The United States is known for its big capital punishment or death penalty mentality. However, passions in the U.S. are sharply divided, and equally strong among both supporters and protesters of the death penalty. The death penalty in this country should not be eliminated though. First, death is the only just punishment for murderers. Second, life without parole is far more expensive than a death sentence. Lastly, capital punishment serves as a deterrent for future potential criminals. All in all, it is important that the death penalty remains in the United States.
When a murderer is executed, the message to the criminal and society is that the crime he committed is so heinous; he forfeits his own right to live. Justice for All states that juries do not impose the death penalty loosely. They continue to explain that the death penalty is imposed with a sense of protection and justice, not revenge (Social Issues: Justice for All). The death penalty punishment is earned as a result of the pain and suffering the criminal has caused on the victim and the victim’s loved ones. “For some crimes, it represents the only just punishment available on earth” (Sharp). Also, our society has nonetheless steadily moved to more humane methods of carrying out capital punishment.
Many opponents of the death penalty argue that the cost of capital punishment is about twice as expensive as life without parole punishments. Although the upfront costs for the death penalty are in fact higher than the costs for life without parole cases, this concept flips as the years pass. Justice for All states that life without parole cases will cost $1.2 million-$3.6 million more over time than equivalent death penalty cases (Sharp). Another factor that opponents of the death penalty fail to recognize is the cost that branches out of life imprisonment. Keeping these criminals alive in prison costs money whether it’s for the food, space, water for the showers, etc. So, why spend the money for murderers who don’t deserve it?
Lastly, common sense later followed by piles and piles of statistics has proven that criminals often plead for a life in prison rather than death. In the past it was believed that the death of murderers 1) prevents future crime or misbehavior from the murderer and 2) discourages other future and/or potential murderers from committing crimes. In the present, Paul Rubin, a professor of economics and law at Emory University uses detailed statistical analysis of the available data on the deterrent effects of capital punishment. He and his colleagues concluded that each execution led to an average of eighteen fewer murders (Rubin). Not only has the death penalty rid us of criminals but it has the future effect of reducing the crime rate.