John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and Aileen Wuornos are some of the many that have been killed from the death penalty. They all deserved to be, from their serial killings but what gives us the right to do so? Today, I am going to tell you about the issues with the death penalty and why it needs to be abolished.
I have researched both sides of this controversy, and the need to abolish the death penalty is the stronger argument. First, I’m going to tell you the expenses of the death penalty, second, I’ll tell you the risk that comes along with it and last, I’ll tell you it’s ineffectiveness and the question of human rights.
Let me begin with the issues of the death penalty. The death penalty is expensive. Why? According to Richard C. Dieter, the Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center, almost all death penalty cases cannot afford their own lawyer. The state has to provide them one.
The expenses in a death penalty case include legal costs, pre-trial costs, jury selection, trial, incarceration, and appeal costs. For example, between 1982 and 1997, counties spent a shocking 1.6 billion on capital crime trials, according to Katherine Baicker in her article
titled “The Budgetary Repercussions of Capital Convictions.” Therefore, all the murderers who can afford a great attorney usually get off with their crime. For example, Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson, both had great lawyers, and both got off with their crime. So, for the poor and the minorities, they usually get the death penalty because they cannot afford
a good lawyer. Simply meaning, it’s unfair.
Now that I’ve told you the costliness, I’ll tell you the risk that comes along with it. There is the risk of killing the innocent. There was a story in the news recently about a man named Troy Davis who was put to death who was still fighting to prove his innocence. Seven of the nine witnesses that stated they saw Davis kill a police officer in 1991 recanted their original testimony. The appeal to the Supreme Court was denied and he was put to death on September 21, 2011. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 138 people in 26 states have been exonerated from death row since 1973 with proof of their innocence.
This proves that before the advances...