment. Since the mid 20th century, there has been considerable debate as to which punishment is more appropriate. I believe that capital punishment is the far better option and the following justifies my claim.

    Capital punishment is said to have a strong deterrent effect as the fear of death will stop a sizeable amount of potential criminals from committing crimes. For example, when a policeman holds a criminal at gunpoint and tells him to surrender, the criminal will usually comply. Besides that, consider the rape cases in South Africa. Most rapists are more likely to attack children instead of grown women because they fear the lethal consequences of AIDS which the women are more likely to have. This demonstrates that violent criminals are not immune to fear and would respond should capital punishment be more strongly enforced.

    My next point is that concerning crimes criminals commit within prison when they kill prison guards and other inmates, and also when they kill innocent citizens upon escape, like Dawud Mu'Min who was serving a 48-year sentence for murder, when he escaped a road work gang and stabbed to death a storekeeper. They finally put him to death in 1994. It clearly shows that incarceration in prison does not put an end to crimes but may be the catalyst for further crimes as an inmate is surrounded with convicted criminals and is trapped in that felonious mindset.

    Another flaw is that life imprisonment tends to deteriorate with the passing of time. In 1962, James Moore raped and strangled Pamela Moss. Her parents spared Moore the death penalty on condition that he is sentenced to life imprisonment. Later on due to a change in sentencing laws, James Moore is eligible for parole every two years! Moore should have been executed long ago and Pamela’s parents could have put the whole horrible incident behind them forever. Instead they have a nightmare to deal with biannually.

    Next, Capital punishment is often defended on the grounds that society has a moral obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. Murderers threaten this safety and welfare. Only by putting murderers to death can society ensure zero recidivism. Serial killers such as Ted Bundy and Thug Berham reinforce the point that once a person has crossed that threshold of morality and murders another individual; he or she will be more likely to kill again than a normal individual.

    Justice for All estimates that life imprisonment cases will cost $1.2 million - $3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases Capital punishment costs reside mainly in appeals costs. Life without parole prisoners get the same appeals and should be considered to bear the same costs, hence the clichéd arguments put forth by abolitionists that assume life imprisonment prisoners don’t have to bear appeal costs is made null and void. Essentially, taxpayers should not have to pay for the three square meals that a convicted criminal gets for the rest of his life.

    As a conclusion, I would like to bring to mind that capital punishment is not about revenge, but stands for swift justice and fitting punishment and is appropriate.

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  • 1 decade ago

    While I think Vaughn makes a good point, I have to disagree. If our judicial system starts from the premise that guilty verdicts should be treated as though they may be incorrect, then how could that same judicial system justifiably imprison anyone? After all, imprisonment isn't as bad as death because death is so final, but an innocent person serving thirty years in prison isn't so great, either. If the person is innocent, then imprisonment and death are both complete violations of his rights and liberties. Imprisoning or executing an innocent person is a mistake, but once a guilty verdict has been rendered, the judicial system has to have some confidence that the person who has been convicted is actually guilty, otherwise the whole entire system falls apart.

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  • 4 years ago

    I happen to live in a country where life is cheap and the most despicable crimes of rape and murder are committed on a daily basis. Children as young a 6 are routinely kidnapped, raped and murdered. I am an atheist but favour capital punishment. I don't really care whether the death penalty is a deterrent or not as I see no reason to keep the most abominable criminals in prison for life. They should be disposed of. Incidentally, if the death penalty is not a deterrent then why do so many criminals on death row in the US try to get the sentences commuted to life imprisonment? And why, since the death penalty was done away with in the early 1990's has South Africa become one of the murder capitals of the world?"

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  • 1 decade ago

    I was pro-death penalty for a long time, but I have changed my stance over the years, for several reasons:

    1. By far the most compelling is this: Sometimes our legal system gets it wrong. Look at all the criminals who are being released after years of imprisonment because they were exonerated by DNA evidence. No matter how rare it is, our government should not risk executing one single innocent person.

    Really, that should be reason enough for most people. If you need more, read on:

    2. Because of the extra expense of prosecuting a DP case and the appeals process (which is necessary - see reason #1), it costs taxpayers MUCH more to execute prisoners than to imprison them for life.

    3. The deterrent effect is questionable at best. Violent crime rates are actually higher in death penalty states. This may seem counterintuitive, and there are many theories about why this is (Ted Bundy saw it as a challenge, so he chose Florida – the most active execution state at the time – to carry out his final murder spree). Personally, I think it has to do with the hypocrisy of taking a stand against murder…by killing people. The government becomes the bad parent who says, ‘do as I say, not as I do.’

    4. There’s also an argument to be made that death is too good for the worst of our criminals. Let them wake up and go to bed every day of their lives in a prison cell, and think about the freedom they DON’T have, until they rot of old age. When Ted Bundy was finally arrested in 1978, he told the police officer, “I wish you had killed me.”

    5. The U.S. government is supposed to be secular, but for those who invoke Christian law in this debate, you can find arguments both for AND against the death penalty in the Bible. For example, Matthew 5:38-39 insists that violence shall not beget violence. James 4:12 says that God is the only one who can take a life in the name of justice. Leviticus 19:18 warns against vengeance (which, really, is what the death penalty amounts to). In John 8:7, Jesus himself says, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

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  • 1 decade ago

    Life without parole makes more sense. Here are some practical reasons why life without parole makes more sense, with sources listed below.

    The death penalty is much more expensive than life without parole because of the costs of the legal process. When the death penalty is available, every aspect of the process- from pre trial investigation, to initial trial (which is really two separate Supreme Court mandated trials- one to determine guilt or innocence, the second to determine the sentence), automatic appeals of death sentences, subsequent appeals – is costly.

    Secondly, for a punishment to act as a deterrent it must be sure and swift. The death penalty is neither. Life without parole is both sure and swift (and rarely appealed.)

    Homicide rates are higher in states and regions with the death penalty than in those without it. No reputable (reputable is the key word) study has shown the death penalty to be a deterrent.

    Third, and most important, an execution cannot be reversed or reduced. As of now there have been 124 cases of people sentenced to death who were wrongfully convicted. Over 50 of these people had already served more than a decade. A speedier process would have guaranteed the execution of innocent people. Among these cases, several involved testimony from two or more eyewitnesses who lied or were just plain mistaken. (Less than 20 of the 124 cases involved DNA evidence to show the wrong person was convicted.) As human beings, we make mistakes.

    In my opinion, the money saved by not resorting to capital punishment should be spent on victims assistance programs and on better funding for police and correctional officers (to include more staffing.)

    Source(s): Death Penalty Information Center, www.deathpenaltyinfo.org, for stats on executions and states where they occurred, detailed reports on costs. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/standard_li... the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2005. (As of now, only preliminary stats are available for 2006) Stats found here can be compared to stats on the number of executions in different states. The Innocence Project, www.innocenceproject.org www.deathpenaltyfocus.org for info on why the death penalty costs so much
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  • 1 decade ago

    Well it depends on the offense and if it can be 110% proved that the person did it. I think that for murder, rape and aggervated assult with a deadly weapon cases that there should be a 3 strike law. The reason why I say 3 strikes is because they have convicted the wrong person before, girls and children lie about being raped/molested. If you get in trouble 3 times for one of these offenses, then chances are you more than likely did commit the offense at least once.

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  • Vaughn
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Life imprisonment. Why, you ask? It protects us from the criminal as thoroughly as does capital punishment. It doesn't send the double-standard that killing people is bad... unless you're the government. In circumstances where it later turns out the defendant was innocent (which has happened, as DNA evidence becomes more common) we could still release the wrongly-accused person and apologize. And life in prison costs significantly less than execution.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Capital Offenses justify Capital Punishment, two eyewitness should be required for the death penalty.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Some of the others answered that the criminal is off the street, so clearly nothing else happens to anyone else from him/ her. What 99% of the population doesn't know is that crime continues regularly in prison. As a corrections officer, there are certainly some inmates who are decent in front of officers. However, the reason we have to be on guard is that they hide stabbing/beating/shooting weapons for who knows who is gonna get it next. We probably search each inmate a couple of times a day, yet cannot just flat out stop all beatings that are going to happen. They beat each other if a debt of a few bucks isn't paid on time. They beat one another savagely for not joining a gang, or for joining the wrong gang, or being the wrong color, or from the wrong country or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or just for being there. Not with fists mind you, but maybe a sock with their padlocks stuffed inside or a bed post they were able to break off and use. Every week we have life flight land outside our confines to pick up another prisoner who is in a life or death situation. So maybe a guy-gal who murders on the outside doesn't quite murder again on the inside of bars, just puts another inmate in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, makes him a vegetable, is capital punishment too late? We already knew he was a murderer and what he was capable of. If he does commit another couple of murders behind bars, and this does happen, at what point should capital punishment be used? I mean cut and dry, he killed that person. Period. Should we just lock him up even tighter? We do, but It takes even more officers to watch those permanently locked down than those in regular pods. So it costs more. Now what if those officers get assaulted or killed ( the probability is high, like they say, I ain't got nothin' to lose, you done taken away everything I got ) then what? However, if capital punishment was used, this guy-gal would never murder again, not hurt someone, not put another in a wheelchair, not cost us for additional medical costs on inmates or officers.The big cost is legal. They'll never be productive again and like it or not escapes happen. Its not cut and dry, put them in prison and let em rot. They don't rot. They are fed well, free bed, free mattress, free sheets, pillowcases, pillows, free electrical, free books/magazines, they're taken care of medically even in local and major hospitals for free, free or near free medications ( yes this includes the expensive meds) mentally, dental, free a/c-heat when needed, sometimes free legal help, free clothing, shoes, jackets when its too cold. But its not free... you/ we get penalized for their wrongdoings. What? How am I penalized for that poor criminals wrongdoing and continued wrongdoing while in prison? How, by paying higher taxes. Even some of the inmates themselves hate being taxed to feed someone incarcerated. They had or have businesses on the outside of the bars and get hot at the smart-aleck, young punk gang bangin lazy child producing but not caring for mom or baby never had a real job barely made it to 10th grade son-of-a-guns in there who usually shot and killed or wounded someone and don't care about anyone or anything 'cept for themselves or their so-called boys from the hood who done exactly like them. I'll continue about gang members. Their education ended there, at the shooting but usually long before. They cannot wait to get back out to harm others. Do their drugs, get a little money, hurt someone if they don't get money etc. They make this clear in their actions, words, signals, phonecalls, letters to and from friends/home.

    OK but back to capital punishment, now that you know a little more about the rest of a murderers story ( that their criminal actions many times continue in prison) when is their life imprisonment a death sentence to another prisoner or officer. Would capital punishment have stopped further injuries/deaths? I think the answer is clear.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have to agree with Vaughn.

    There have been a number of Capital Punishment cases, especially in the US, where after the condemned man was executed, the real killer admitted to the crime.

    It is much easier to say, "Opps, we made a mistake!" when the person to whom the mistake was made is alive, than when they are dead.

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