G’ Day mates! Today, we’re going to start to delve into some more serious issues, for the first time ever on this site, and for good reason. This is obviously going to be a controversial issue, much like any other issue that involves killing something. It’s because of the divided opinion, it seems that there’s always only a black and white way of looking at it. You’re either in the same camp as option one or you’re with option two, but that’s just not the case, however, that won’t be the focus of this article. Today, we’re going to be looking at a more statistic way of looking at this issue, and see if that can help shed some light onto it.
According to this site, there have been only 1,437 executions in the USA since 1976, the countries bicentennial. Not that many, when you consider that there are about 16,238 murders committed per year (source), or, using this same statistics, about 649,000 murders since 1976. That means that only about .22% of murderers are sentenced to death themselves, not accounting for multiple kills, or multiple murders, or other crimes that are worthy of death. According to this site, two thirds of all of the nations in the world no longer practice the death penalty, and many are still on their way out, with Japan and the United States being the only two industrial nations left who regularly practice capital punishment. Finally, according to I Side With (which you’ll remember from the Trump Vs. Clinton Article) 72% of Americans agree with the use of the death penalty in general, while 11% of that think it should always be employed as a punishment for horrific crimes.
Obviously, I have my own opinions on the subject, as I think that the death penalty should be enforced strictly, and I think that it would reduce the rate of crime as a result. However, there are many cases and studies done on this subject, some of which seek to disprove my stance, and obviously, there are arguments to both support and go against it. For the remainder of this article, I’m going to be going over some common stances on the subject from the point of view of United States citizens who have both opinions in mind. It is very likely that future elections in the country will have effect on capital punishments continued relevance in law for the nation.
The “For” Opinion
The conservative opinion on the subject is obvious, as most are in support of capital punishment. Many, including myself, believe the high amounts of criminals in prison, who could have just easily been executed for harsh crimes they committed, to be a tremendous waste of money. According to the BJS, the prison population of the United States is about 6.8 million individuals, which, at about 55 thousand dollars a year for average prisoner maintenance (source), a cost of about 374 billion dollars can be attributed to yearly prison inmate maintenance, which is about 6% of the total yearly revenue of the nation, at about 6 trillion dollars (source). Aside from the obvious “new cash” that could be created in our budget by increasing executions, many members of this group, also, associate the death penalty with a strong image of what happens to criminals when they break the law. Prison life is often better than the lives of those who are homeless, or living on government welfare, which many think is wrong to law abiding citizens. Under more harsh conditions, some believe that executions should be made public and graphic as they were in most countries prior to the 1900’s. Finally, some also believe that the bodies of healthier inmates tried and executed could be considered, under certain laws, bodies donated to science, and should be used to further research into birth control, anatomy, genetics, and regeneration.
But Cam! Isn’t it inhumane to use someone body without their consent? And what about accidental executions of innocent people? Shouldn’t there be a gray period between the court and the chopping block? Does execution even strike up a harsh image for the general public anymore? All valid questions to be asking, but you’ll have to answer those ones for yourself. Does capital punishment strike fear into the hearts of the common citizen, making them stay true to the law, or does it do the opposite?
The “Against” Opinion
Where many stand, others stand on the opposite side. Many Americans believe that the death penalty neither imposes fear upon individuals to not break the law, nor do they believe that it is necessary in modern day society. Many believe that the death penalty is too easy on criminals, and that a life in prison is a worthier punishment for their actions. In more conservative liberal options, some believe that we should cut prison lifestyle expenses greatly, making the conditions inside them harsher to suit their reward for their actions. Some think that death is an inadequate payment for another death, and that prisoners should be put to work in a communist like society, where basic needs are taken away from them if they do not meet daily quotas, which could serve as a large workforce to be used for harsh construction, as well as, industry jobs. Theoretically, we could greatly lower the cost of prisons if we treated them as a “for profit” business, and treated the prisoner’s labor as payment for their crimes. In fact, if we made the prisons even harsher, by the time all the serious criminals got out of jail, they won’t even want to think about going back!
But Cam! Isn’t it slavery to use prisoners for work without paying them? Can prisons really be considered to be “businesses”? Is the death penalty really “too easy”? Aren’t the conditions in prisons already harsh? How much work could we get done using prisoners as a labor force anyways? All valid questions to be asking, but you’ll have to answer those ones for yourself. Can prisoners be treated as an asset for improving the lives around them, or are they still just convicts that need to be put to the chair?
Based on the opinions I’ve gathered above, I propose a compromise (and this is just one possible compromise on the issue). After a prisoner is convicted of a capital crime (let’s say murder or rape), and a court has ruled that they are guilty of committing it, they are sent to jail for a mandatory 1st month, so some smaller investigations can take place (smaller investigations won’t take place for every crime, but they should for capital ones). In addition, those who are convicted of rape, their names well be kept in secret until they are proven of the crime, to avoid ruining their careers if proven innocent. Continuing on, for that first month of working, the prisoner will be subjected to normal prison conditions, where, all necessary supplies will be provided to the prisoner, in exchange for some light labor. After the month has passed, the case on their trial will have been closed, and a final decision will be required. If proven guilty once again, the prisoner will be sentenced to a 2nd month in jail, during which he will work under harder conditions in exchange for less, and will have ample time to be visited by family members, and attempt to complete any last life’s wishes he desire before his life will be promptly ended via capital punishment, or if he should continue to work to pay off for his crime, a decision which will be made by the law enforcement as necessary. If proven innocent, the prisoner’s jail time will end, and he will return to normal society.
But Cam! What if we find out that the prisoner WAS INOCENT? What if the prisoner was guilty, but was tried INOCENT, and he gets away with only 1 month jail time? Once again, those questions are ones that need to be answered by you. Naturally, there are going to be some flaws with every system that I and anyone else proposes to you, it’s all about finding the balance been what has the most going for it, and the least going against it. Ask yourself this: Does this compromise sound like it’s better than the way were doing it now?
Thanks for reading everyone! This is my first charge into a more controversial issue (no, circumcision doesn’t count), and wanted to thank anyone who made it this far. It’s the internet after all, so if you have something to say, why not say it? Please leave a like or comment down below to show your support, any way why not visit one of my social media profiles at the top of this page, or below this article?
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