Lots of studies have shown the costs to bring a death penalty case to completion
(i.e., execution) exceed the cost of housing a convict for the rest of their
natural life. Maybe the gov't can make up some of these costs by
negotiating plea deals with future criminals who want to avoid the death penalty
but I haven't seen those studies. Also, innocent people may be less likely
to take a plea deal, thus might be more at risk of an eventual death sentence.
My opposition for the death penalty comes down to one thing: the
justice system isn't perfect. Police, prosecutors, juries, and judges make
mistakes. Unless we can guarantee no innocent persons are ever
executed we should stop using the death penalty. The price of these mistakes far
outweighs any gains that stem from executing the truly guilty. There are no
doubt terrible monsters who commit the most heinous of crimes, and those people
should be punished. But if those punishments allow for innocent people to be
wrongly executed our governments are also guilty of murder.
@milquetoastyRE: "2 bits, Who is making the argument that the death
penalty is wrong, therefor we need to let convicted murders loose to murder more
people? I have literally never heard that proposal"...---I
don't know.I never said anybody proposed that.What
I said is that people who have murdered are eventually released (depending on
the crime and their level of involvement). And some have offended again.
It's just a fact (not a strawman).Even when kept in prison for
life... some have killed or injured other prisoners and guards. They have
nothing to lose. Just putting them in prison for life does not guarantee they
will not offend again (in jail). It just limits the population they can
re-offend on. But some do re-offend. I've heard horrible stories of
what they do to visitors and prison guards. Somebody has to feed and protect a
murderer who detests them and would do anything to hurt them for the rest of his
life.That's a long time for some (some commit murder very
young. Especially gang members).Somebody has to guard them and work
with them every day for the rest of their life. They throw body fluids at their
guards and fight with other prisoners.
Charles Manson dies this past weekend. He typifies why we still have the death
penalty in our country. Over the last nearly 50 years he was in prison it cost
California tax payers over $3 million to warehouse him. The money could have
been better spent rehabilitating a less evil youthfull offender.
@ milquetoasty"I have no problem with incarcerating murderers to
life in prison without the opportunity for parole, and I've yet to meet
anyone who disagrees."The death penalty is what makes that
possible. VIDAR pointed out that "If all those accused requested a trial it
would shut down our system. Only 10% of cases go to trial." The threat of
capital punishment allows prosecutors to plea bargain for life without parole.
Without it, everyone would bargain for something less.
is it not infinitely more wrong to sentence
someone to death incorrectly, than to sentence them for any number of years
wrongly incorrectly?"Substituting a greater injustice for a
lesser injustice does not equal justice. In layman's terms: two wrongs
don't make a right. In trying to right a potential handful of injustices,
you would deny justice from the 99.9% who deserve it. You would rob justice from
all of the murderers' victims, their families and society as a whole. On April 19, 2005 Timothy McVeigh attacked and killed 168 people
(including 19 children) and injured over 600. To this day many of the survivors
are left with permanent physical and emotional trauma; 219 children lost one or
both parents. In just this one example, in order to prevent a
handful of "greater" injustices, you would deny justice from Timothy
McVeigh, the 168 people he killed, their families and society as a whole. Now
multiply that by all of the terrible killers and their victims. It's like
trading a car wreck for holocaust.Let's just try to improve our
justice system to prevent wrongful convictions.
It was surprising to me that Mr. Miller would claim: “And there is simply
no evidence that a wrongly convicted person has ever been put to death in the
United States.” Please read Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy for
evidence contradicting Mr. Miller’s claim.
@ 2 bitsWho is making the argument that the death penalty is wrong,
therefor we need to let convicted murders loose to murder more people? I have
literally never heard that proposal. I have no issue with life in
prison with no chance of parole for convicted murderers. You are
arguing against a straw man.
If you insist the death penalty isn't a deterrent.... just think about it a
minute.It may not deter the murderer in his first crime, but
it's a 100% deterrent of him doing it in the future.How many
murderers that were released have murdered again? It happens.How
many murderers who got the death penalty killed another person? Zero!Obviously it's a deterrent. For future murders by that person.
Don't know how you can deny that.Nothing will keep people who
don't care about their own life or anybody else's life from committing
that first crime (We don't live in a world where we can predict crimes
before they happen). But we can prevent it from happening again...
@VIDARRE: "Joe Hill however was most likely an innocent man executed
in Utah"...---How do you know that?Joe Hill was
executed in 1915. Back then lots of strange stuff happened in law enforcement.
We didn't have the tools, technology, video surveillance, DNA testing, and
CSI stuff we have today to prove who committed a crime (to 100% certainty
sometimes, the only time the death penalty should be used IMO).Joe
Hill was not innocent. I would not have executed him, because we didn't
have the technology to prove it like we have today. But I would also not call
him "innocent".In 1914, John G. Morrison, a Salt Lake City
area grocer and former policeman, and his son were shot and killed by two men.
The same evening, Hill arrived at a doctor's office with a gunshot wound.
Hill refused to explain who shot him. Even when convicted and sentenced to
death... he refused to say who shot him.If you're innocent...
why not expose who shot you?But he didn't. Because he knew how
he got shot, and knew they could prove he was lieing if he blamed it on his
wife, or a neighbor.He knew he could never expose how he got
shot.That sound "Innocent" to you?
Flying Finn - Salt Lake City, UTThere are many that are both pro
life and against the death penalty. The Catholic church is both pro life and
against the death penalty so there is your first billion or so.
Flying Finn - Salt Lake City, UTNo I do not believe Bundy or Gilmore
were innocent. Joe Hill however was most likely an innocent man executed in
Utah. In January 2011 Colorado governor Bill Ritter pardoned Joe Arridy
posthumously after it was clear they executed an innocent man. Also the
following citizens are believed to have been innocent and executed in the last
few decades Carlos Deluna, Ruben Cantu, David Spence, Gary Graham, Claude
Jones, Cameron Willingham, Richard masterson, Lester Bower, Robert Pruett, Larry
Griffin , Leo Jones Troy Davis, Brian Terrell. What do you call it when the
state executes an innocent person?
Hutterite - American Fork, UTThe typical liberal has no problem
terminating the life of an innocent unborn child but thinks cold blooded killers
convicted by a jury of their peers should somehow be treated differently.The baby can't appeal his/her termination but the killer can. Just
doesn't seem fair somehow.
@ Harrison BergeronAs much as you're right about no punishment
ever being "reversed," is it not infinitely more wrong to sentence
someone to death incorrectly, than to sentence them for any number of years
wrongly incorrectly? If it can't be demonstrated that the death
penalty DRASTICALLY reduces the murder rate, there is no justifying keeping it.
As a fundamental opponent of the death penalty, I have no problem with
incarcerating murderers to life in prison without the opportunity for parole,
and I've yet to meet anyone who disagrees. The idea that being
anti-death penalty means being anti-punishment doesn't even make sense. Death is permanent, and not all of us believe that there is some kind of
cosmic justice that we can look forward to if we were wronged in this life. I
believe that this is the one shot we get, and wrongly taking that away from
someone is the most heinous crime. Those convicted of murder can be removed from
society effectively, without running the risk of spilling any more innocent
@ VIDARThe wrongful convictions argument is a logical fallacy.
Eliminating capital punishment would not eliminate by consequence wrongful
convictions. They would just be wrongfully punished in a different way. By this
logic we should eliminate prison or any other punishment if wrongful convictions
are a valid reason for eliminating punishment. You may argue that
capital punishment is permanent and cannot be reversed. I would argue that no
punishment can be reversed. For example, if you have wrongfully incarcerated
someone for 10 years, you can never return those 10 years to them. And you have
permanently taken the life they might have had. Two wrongs do not
set un injustice right. To eliminate a deserved punishment for a killer, will
never make up for wrongfully convicting someone else.
VIDAR - Murray, UTSo you're saying that Gary Gilmore and Ted
Bundy may have been innocent?
I disagree. The death penalty has been used to execute innocent persons; and
will continue to do so. I would refer anyone who seriously wants to research
this start with the innocence project. They not only work to free the innocent
but also convict those who are actually guilty. To date, 351 people in the
United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 who served time
on death row; these people served an average of 14 years in prison before
exoneration and release. Some say the answer is to execute those convicted
quicker. If we had there would be at least these 20 innocent people executed.
Until we can guarantee no innocent person will be executed we need to do away
with the death penalty. Our system simply has too many problems: incentivized
informants, inadequate defense, misapplication of forensic science, government
misconduct, false confessions or admissions, eyewitness misidentification. On
the other point the drop in crime has been more accurately attributed to the
access to birth control.
"to defend the indefensible — murder and rape. Advocating on behalf of
monsters, the panel presented a largely fallacious and emotionally charge
argument against the death penalty"That's quite an
emotionally charged introduction there.
VIDAR - Murray, UT says: "We had better hope that criminals do not figure
this out."Yes VIDAR, let's hope defense attornies never
consider taking a case to trial. Meagan Grunwald was offered a plea
deal in the shooting death of Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride. She
rejected the offer and instead of serving a minium of15 years in prison she got
I get the desire to punish the worst criminals with the worst punishment
available. I simply think that life in prison is far worse than death. I dont buy the 'the threat of the death penalty helps get plea
bargains' argument either. And frankly if you cant get a conviction without
a plea in a capital case then you shouldnt be prosecuting said case. Get enough
evidence to convict. Prosecutors should stop pleading everything down to save
themselves work. I dont buy for one minute that criminals,
particularly people who commit murder, do a cost-benefit analysis where they
weigh the possible punishment, be it death, life in prison, or a lifetime supply
of ice cream before they commit their crimes. I find that a silly argument with
no basis in reality. /And I have no doubt that these
'statistics' trotted out in the letter are being cherry picked and
lack through analysis. Not believable.
Harrison Bergeron - Holladay , UTIf all those accused requested a
trial it would shut down our system. Only 10% of cases go to trial. The right
to a speedy trial would require for the majority of those accused to be just let
go, or we could spend the money it would take to process the 90% extra court
trials in a timely manner. More court houses, more judges, more juries. I have
to wonder how many people it would take to fill all the juries, and how much we
would lose in lost work. We had better hope that criminals do not figure this
What would liberals have the State do with murderers and rapists? Set them
free? Give them a medal? When a person kills another person, he
cannot make restitution. He has removed from earth a human being. The just
punishment is to remove the killer also.When a person rapes another
person, he cannot make restitution. He has violated another person's
procreation gift from God. He has also violated the most sacred norm in our
society, the virtue of a woman. The just punishment is to remve the rapist.There is no argument that justifies caging a human being up in a small
cell like an animal for the rest of his life. If he commits a capital offense,
then justice demands capital punishment.
When you fall for the false logic, correlation equals causation, coupled with
cherry-picking your data, you'll inevitably reach a false conclusion. The
Deseret News comment section doesn't appear to allow links. If it did, the
data cited could be countered by more compelling and correct data, regarding
rates of incarceration by ethnic group, numbers of persons on death row by
ethnic group, and the true cost of life imprisonment vs. executions, and finally
many studies showing that eliminating the death penalty does not result in a
rise in murder rates.
Streamlining the appeals process will improve things. There certainly is no
reason for it to take more than two years. That will also reduce the cost
dramatically.But these people always ignore one of the most
beneficial aspects of capital punishment. Prosecutors use it all the time to get
plea deals for life in prison from killers. Without the death penalty nobody
would ever plea bargain for life in prison. Everyone would go to trial. They
would have nothing to lose. Capital punishment saves our judicial
system bazillions in jury trials that never happen.
“...However, for me and many of my former colleagues in other corrections
agencies, our role in executions led to a deep sense of guilt, sleepless nights
and permanent emotional damage.For me, unlike the “kill or be
killed” mindset in war or other forms of self-defense, carrying out
executions felt very much like participating in premeditated and rehearsed
murder. Either from religious training (“thou shall not kill”) or
established societal norms, every person knows that taking a human life is one
of our culture’s most serious offenses. It exacts severe mental trauma
— even when done under the auspices of state law. As I have written
before: I don’t remember their names, but I still see their faces in my
Mr. Miller overstates the deterrent effect. There is no clear cut deterrent
effect. There is also evidence of possible sentencing disparities. Just four countries considered to be industrialised still execute criminals:
the US, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Sometimes the U.S. wrongly
executes or sentences to death innocent people. (Not guilty of the crime for
which they received the death penalty). The exoneration rate of death row
inmates is estimated to be 4%.Lastly, one must consider those whose
job it is to carry out the death sentence. Dr. Allen Ault, who oversaw
executions in Georgia, wrote of his own suffering from PTSD, (which is not
"Liberals fail when they attempt to use sarcasm to defend the inane."OK, but my statement wasn't sarcasm. And, I wasn't trying to defend,
or decry, the death penalty. And, I don't neatly fit into the category of
'liberal', not that it's a crime if you do. I pointed out
that, valid or not, it is not uncommon to hear people defend the death penalty
based on it having quality as a deterrent. I've sat on debate teams where
that argument is posited. The internet (check out deathpenaltycurriculum) has
many sites that discuss deterrence. I, myself, don't know if it's
true or not. It's clear arguments can be made either way, and this is by no
means exact science. But, without sarcasm, I remain loyal to my original
statement. People do, right or not, use the deterrence effect as an argument
against the death penalty.
The first time someone was exonerated post execution should've been the
very last death sentence ever handed out, in my opinion. For
proponents of the death penalty, answer this question for me. How many wrongful
death sentences handed out by the GOVERNMENT is too much? For me, it's one.
Can anyone even imagine how you would feel if someone you knew was sentenced to
death by the state, only to be exonerated posthumously? I would likely become a
crazy person. Some take pleasure in denying it, but our judicial
system is filled with discrimination, racism, personal vendettas etc... How
anybody is willing to trust other fallible humans with death sentencing is
beyond me. "Since 1973, 144 people on death row have been
exonerated. As a percentage of all death sentences, that's just 1.6
percent. But if the innocence rate is 4.1 percent, more than twice the rate of
exoneration, the study suggests what most people assumed but dreaded: An untold
number of innocent people have been executed." -"One in 25
Sentenced to death in the U.S. is Innocent, Study Claims," Newsweek,
4/28/14If that doesn't horrify you, I don't know what to
eastcoastcoug - Danbury, CT asks "whether the State should be in the
business of putting people to death."Answer: When we drop bombs
on terrorists in Afghanistan aren't we putting them to death?Are the lives of killers at home more sacred than the lives of killers in some
far away country?
There is no documented case where a murderer is executed that shows that
individual murdered anyone else after the execution. The execution of murderers
seems to be 100% effective in stopping them from further offenses. The only problem with the death penalty is the delay in doing it due to the
outrageously long and repeated appeals process. Decrease the time between crime
and punishment and the deterrent effect is increased on everything.
C'MON Hutterite - American Fork, UTHutterite says: "It's
usually trotted out as one of the staples people use when defending the death
penalty."I'm sure that the robber who pulls a gun on a
convenience store clerk stops to consider what happened to Gary Gilmore before
deciding to do the same thing Gilmore did.Liberals fail when they
attempt to use sarcasm to defend the inane.
Chopping off a man's hands will also prevent him from pick-pocketing and
may serve as a grisly warning to others. Deterrent is not the most important
issue here...it's whether the State should be in the business of putting
people to death.
The death penalty is the only deterrent left for a man serving life in prison.
A convicted murderer with no chance for parole has nothing to lose in assaulting
a murdering a guard, prison doctor, teacher, or fellow inmate. A man senteced
to 5 years doesn't deserve to be murdered by a fellow convict.The death penalty is the last deterrent in some cases.It can also
serve as leverage to persuade a killer to provide important information to
investigators. Cooperate and death penalty comes off the table. This leverage
is probably the single biggest potential abuse of the death penalty, not an
actual wrongful execution.A wrongly convicted man is several times
more likely to be exonerated if he is on death row than if he is serving
life.And whatever may have happened elsewhere or in the distant
past, in the modern musical era there is zero chance Utah has ever executed an
innocent man. 7 executions since the Supremes followed the constitution again.
No doubt any of their guilt. From Gary Gillmore through HiFi murderer William
Andrews to Ronnie Lee Gardner, there is no doubt of guilt, no question of the
seriousness of the crimes.Utah properly uses capital punishment.
"Where did these liberals come up with the bogus notion that the death
penalty is designed to deter other criminals. It doesn't. You don't
put drug dealers or rapists in prison to deter other drug dealers or rapists.
"It's usually trotted out as one of the staples people use when
defending the death penalty.
Where did these liberals come up with the bogus notion that the death penalty is
designed to deter other criminals. It doesn't. You don't put drug
dealers or rapists in prison to deter other drug dealers or rapists. The death penalty is a very prescribed punishment saved for the worst of the
worst whose crimes meet very specific criteria.
The problem is there is too much time between the verdict and the carrying out
of the penalty (death sentence). The numbers of appeals should be reduced with
probably a timeline set in so that appeals must be done in a fixed amount of
time or they lose the ability to appeal.Recently Doug Wright (KSL radio
host) on his show stated that he had begun to change his mind on the death
penalty (IE was against it now except for heinous crimes). When he said that it
made me wonder if the long appeal process for most of these cases and the
increasing numbers of victims had made him and many others think it is only
heinous if its more than 5 -6 murders. To the families that have had their
loved one murdered it IS the most heinous or crimes.If from the time of
conviction the penalty were carried out with in a year or two the deterrent
factor would be obvious and the the murder rate would be way down.