Death Penalty In the USA





Click here to go to the NEW College Discussion Forum

Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Death Penalty In the USA
By Avidreader2006 (Avidreader2006) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit

Hey, everyone! I was just wondering what fellow CC users think about the death penalty in the United States.

1) Do you think the death penalty should still exist? Please Explain.
2)Which would cost more to US taxpayers, life in prison or execution?
3) Does the death penalty deter crime worthy of death?
4)Should minors be executed?

My response:
1)I do not think the death penalty should exist b/c many people in the US have been sent to their death, only to be found innocent after dying. While George W. Bush was governor in Texas, NINE PEOPLE who WERE INNOCENT of capital crimes were sent to their DEATH!!! So until the rate of innocent people being executed for crimes they did not commit is 0%, the death penalty should not be an option ( http://www.texecutions.com ).
2) I think the the death penalty would be more expensive b/c in Indiana, death penalty cases cost the state 38% more than life without parole ( http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=108&scid=7#From%20DPIC )! In texas, it cost 3 TIMES more to execute someone than to imprison that person for 40 years at a maximum security prison!
3) I do not think that the death penalty deters crime b/c it has been shown that states w/o the death penalty have lower murder rates than states with the death penalty ( http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=12&did=167 ).
4) I do not think that minors should be executed because the US would be one of only seven countries to execute minors and b/c of all the reasons I have stated above
( http://www.sptimes.com/2002/10/30/Opinion/Minors_still_executed.shtml ).

By Poison_Ivy (Poison_Ivy) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 10:43 pm: Edit

1) Do you think the death penalty should still exist? Please Explain. NO!
2)Which would cost more to US taxpayers, life in prison or execution? LIFE!
3) Does the death penalty deter crime worthy of death. NO!
4)Should minors be executed. NO!

You are starting a debate which is bound to get ulgy. Just watch and see.

By Lisasimpson (Lisasimpson) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 10:55 pm: Edit

well, so far the three of us agree on all accounts.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 10:56 pm: Edit

Meh. The death penalty should exist as long as the lifers get to choose between serving life or serving up their life.

By Thinkingoutloud (Thinkingoutloud) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 10:59 pm: Edit

When people discuss the death penalty they often fail to distinguish between the evidence necessary to support a death sentence and the sentence itself when the degree of evidence shows certainty. When you say nine innocent people were executed in Texas, I don't believe you. (especially when you include President Bush's name as if he was on the jury handing out the conviction). Even if your statement were true, the solution is not necessarily to abolish the death penalty but to increase the evidence necessary before the peanlty is imposed. For example, if you had a close up video of a person as he murdered another person combined with DNA evidence and the police showing up at the scene of the crime as the murderer finsihes, then would the death penalty be appropriate? How about if the victim was someone you loved?

By Poison_Ivy (Poison_Ivy) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit

EDITED: Excuse me, but "lifers" is not a word. This site is for the intellectually gifted, not impaired.

I just had to give my revenge.

By Craigk10 (Craigk10) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 11:02 pm: Edit

Agree on all -- I'll add something else: the United States is the only nation in the "Western" world that has the death penalty (read this somewhere on AI a few months ago so I cannot say so with 100% certainty.)

By Asianalto (Asianalto) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 11:07 pm: Edit

1) No, but only because I think it'd be more painful to have to live a long time in captivity and boredom than if you were immediately put to death.
2)I don't know, but since the OP said execution and can back it up, I'll go with that.
3)No, probably not
4)No

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 11:13 pm: Edit

"Lifers" is slang. Go look it up on dictionary.com. The first definition: a prisoner serving a life sentence.

I'm sorry I'm not following the Queen's rules of grammar, but it appears neither are you.

"Excuse me, but "lifers" is not a word. This site is for the intellectually gifted, not impaired."

By Avidreader2006 (Avidreader2006) on Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 11:20 pm: Edit

If all evidence proved that someone killed another person, I would still go for life in prison b/c it would still cost less than executing that person. If someone I loved was killed, I would rather see the person who murdered my loved one rot in jail, I would still say that I wouldn't want the murderer to get the death penalty b/c its any easy way out for the person who murdered my loved one. Think about it, 5 or 10 minutes of pain compared to 40 years of boredom and despair.

By Avidreader2006 (Avidreader2006) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 12:01 am: Edit

guess no one is on cc boards at 12 in the morning

By Riflesforwatie (Riflesforwatie) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 01:26 am: Edit

1) Do you think the death penalty should still exist? Please Explain.

No. I read Grisham's "The Chamber".

2)Which would cost more to US taxpayers, life in prison or execution?

The first in most cases... however death penalty convictions have so many associated appeals and multiple cases involved that the court cases probably get expensive.

3) Does the death penalty deter crime worthy of death?

No. Some people are born to kill, as it were.

4)Should minors be executed?

No.

By Averagemathgeek (Averagemathgeek) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 01:42 am: Edit

1. I do not believe in the death penalty because the system works against people who cannot afford to hire law firms to try their case.

2. I am not sure. My first thought is life in prison. However, it may vary from state to state.

3. I would think that the death penalty deters some crimes; however, not enough to make it an effective crime prevention method.

4. No.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 03:09 am: Edit

I don't think the death penalty should exist...simple reason why: it is not enough punishment...a life in prison is far worse then a few needles pumpin gases into your arm


...now if the death penatly involved some sort of torture...then i'd be for it

By Steveruleworld (Steveruleworld) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 04:08 am: Edit

I'm going to have different answers for these so yeah..
for reference, when i refer to a violent crime, i mean 1st degree murder, serial murders, preplanned rape, and murders that involve the murderer to torture a person for a while before killing them.

1) Do you think the death penalty should still exist?
Personally i do believe that the death penalty should still EXIST; however, the way in which people are tried and convicted of death is soo mangled with good lawyers finding technicalities and many getting less than they should as a result whereas those who can't afford one and are innocent are at a severe disadvantage.

Another thing, sorta ties in with 3. During my ethics class we had a huge discussion on this (a week or two). Does the death penalty truely deter crimes? this is a perplexing question. Sure, you can compare other countries in the world. You could say something to the effect that they have no death penalty, and have the same or less violent crime rate; however, you are forgetting one huge factor. We are talking about america, a country whose culture is unlike any culture in the world. The ideal of the macho man, who won't take crap from anyone is an image put into many male minds, which leads to sometimes unruly behavior, which if the person has a gun, they may be less inclined to use it if the death penalty were there (either that or another person might remind them of it). I will admit crimes of passion are different, the ones where a person becomes so enraged as a result of something that they do something truely regretable without having time to think it through.

Another thing to think about is what the consequences of getting rid of the death penalty. If you poll people and ask them if they have ever been detered from committing a violent crime because of the death penalty, most people with an ounce of common sense are going to say of course not. Thus, it would be pretty much impossible to figure out if it deters violent crimes or not this way.

I'll put another spin on it though. If indeed the death penalty is abolished, and it turns out that crime stays the same or goes down, then obviously the death penalty was not a good idea. HOWEVER, if it turns out that it did indeed deter people from committing a heinous crime, and the violent crime rate goes up, that would be a horrible repercussion. Thus I would say that it would be prudent to err on the side of caution, and leave the death penalty in place.


Another thing that bothers me is that there have been a few cases where a lifer tries to kill a guard while in prison after being in there for many year, showing no remorse, and no signs of wanting to change. These people though not a threat to society at large as much anymore, are a possible fatal danger to the guards and others who might visit them which is very troubling to me.

2)Which would cost more to US taxpayers, life in prison or execution?
An execution does. Read "Dead Man Walking" for facts.

3) Does the death penalty deter crime worthy of death?
You can't be certain unless the death penalty is abolished, See my answer to #1.

4)Should minors be executed? I'd say no, with the exception of an older minor who knows that he can commit a heinous crime and not have to worry about the death penalty no matter what. I am talking about 14-17 yr olds who know the laws, and know they can get away with it. I'd say maybe drop the bar to under the age of 14, because hopefully before then, they won't have the same understanding of the loopholes.


So to wrap it up in a short summary.
1) Yes, but only if the court system and trials are revamped to truely work for justice.
2) An execution costs more
3) Impossible to tell in the US
4) Only if the minors commit a violent crime with full knowledge of repercussions, but know that they have the law to fall back on as a safety net.

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 04:38 am: Edit

1) Do you think the death penalty should still exist? Please Explain.... I agree with Jenesaispas, "Meh. The death penalty should exist as long as the lifers get to choose between serving life or serving up their life."

2)Which would cost more to US taxpayers, life in prison or execution?...execution

3) Does the death penalty deter crime worthy of death? not sure

4)Should minors be executed? no

sorry for the lack of decisiveness...i'm still unsure

By Avidreader2006 (Avidreader2006) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 12:12 pm: Edit

everyone seems to have good points when it comes to the death penalty

By Tdizzo (Tdizzo) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 01:34 pm: Edit

1. Keep the death penalty. Certainly there is a concern regarding innocent people being put to death (something is unforgivable in its own right) but there is also something to be said for respecting the laws of society. If we look to philosophy many view civilization as the result of the a social contract. The basic essecence of any social contract it the guarentee of basic rights, primary amongst which is the right to life. However, if you violate this contract, you have forfeited your own life as you are no longer goverened by societies conventions(I realize this is somewhat convoluted but bear with me).

2. I don't have the exact statisitcs (can probably find them online somewhere if you really want them) but it has been established that the majority of murders are committed by repeat violent offenders (as well as the fact that murderers are far more likely to repeat). This is a somewhat back handed argument that the determent factor would be greatly increased if the death penalty were applied more rather then less (look to New Orleans's gun policy which had radically reduced the number of gun related deaths).

3. Execution undeniably costs the tax payer more...however, so long as the tax payer is willing to pay that burden, it is an acceptable cost. Furthermore, the reason it costs more is the lengthy mandatory appeals process by which death row prisnors must travell. I feel a way to alleviate this problem is to institute a policy similar to what is being proposed in Texas (namely, if three or more eye-witnesses saw you committ the crime, the executing process is speeded up...I think this could be applied to other situations such as videotape evidence, unchallengable physical evidence, etc...perhaps limiting the number of appeals to one rather than the numerous ones now availible, agian only in special circumstances)

4. Detterence exists only so long as people reconize what true detterence is. If a convicted murderer is executed the first time, he (or she) has no chacne to strike again (example: the "Wild" West, unlike much folklore, the West was actually a relatively crime free area. MOstly because the populace was well armed and any infraction was liable to get you hanged. Now I'm not arguing a return to vigilante justice (and not getting into the concept of an armed populace) but you hang a man for stealing a horse, and I'd say you just reduced a boatload of crime right there, can you imagine how much less crime there'd be if you executed people for grand theft auto? Wow, going a little right wing nutso there, sorry, but seriously, can you?)

5. Juvenille execution. A very tricky subject. I suggest you watch an excellent Law and Order episode where they dealt with this very question. Primarily, the question you have to ask is "when is acceptable to give up on someone's life?" Do you think the Columbine killers would have deserved the death penalty any less then any other multiple murder suspect? I think it is an issue that should go case by case, as the death penalty currently does.

So yeah, that's my opinion, not very well layed out or supported, but if you wanted to give me a couple days I could knock out something a little more cohesive.

By Kluge (Kluge) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 02:48 pm: Edit

Tdizzo - I'm not sure about what you mean by "repeat violent offencers" but is is pretty well established that less than 1% of homicides are committed by people who have committed murder or manslaughter before. There's a lot of repeated misinformation out there on this subject. (Here's a Canadian study: http://www.npb-cnlc.gc.ca/reports/pr101001_e.htm )

It may be statistically more likely that the state will execute an innocent man than that a guilty man let free will kill again - but I'm not sure. I do know that in California, no felon who was sentenced to life without possibility of parole (called L-WOP by those in the biz) has ever been freed, unless he came up with actual proof of innocense.

By Tdizzo (Tdizzo) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 03:13 pm: Edit

I worded that very poorly...the statistic that I remember dealt with the fact that (this is a made up example) 8 out of 12 violent offenders repeated in other violent crimes compared to a 4 out of 12 when it came to non-violent offenders...and this was including first offense violent offenders (assult, attempted murder, etc...) then committing murder.

By Mac87 (Mac87) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 05:06 pm: Edit

1) i am agianst the death penalty because it's hypocritical, someone else has to kill that person, i believe it is morally wrong
2) death penalty cost more, because it's usually at least ten years before the person is executed, and all the added security cost more
3) no, and you're naive if you think it does
4) no


Report an offensive message on this page    E-mail this page to a friend
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page