Death Penalty, Right or Wrong?

Essay by napoleoncampbellCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2007

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Death Penalty, Right or Wrong?Until recently I believed in the death penalty. I use to believe "an eye for an eye", if a person kills someone, they as the convicted murderer deserve to be killed. That is until investigators and DNA testing started to find flaws in the convictions of some death row inmates. That caused me to research what the death penalty truly meant to society. I found I was solely basing my opinion on media reports of murder, but never looked any deeper. After researching the subject I found the death penalty truly does not deter murder any more than life in prison without the possibility of parole. I now believe the death penalty is wrong because the sentence has done little to deter crime, hundreds of innocent people have been falsely sentenced and life in prison is less expensive to the tax payers.

Contrary to most opinions, the death penalty does not deter crime.

Homicide rates in most states without the death penalty is lower than the states with the death penalty. Of the 12 states without the death penalty, 10 have homicide rates lower than the national average. Over the last 20 years murder rates have been over 48% higher in states with the death penalty. A good example is death penalty free North Dakota, they have a lower homicide rate than South Dakota, that has the death penalty. Back in 2000, Illinois governor George Ryan called a moratorium on executions after several inmates were exonerated in his state ( [SFG], 2000).

The death penalty is irreversible, a case of mistaken identity can cause an innocent person could be executed. Studies show that about 400 innocent people have been sentenced to death during this century, of which 23 have been executed. Anthony Porter, 44,