Many opponents present, as fact, that the cost
of the death penalty is so expensive (at least $2 million per case), that we
must ironically choose life without parole (‘LWOP’) at a cost of $1 million per
year for an average of 50 years. Justice for all estimates that LWOP cases cost
$1.2 million – $3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases. There is
no apodictic proof that the upfront costs of the death penalty are
significantly higher than for equivalent LWOP cases.

Sutherland in his book titled Criminology
, wrote:
“It is not cheaper to keep a criminal confined, because most of the
time he will appeal just as much causing as many costs as a convict under death
sentence. Being alive and having nothing better to do, he will spend his time
in prison conceiving of ever-new habeas corpus petitions…”

Also, in the U.S a study called “The Death Penalty and Plea
Bargaining of Life Sentences
”, found that to repeal death penalty laws did not see a significant
savings in trial costs. In states where the death penalty is the maximum
punishment, a larger number of defendants are willing to plead guilty and
receive a life sentence. The greater cost of trials where the prosecution does
seek the death penalty is offset, by the savings from avoiding trial altogether
in cases where the defendant pleads guilty.
 Lastly, the cost
for justice does not have to be so if appeals are
only allowed
where they are relevant in proving one’s innocence and eliminate those used
merely as delaying tactics, there would be finality of trial and it would save
millions in taxpayer money.
often associate capital punishment with the ‘an eye for an eye’ concept. This
is not entirely wrong. But a more appropriate term would be RETRIBUTION. Yes, retribution and not revenge, as some would tend
to call it. Retribution is the primary purpose of just
punishment.  The underlying principles behind retribution
are that:
guilty people deserve to be punished
only guilty
people deserve to be punished
and that the
punishment must be in proportion to the severity of their crime
argument states that real justice requires people to suffer for their wrongdoing
in a way appropriate for their crime, and in the case of murder, what their
crime deserves is death. The measure of punishment in a given case must depend
upon the atrocity of the crime, the conduct of the criminal and the defenceless
and unprotected state of the victim. Imposition of appropriate punishment is
the manner in which Courts respond to the society’s cry for justice against criminals
and an attempt for the victim’s families to turn the page.  
The sophomoric argument of asking: “Why do we kill people to show people that
killing people is wrong
?” That “two
wrongs do not make a right”,
amounts to treating executions and murders as
equivalent. Our answer to this is that murder is defined as the UNLAWFUL killing of a person with
malice aforethought. It follows therefore, that the word “murder” simply cannot
be used to describe executions since the death penalty is but the application
of the law and a sentence
of a Court of Justice. Comparing executions to murders is like comparing
imprisoning people to kidnapping.
A cliché argument used by opponents
to capital punishment is the futility of combating violence with more
“violence,” that “you can’t
fight fire with fire”.
But there is a difference between violence and
punishment. Law enforcement and punishment is to crime what water is to fire.
Fire-fighters spray water on a burning building with such force that the flames
have no choice but to back down.
What separates crime from punishment, good from evil, are not their physical
aspects but rather their moral aspects, what we call in Criminal Law the mens
rea. Just because two practices share a physical similarity doesn’t mean that
they are morally identical. Moral aspects examine the intention and motivation
behind one’s actions. Abolitionists tend to focus on the death penalty’s
physical aspects to demonstrate that it is the same as murder while completely
ignoring its moral aspects. Executing someone is not killing someone for the
sake of killing, like might be the case in murder, but to show the person that
his atrocious crimes will not go unpunished – he simply cannot walk away, and
that any wrong he has caused, a similar level of harm will be imposed on him.
Human rights
activists would argue the right to life. But the way we see it, when you take the life of someone else, YOUR right to life ends with his. If you
show no respect for sacred human life, then why should the State show respect
for YOUR life?

By- Deena Bhoyroo
Middlesex University ( Mauritius Branch)
DEATH PENALTY WEBPAGE, <http://www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html#life>

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