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View Full Version : The New Jersey legislature just voted to end the death penalty, Good or Bad?



justkathy
12.15.07, 7:04 PM
Instead there will be life imprisonment without parole. Do you agree or disagree? As long as the killer is locked up forever so he can't get out an kill again I have no problem with it. Of course then you have the cost of keeping the prisoner alive for another thirty to forty years as opposed to the cost of sticking a lethal needle in his arm.
If you were on a jury in a murder trial could you vote to put the guy to death? I am not sure if I could. Even if I knew the guy was a terrible murdering scum I am not sure if I could condemn him to death but I would not have trouble sentencing him to life without parole. How would you guys feel?

Catstrack
12.16.07, 6:23 AM
I could be wrong, but I think I've read before it costs more to have someone on death row, appeal their cases time and time again ...the costs of appeals, lawyer fees, court costs, etc.....than to keep them in prison for life without chance of parole.

I was good with Tim McVeigh being put to death...for my own reasons, but I don't feel good about wishing it and happy it happened. That's something I'm sure God will take up with me sometime.

Other than that, there have been several individuals in the last few years who were proven innocent via DNA testing after they were executed. When I was in college studying sociology... my minor was police science. One of the issues that seemed to be a topic then was..."It's better than 10 guilty go free than one innocent person put to death".

Well, no one really wants 10 guilty to go free, but you get the idea that no justice is served if an innocent person pays for a crime they didn't commit.

I'm sure, as time goes by, we'll see more DNA and forensic evidence being taken into measure.

big easy
12.16.07, 3:38 PM
can you provide any references to executed prisoners whe were later exonerated due to dna?

I didn't think there were any...

at any rate... I'm not as staunch a supporter of the death penalty as I once was... I'm certainly not a candle holder for child killers though like some of those lunies that hold the vigils and could care less about the victims..

I just think our justice system has shown too many flaws in recent times to have that kind of power...

justkathy
12.16.07, 11:56 PM
I have heard something like that too, that the cost of appeals is higher than keeping a prisoner locked up. I wonder if that includes someone who has been locked up for many years. What happens when the prisoners become elderly and the prison has to bear the medical costs associated with old age. I just wonder, have there been many prisoners locked up for so long that they die of old age in prison?
You are also right mentioning new evidence proving someone's innocence. You can't take DNA from a dead man.

I guess, even if it's not perfect life imprisonment is a better solution than execution.

reines
12.17.07, 8:50 PM
I am against the death penalty. Life in prison is the way to go. I understand that over 150 prisoners have been set free as a result of new testing. IMO, the possibility of executing even one innocent person as a result of a mistake mandates that we stop executions.

dylanangel75
12.17.07, 11:11 PM
I agree that if there is a reasonable doubt then to put them in prison for life until there is a possiblity that DNA may free them. But if it's known and they do not deny their crime rid the world and put them out of our misery. I can not (and will not) believe that it is cheaper to keep these pieces of filth behind bars (feeding them, clothing them, all the free cable they want and giving them a college education on us) for the rest of their lives instead of gasing them like they should be.

Catstrack
12.18.07, 6:20 AM
I agree that if there is a reasonable doubt then to put them in prison for life until there is a possiblity that DNA may free them. But if it's known and they do not deny their crime rid the world and put them out of our misery. I can not (and will not) believe that it is cheaper to keep these pieces of filth behind bars (feeding them, clothing them, all the free cable they want and giving them a college education on us) for the rest of their lives instead of gasing them like they should be.


The Financial Costs of the Death Penalty
Death penalty cases are much more expensive than other criminal cases and cost more than imprisonment for life with no possibility of parole. In California, capital trials are six times more costly than other murder trials.(1) A study in Kansas indicated that a capital trial costs $116,700 more than an ordinary murder trial.(2) Complex pre-trial motions, lengthy jury selections, and expenses for expert witnesses are all likely to add to the costs in death penalty cases. The irreversibility of the death sentence requires courts to follow heightened due process in the preparation and course of the trial. The separate sentencing phase of the trial can take even longer than the guilt or innocence phase of the trial. And defendants are much more likely to insist on a trial when they are facing a possible death sentence. After conviction, there are constitutionally mandated appeals which involve both prosecution and defense costs.
Most of these costs occur in every case for which capital punishment is sought, regardless of the outcome. Thus, the true cost of the death penalty includes all the added expenses of the "unsuccessful" trials in which the death penalty is sought but not achieved. Moreover, if a defendant is convicted but not given the death sentence, the state will still incur the costs of life imprisonment, in addition to the increased trial expenses. For the states which employ the death penalty, this luxury comes at a high price. In Texas, a death penalty case costs taxpayers an average of $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years.(3) In Florida, each execution is costing the state $3.2 million.(4) In financially strapped California, one report estimated that the state could save $90 million each year by abolishing capital punishment.(5) The New York Department of Correctional Services estimated that implementing the death penalty would cost the state about $118 million annually.(6)

Source: fnsa.org

Catstrack
12.18.07, 6:28 AM
can you provide any references to executed prisoners whe were later exonerated due to dna?

I didn't think there were any...

http://www.truthinjustice.org/dp-mr.htm

I do agree with you that there are too many flaws in the system, which sometimes works against individuals for one reason or another. False confessions, lack of funds to hire competent attorneys, even skewed voir dier, during jury trials. Most people, I think, get fair trials and plenty are convicted because they are ...simply guilty.

Catstrack
12.18.07, 6:37 AM
What happens when the prisoners become elderly and the prison has to bear the medical costs associated with old age. I just wonder, have there been many prisoners locked up for so long that they die of old age in prison?.

I never thought about it...how many die of old age in prison. Found a link, but not sure if it's typical for all states. :-)

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/national/02life.web.html?hp&ex=1128312000&en=17172d95c2609b85&ei=5094&partner=homepage

dylanangel75
12.18.07, 1:48 PM
IMO if you are in prison on death row and you are trying to fight your case with appeal after appeal and you are guilty and there is no reasonable doubt then you foot the bill for the lawyers and all the costs that go with your appeal. I don't think they should get any appeals IMO. I think we have to many pieces of trash alive in the prisons as it is and rid the world.