Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 8 years ago

How can anybody support the Death Penalty?

There are many reasons to be anti-death penalty:

1. Executions cost more than life in prison. ( $2 million per person vs. $500,000 (4x as much!). Free counsel for defense, for appeals, maximum security on a separate death row wing.)

2. The innocent may be wrongly executed.

3. Is not a deterrent; crime rates have not gone down. (In fact, the murder rate in the US is 6 times that of Britain and 5 times that of Australia.)

4. No longer practiced in most sophisticated societies.

5. Many Death Row inmates were convicted while being defended by court-appointed lawyers who are often the worst-paid and most-inexperienced and least-skillful lawyers.

6. Promotes killing as an OK solution to a difficult problem.

The Death Penalty is a barbaric practice that doesn't exist in any successful 1st world country.

21 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I agree. Details about costs:

    Study after study has found that the death penalty is much more expensive than life in prison. The process is far more complex than for any other kind of criminal case. The largest costs come at the pre-trial and trial stages. The tremendous expenses in a death penalty case apply whether or not the defendant is convicted, let alone sentenced to death.

    Examples- trial costs (death penalty and non death penalty cases, California):

    People v. Scott Peterson, Death Penalty Trial

    $3.2 Million Total

    People v. Rex Allen Krebs Death Penalty Trial

    $2.8 Million Total

    People v. Cary Stayner, Death Penalty Trial

    $2.368 Million Total

    People v. Robert Wigley, Non-Death Penalty Trial

    $454,000 Total

    This data is for cases where the best records have been kept.

    Some factors:

    • more pre-trial time will be needed to prepare: cases typically take a year to come to trial

    • more pre-trial motions filed and answered

    • more experts will be hired

    • twice as many attorneys will be appointed for the defense, and a comparable team for the prosecution

    • jurors must be individually quizzed on their views about the death penalty, and they are more likely to be sequestered

    • two trials instead of one will be conducted: one for guilt and one for punishment

    • the trial will be longer: a cost study at Duke University estimated that death penalty trials take 3 to 5 times longer than typical murder trials

    The numbers vary from state to state, but they all point in the same direction. From a fairly typical state study of the costs of the death penalty:

    “The study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million. Non-death penalty cases were counted through to the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of $740,000. For death penalty cases, the pre-trial and trial level expenses were the most expensive part, 49% of the total cost. The investigation costs for death-sentence cases were about 3 times greater than for non-death cases. The trial costs for death cases were about 16 times greater than for non-death cases ($508,000 for death case; $32,000 for non-death case).” (Kansas: Performance Audit Report: Costs Incurred for Death Penalty Cases: A K-GOAL Audit of the Department of Corrections)

    Some people who answered your question asked about sources:

    About costs:

    links to studies from a variety of states at

    About deterrence:

    FBI and

    for state by state homicide rates from the FBI (alphabetically) showing which states have the death penalty

    Wrongful convictions and the death penalty:

    The Innocence Project,

    What nations (fewer and fewer) retain the death penalty:

  • spotty
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    1. The cost isn't an issue. Think of the money as job creation. We spend billions on wars and that cost seems ok to everyone.

    2.Whether the innocent are executed or spend the rest of their lives in prison seems irrelevant.

    3. It is a deterrent. That person will never commit a crime again. I thought that was the point.

    4.Like we're all that sophisticated. The Jersey Shore was a top rated show.

    5.The death penalty should be extended to inept lawyers. Your client gets the lethal injection, you have to take that ride with him. Now that's motivation.

    6.Our whole civilization has been based on this solution. You can't argue with success.

    You're a dreamer if you think we are not barbaric. All "first world" countries go to other sovereign nations and impose their will, which is called nation building, another catch phrase for killing.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I agree with you here; the death penalty is wrong on so many levels, it makes me mad just thinking about it. But with #3, the US has a much higher population than that of Britain and Australia (Despite Australia being big, only about a quarter of it is inhabited by humans), so obviously it would have a much bigger crime rate. The number would probably go up if they took away the Death Penalty, in all fairness.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    For the past 24 and 1/2 years, I have been involved in the argument of the

    Death Penalty. Both Professionally. and personally. I am in my 21st and

    1/2 year as a Homicide Detective. Now a Commander of a reasonably

    good sized unit. I have 6 complete Homicide teams which consist of

    4 detectives each team.4 plain clothes officers each team. Crime

    scene civilians,

    Personally I have put 35 people on death row. 0ver 100 serving

    life without the possibility of parole. Out of the 35. 3 death row

    sentences have been carried out. Leaving me with 32 still on


    The reason your stats are so one sided is simple. It takes on

    average in most states and systems 16.75 years for a full term

    legal cycle to be concluded. Once that is concluded the system

    kicks into high gear.

    Want to make it a overall deterrent to crime. Start with a full

    DNA work up. Tie up all lose ends. Have this done within the

    fist year. You get one appeal. Beyond that your *** is

    sucking canal water. Your bound over for execution within

    2 years of hitting D.R.

    That puts a real dent in the cream puff BS we are now dealing

    with, Until You have worked a Homicide Crime scene, Until

    you have seen the carnage and the absolute evil first hand

    guided by rage fed by emotion. You would not be waving

    the peace flag.

    Wait until you work your first child killing, 3 year old found

    with a ice pick stuck in her head. Other body parts ripped

    like a wild animal went after her, See I have to approach

    this without one bit of emotion. For that screws up my

    case and my senses, My only focus is on tagging and

    cuffing the person or persons involved in the crime I am

    dealing with.

    Personally I would rather see the perp come out of the

    court after being found Guilty as charged, Sentenced

    to die. Have his or her life forfeited right then and there

    But that is not up to me. That is why I just enforce the

    criminal code, And not be involved with the DOC end

    of things.

    Source(s): Robbery/Homicide Commander
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 8 years ago

    You gave some very good reasons against it. Many are Fundamentalists, Haters , warmongers, some victims and relatives of murdered people but not all and people with no regard for life, as well as most Fundamentalists of any religion, most Republicans and many NRA gun fanatics. Most so called civilized countries except the uS and Saudi Arabia and Iraq have abolished capital punishment.

    Hope this helps

    Amnesty International

  • Jared
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I am certainly against any kind of cruel or unusual punishment, but realistically speaking, if the death penalty is carried out in a painless and humane way (which I don't think it is right now), then I don't see much problem.

    Killing a person doesn't hurt them, it's hurts their family. I wonder how much difference it makes, to have a son who is put to death and innocent versus a son who is kept in prison all of his life and is innocent. Either way, you have destroyed relationships and the person's life--so what difference does it make to kill them?

    The only reason that argument has any weight is the idea that eventually they will be exonerated--but this is probably not the case (most of the time).

    The solution is quite simple--only put bad people in prison. If you're not sure whether or not a person is bad, then I call that reasonable doubt and they should be let free. I would rather see 10 times more murders because we let murderers walk free than see one innocent life ruined (whether by death penalty or life imprisonment--I just don't see a difference in the punishment, and the death penalty ultimately seems more humane to me).

  • hwh
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Do you have sources? I see some of your points, but I don't believe executing someone cost 2 million dollars. Also isn't there more people in the U.S. than in Australia or Britain so the crime rates bound to be higher, but yet it's almost the same?

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    If the death penalty were to be utilized in the fashion it was born into being.

    According to the time frame of its original intention. It would be one hell of

    a tool to stop senseless killings. However letting a person sit idle for

    20 years awaiting punishment is a crime of its own.

  • 8 years ago

    1. Wrong, California spends $52,000 per year per prisoner.

    2. Not if it's only used when the evidence is overwhelming

    3. It stops that particular person from doing the crime again such as pedophiles

    4. If your friends jump of a bridge blah bla blah...

    5. Many death row inmates have multiple pieces of evidence to prove their guilt

    6. Kill is a great solution for Murderers, Rapists and Child Molesters.

    That's your opinion.

  • rusty
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    It doesn't have to cost 2 millon, a dollar in bullets would do just fine !

    We have DNA now to eliminate innocent people !

    Don't give a rat's what sophisitcated society does !

    Once again we have DNA and most lawyers are crooks some just get paid more for it !

    It does not promote killing , it shows you what will happen if you do !

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.