3 Questions


According to the article we read, financially, the death penalty is too costly compared to inmates sentenced to life imprisonment. It costs anywhere between 3 times the amount of what a trial of a non-capital crime, as well as the costs of housing them in Death Row. It would seem logic to just sentence prisoners in Texas to life imprisonment, as it costs approximately $760,000 to house in inmate in the highest security, 3 times less that what an average death penalty case would costs (2.3 million). So, no, the death penalty is not an effective punishment when you consider the financial burn it puts on a state and its tax$ resources, however, I believe it’s a penalty that must be available for the most heinous crimes, of heinous crimes committed by individuals that do not deserve to continue to breath the same air, we do. I know there will be others that do not believe in the death penalty, but I believe the option should be available to punish those that commit atrocious crimes, such as the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, who took the lives of 168 innocent people, and injuring hundreds more. I am sorry, this action by an individual deserves the death penalty and in a very timely manner, not years of appeals, as that is where the waste of tax money continues. 

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The death penalty should not be banned as the Framers did not include the death penalty in its provisions of our 8th amendment, in which it has lead many scholars to believe did not believe this punishment was cruel and unusual punishment. In Furman v. Georgia, a capital punishment case, the Court did not impose the death penalty as being a form of cruel and unusual punishment, it itself.
The framers of the constitution, and of the 8th amendment intended to prohibit cruel and unusual punishments such as torturing a prisoner to death, such as being stoned to death, or sentenced for crimes committed that is too severe for the crime that had been committed. In today’s society, excessive bail is an example of violation of our 8th amendment, for example, if I am arrested for a misdemeanor such as driving under the influence (no injuries involved), it prohibits a fine that is completely inappropriate for the crime I committed, for example, in the millions to be released on bail for a DUI. 



according to article, I personally believe that capital punishment does not deter crime. 88% of legal experts agreed that the death penalty was in fact not a working deterrent when it came to crimes. Apart from this, I believe that a majority of the time when capital punishment is sentenced; it based of biased and racial beliefs. Studies across many states, including Georgia, have found that person has a higher off receiving the penalty if the victim of the defender is white. What I find so troubling about this fact is that 77% of murder victims in capital punishment sentences are in fact white. (Bessler, 2012)

With that being said I don’t believe all forms of death penalty should be band, specifically lethal injection. In Baze v. Reese the Supreme Court found that this method does not constitute a “cruel and unusual punishment”. The Supreme Court was able to come this conclusion by using a “objectively intolerable test”.(Cornell, N.D.)

Before the 8th amendment was agreed to by the founders. A man from New Hampshire by the name of Livermore stated his reason for not objecting to the Amendment. In his statement he stated that there was no actual meaning to “excessive bail” or “unusual and cruel punishment”. The reason behind the Amendment is so that courts could decide the interpretation and depending on the case and matters surrounding it. He stated that sometimes the killing of man was in fact necessary. He argued that if in the future a better and more lenient way of punishing criminals came along, we would then adopt it, but that until then, something needed to be in place to restrain them from committing horrific acts. (Bessler, 2012)


Bessler, J. D. (2012). Cruel and unusual : The american death penalty and the founders’ eighth amendment. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Death Penalty, (N.D.)  Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/death_penalty


The cost of a death penalty case is obviously a financial burden for those states that enforce it. I did not really know how much it cost to sentence a person to the death penalty (includes the trial costs, appeals, etc.) compared to what it costs to simply imprison them for life without parole. It is less expensive to lock a person up for 40 plus years in a maximum-security cell than it is to either lethal inject or electrocute them. The cost does not hinder states of going forward with the death penalty because it will bring justice to those affected by the crime and send a message to those of committing severe crimes. The death penalty guarantees that convicted murderers will never kill again and that is why I think it should not be banned at all.  There are cruel individuals in the world and have a meaning in life to just hurt or kill others until they are arrested or killed in the act of hurting others. Those who get arrested and sentenced to life in prison have murdered other inmates and/or prison guards. Convicts have also been known to successfully arrange murders from within prison, the most famous case being mobster Whitey Bulger, who apparently was killed by fellow inmates while incarcerated. There are also cases where convicts who have been released for parole after serving only part of their sentences – even life sentences – have murdered again after returning to society. A death sentence is the only irrevocable penalty that protects innocent lives. If there is substantial evidence that a person committed a murder or multiple murders than it would be reasonable to agree with the death penalty. The death penalty is a message to everyone that the most severe crimes are intolerable and will be punished in kind.

By the time the Founding Fathers wrote and signed the U.S. Constitution in 1787, and when the Bill of Rights were ratified and added in 1791, the death penalty was an acceptable and permissible form of punishment for premeditated murder. The Constitution’s 8th and 14th Amendments recognize the death penalty BUT under due process of the law. This means that certain legal requirements must first be fulfilled before any state executions can be legally carried out – even when pertaining to the cruelest, most cold-blooded murderer. While interpretations of the amendments pertaining to the death penalty have changed over the years, the Founding Fathers intended to allow for the death penalty from the very beginning and put in place a legal system to ensure due process.


Benyamin, C. (2019, March 15). Is the Death Penalty Justified or Should It Be Abolished? Retrieved from https://www.theperspective.com/debates/politics/death-penalty-justified-abolished/

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