Over the years, the cost incurred by capital punishment cases have exceeded that incurred in non-capital cases. Capital cases have been shown to cost at least twice as much as non-capital ones. Cases where the death penalty is on offer as a solution, require a lot of funding at every stage. The funding is even more when it comes to the appealing processes. Standard steps usually involve, firstly appealing directly to the states highest court, followed by a petition for certiorari, followed by a state conviction petition, followed by a second petition for certiorari, followed by a petition for a federal of habeas corpus, just to mention a few of the stages. This distinctively shows that the appeal process on capital punishment is lengthy and can even take years, over which a lot of money is utilised. The appeal process expand the cost gap between capital cases and non-capital cases.
There has been an increase in the funding of capital cases over the recent years to avoid wrongful conviction that may have resulted from poor lawyers and inadequate funding of investigation processes into the cases. Studies show that, in Illinois a trust fund (Capital Punishment Trust Fund) was set up in 2000 to provide more money for capital case prosecution and defence. It came to my notice that over the last 8 years, the trust fund spent more than 60 million dollars to impose 60 deaths. This clearly indicates the high expenditure utilised in capital cases. At the end of it all, the tax payers are the one who bear the cost. This burden inflicted on the taxpayer can be alleviated by the removal of capital punishment from our legal systems.
There has been conviction and sentencing of innocent individuals to the death penalty. A good example of this: Four members of motorcycle gang were convicted and sentence to death for the kidnapping and murder in New Mexico. Fifteen months later, the real killer strolled into a church in South Carolina and confessed to the crime, presenting even evidence of where he had acquired the murder weapon. One of the witnesses even confessed to having fabricated her evidence after she was compelled into doing so by the authorities. Luckily, the accused were exonerated. This is just one of the many examples of the cases where capital punishment has been administered wrongly. There over 7,400 men and women who have been wrongfully to death. Doesnt this make us murders as well? Have we no mercy in the legal system? What should we say to the relatives of an offender sentenced to death, once evidence of their innocence has come forth long after the sentence was carried out? This makes them lose faith in the justice system. Theyll question their capability to administer true justice. The only way we can avoid this is by saying no to death penalty.
Evidently from the above cases, I came to the conclusion at capital punishment is an act of cruelty and barbarism. There are surely other ways of getting justice without necessarily taking the life of another. Is it justice for another man to be killed because of murder? Doesnt that make us murders too? So wheres the difference between us and the one we execute? We should stop playing God, for God is the giver of life and only he should take away life. To conclude, in a democratic system, the people are the government, and if the government kills, the people are the ones that kill; then that makes us all guilty of murder.
Capital Punishment 2000. Tracy L. Snell, Bureau of Justice. Web. December 2001.
Capital punishment: All view points on the death penalty. Bruce A Robinson. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Web. 22 May 2015.
Death Penalty Information Centre: Introduction to the Death Penalty. Web. 2015.
Rob Warden. North western Journals of Law & Social Policy: Reflection on Capital Punishment. Fall 2009.
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