In 2006, fifty three death row inmates had their sentences carried out in fifteen states. All but one received a lethal injection. One prisoner in
It sounds barbaric enough that so many people were executed in this country last year, but making it worse twenty four of the executions took place in the State of
As of June 21, 2007 there have been twenty five executions in seven states. Again,
Prosecutors may lead the charge and bang the drum that the death penalty is a deterrent, but this is simply untrue. Science has shown that most people who are able to commit the heinous crime of murder are actually missing something in their brain that does not relate an incident with a consequence. Nor are they able to feel empathy. If the death penalty were able to deter offenders there would be no one on death row.
On average over the last 15 years states without the death penalty had 29.38% fewer murders than states with the death penalty. It almost seems like the death penalty invites and encourages people to kill.
Another reason often cited by supporters of the death penalty is that the death penalty is less costly than life imprisonment. However, this is far from the truth. According to Spangenberg and Walsh in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, "The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life imprisonment." In fact, a study conducted by the New York State Defenders Association showed that the cost of a capital trial alone was double the cost of life imprisonment. The January 5, 1997, Miami Herald estimated that the true cost of each execution is approximately $3.2 million, or roughly six times the cost of a life-imprisonment sentence.
Is justice or revenge the force behind this barbaric practice? It seems that a cycle is created when government promotes death, be it in the form execution of inmates or be it the people we send our soldiers off to kill in war. We accept taking life as a national norm. But what happens to the people we teach to kill? How do we un-train them once the conflict is over? Our tax dollars pay for every war and every lethal injection. We are fueling the fire. Movies and games treat death so lightly that audiences have become immune to the disgusting reality removing empathy from yet another generation.
How safe are we in a society where cold blooded behavior is not only a way of life, but endorsed on many levels by the government. How safe are we in a society when every citizen can be wrongly convicted with faulty evidence by over aggressive prosecutors and have their life taken away from them by the government? It happens all the time.
In the past 30 years, 123 inmates were found to be innocent and released from death row. DNA evidence is shouldering the burden of proof to the dismay of aggressive prosecutors that use economics as a reason for sloppy evidence analysis. The burden of proof is falling on the defense rather than the prosecution.
After a ten year national moratorium on executions between 1967 and 1977; there have only been two executions in
Here is a list of states that do not have the death penalty:
Much of the information in this article may be found at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/