“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men”
As quoted above, The general consensus in the U.S. is that the primary function of government is to secure people’s rights. Some of which are unalienable. In the United States, life is considered an unalienable right. This is evident by the quote above taken from the Declaration of Independence.
How is it that the State can function as a securer of the individual right to life while simultaneously taking a person’s life? Simply put, it cannot. The State does have the right to remove those who violate other’s rights from society. However, the State has no legitimate cause to take away one’s unalienable right to life. This is true even for the worst individuals imaginable. For the State to take one’s life via capital punishment is for the State to function contrary to its primary purpose. Life as a right should remain unalienable.
At least 18 people have been wrongly executed. 18 people have had their unalienable right to life taken from them unjustly. (1) What cost is my opponent willing to pay for so called justice that she is willing to endorse the unjust action of the state taking people’s lives.
Trying a death penalty case and the process of carrying it out cost significantly more than life in prison. (2)
“the enhanced cost of trying a death penalty case is at least $1.25 million more than trying a comparable murder case resulting in a sentence of life in prison without parole.” (3)
C4: A reasonable alternative
“In every state that retains the death penalty, jurors have the option of sentencing convicted capital murderers to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The sentence is cheaper to tax-payers and keeps violent offenders off the streets for good. Unlike the death penalty, a sentence of Life Without Parole also allows mistakes to be corrected.” (4)
The Death Penalty is more expensive than the alternative. Innocent people have been and likely will be executed. The States involvement in the death penalty is contrary to the purpose of government and infringes on unalienable rights. Life in prison without parole is a reasonable, cost effective alternative to the death penalty that gives the desired result without the potential harm the Death Penalty does.
Due to the inherent harm of the death penalty and reasonable alternatives, the Death penalty should be abolished.