Do you agree with the death penalty

Essay by garennHigh School, 10th gradeB+, March 2009

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I'm 100% against it. I live in Texas, and I supported capital punishment for a long time, but the more I learned about it, the more I came to oppose it. In the end, several factors changed my mind:1. By far the most compelling is this: Sometimes the legal system gets it wrong. In the last 35 years in the U.S., 130 people have been released from death row because they were exonerated by DNA evidence. These are ALL people who were found guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." Unfortunately, DNA evidence is not available in most cases. So, as long as the death penalty is in place, you are pretty much GUARANTEED to occasionally execute an innocent person.

Really, that should be reason enough for most people to oppose it. If you need more, read on:2. Because of higher pre-trial expenses, longer trials, jury sequestration, extra expenses associated with prosecuting & defending a DP case, and the appeals process (which is necessary - see reason #1), it costs taxpayers MUCH more to execute prisoners than to imprison them for life.

3. The deterrent effect is questionable at best. Violent crime rates are actually HIGHER in death penalty jurisdictions. This may seem counterintuitive, and there are many theories about why this is (Ted Bundy saw it as a challenge, so he chose Florida - the most active execution state at the time - to carry out his final murder spree). It is probably due, at least in part, to the high cost (see #2), which drains resources from police departments, drug treatment programs, education, and other government services that help prevent crime. Personally, I think it also has to do with the hypocrisy of taking a stand against murder…by killing people. The government fosters a culture of violence by saying,