How to relate teenagers and the death penalty.?

I am doing a speech for my English class and I need a hook to relate my topic to the class. My speech is about how the unlimited appeals available to criminals on death row allows them to escape their death for year and cost taxpayers a lot of $.

Most people are just using a question and I would also like to do this. One person used this "so does anybody in here like the beaches" and had people raise their hand and then went on to talk about how off shore drilling is bad for beaches. I would like to do something along these lines.

Also I need some sort of way to say what they can do to help fix the appeal process.

(I am doing this based on Monroe's motivated sequence so if you know what that is then go off that please)

Also this is a high school class not really adults so relate it to them


Thank you shadow in the dark and everyone else for your answer.

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    So far, there are 141 known cases where wrongly convicted people were sentenced to death. They were eventually exonerated and released from death row after an average of 9.8 years. If the process was faster, many of them would now be dead. Teenagers (and everyone else) should care about this. Most everyone remembers when they were blamed for something they didn't do. Try to imagine what this is like for innocent people who have been sentenced to death.

    As for costs: The legal process in death penalty cases 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.


    • 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 solution: Replace the death penalty with life without parole for the worst crimes. Advantages:

    1. It costs far less than the death penalty

    2. If we find out that someone serving life without parole is actually innocent, he can be released. You can't release an innocent many from the grave.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Talk about Beccaria and how the Enlightenment's goal was to apply the scientific method to society and make the world a better place. During the eighteenth century (before the French Revolution), a lot of Enlightened despots (monarchs) were actually holding off on punishment (to an extent) and listening to the philosophe's (no, it's not spelled wrong) plea of how the law should govern our lives. Think John Locke, Beccaria, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli, Immanual Kant all of those other wonderful historical figures.

    It will get you creativity points if you reference a lot of philosophers (or philosophes depending on the context) and you need to take a stand while being original. As for relating to high school students, try the pathos appeal (emotional). Get people thinking.

    "Dare to know!"

    -Immanual Kant

  • 8 years ago

    How many of you like money? As in, having lots of money to buy stuff. An how many of you know that you need to pay taxes to the government? Good. Now, most importantly of all, how many of you would prefer not to have to spend lots of your money to keep serial killers and other criminals in long, drawn-out appeals cases? (continue with definitive, insightful, and powerfully delivered speech)

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