The cost to kill: Is death worth $24 million?


When some people think of the cost behind the death penalty, they think that it is cheaper than life imprisonment due to the fact that only one bullet is needed or just a needle shoved into the arm to kill somebody.

But they forget about all the rights the U.S. Constitution allows for such as the Sixth Amendment which provides the right for appeals and the Eighth Amendment which protects from cruel and unusual punishments.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “the death penalty costs more, delivers less and puts innocent lives at risk. Life without parole provides swift, severe, and certain punishment.”
According to studies that were conducted, it costs Kansas 70 percent more than it would for an inmate to be incarcerated for life without the chance of parole.

Also, in Florida, the death penalty costs taxpayers $51 million a year. The problem with that is, there have only been 44 people actually executed since 1976.

If you do the math, that equals each execution costing $24 million.

I feel that spending $24 million on one person, regardless if they killed somebody or not, is ridiculous.

The Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice conducted a study in 2008 on the amount of money needed to use the death penalty in California and they found that “changing their sentence to one of lifetime incarceration would only change the location in which they will serve their sentence.

But just that change could save the State of California $27 million each year over the current cost of confining these prisoners on death row.”

Stephanie Jirard, a criminal justice professor at Shippensburg University, has a lot of experience with the death penalty.

She said, “Once I saw the inner workings of the government, I became convinced the government could not be trusted with the moral judgment and awesome power to kill its citizens.

Giving men in power the authority to kill citizens —  ven those who kill someone — is not a power the government should possess.”

She later went on to saythat “if you want someone to ‘pay’ for their crimes, send them to prison for the rest of their lives; that’s real punishment. Life without parole is cheaper than a death sentence.”
Jirard worked for the U.S. Navy as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) and also in the states of Missouri and Louisiana to defend criminals who were facing the death penalty.

Personally, I completely agree with Jirard’s ideas. I truly feel that somebody rotting away for the rest of their life in jail is far more of a punishment.

Taking away somebody’s freedoms and making them suffer is far greater punishment than just ending his or her life and allowing them not to face his or her actions for the rest of their life.

For more opinion follow @KrystalDobbs

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