Death to the Death Penalty
We should murder capital punishment. It used to have broader support because it was believed to be a deterrent, but the evidence is clear it’s not...
Scientists agree, by an overwhelming majority, that the death penalty has no deterrent effect. They felt the same way over ten years ago, and nothing has changed since then. States without the death penalty continue to have significantly lower murder rates than those that retain capital punishment. — Amnesty International
In fact, some experts believe the death penalty leads to an even higher rate of murders in the states where it exists i.e. “the brutalization hypothesis.”
But capital punishment proponents often fall back on the argument, “At least it saves money!”
Studies of the California death penalty system, the largest in the US, have revealed that a death sentence costs at least 18 times as much as a sentence of life without parole would cost. — DeathPenalty.org
They then say, “it COULD save money if the state didn’t allow for so many appeals,” but then you must compare an ideal to an ideal.
Ideally, we could also bring down the cost of imprisonment. In fact, we could make it a financial net positive by giving those locked up the opportunity to contribute to society. When given the option, a lot of people behind bars choose to work because it gives them a sense of worth. You also have to consider that in the Age of Abundance, the cost of food, water, energy, construction, and surveillance has been dropping exponentially so sustaining human life will become even more affordable.
I’ll also add that the people who commit 1st-degree murder often have deranged minds and so if we were to look at the glass half-full then we could see that these minds are so unique that perhaps they can see and do things the rest of us can’t. As Steve Jobs said, “It’s the crazy ones who change the world.” I don’t know if he meant that literally, but nonetheless, in one of their minds may be the next great song or poem or book or invention or painting.
And sure, the state could save money by just hanging people from the tallest tree in order to reduce the cost of capital punishment, but then that would inevitably lead to more innocent Americans dying at the hands of We the People.
Since 1992, DNA has exonerated more than 20 death row inmates, but DNA has only been available in a fraction of capital cases. — Innocence Project
Proponents then say, “Since DNA is making it easier to convict beyond a reasonable doubt then we can kill with even more self-righteous certainty!”
But technology is constantly evolving. Maybe today it’s easier to discern who committed murder (although DNA doesn’t prove premeditation, which is required for 1st-degree murder), but who is to say that in 30 years with crisper, face/finger-print surgeries, deep fake technology, etc, that it couldn’t end up being even more difficult to discern who is guilty of a crime, especially for those who have the money to employ such advanced forms of deception? Is it so hard to imagine a rich serial killer employing these technologies to pin the blame on you!?
The death penalty is also used as a bargaining chip, which in my opinion, is antithetical to a “fair trial.” Imagine if you were falsely accused of murder and your lawyer sits you down and says, “We can take your case to trial where if found guilty you will get the death penalty or you can plead guilty and get life without parole. I recommend you take the plea.” An emotionally-stable person would probably decline, but an emotionally-distraught easily-suggestible individual could very well say yes to life in prison.
Finally, there’s the emotional aspect where people want revenge on behalf of the victim. Blood for blood!
But perhaps we as a country can leave final judgment to God? Blind rage justice is not blind justice. Instead of playing God, the state should be limited in its role as executioner by ONLY being allowed to kill people out of national self-defense.
Someone whose locked up behind bars presents zero threat to our national security. And in fact, their knowledge and/or connections could help prevent a future murder or attack. If you think it's smart to keep terrorists/mafia/cartel alive for the information they can provide then how is it fair to kill someone else simply because they lack those same murderous connections?
Gandhi said it best, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
A lot of victims’ families don’t want murderous revenge for the perpetrator because they live by such a creed. Why are those most affected by the crime ignored? Why do we force these victims to also become victims of the state by being forced to relive their trauma in trial after trial year after year? A study found that families reported higher levels of physical and psychological health and more satisfaction with the criminal justice system when the sentence was life over death.
I believe in a ‘Merica where we recognize the humanity of even those who carried out the most inhumane acts. Psychopaths don’t become psychopaths overnight. Many were born with brain defects and then grew up in a cold, dark world where their parents and society continuously let them down to the point where brutality begot brutality. We need to break the cycle. Society can’t go back in time by fixing the wrongs that contributed to this person committing the ultimate wrong, but we can at least take responsibility for our societal failures by making up for some of it on the back end by not being what they believe we are.
In the end, we are judged by how we treat the least among us. By doing away with capital punishment, America will then have greater moral authority to speak out against other governments that kill their own people in the name of deterrence, convenience, and vengeance.
Any final words?
Death to the death penalty!