The death penalty is actually far more expensive than life without patrol. This is because the Constitution requires a complex and lengthy judicial process for capital punishment cases. If the death penalty was replaced with a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole than each state could save millions in dollars.
The Justice for All estimates that life without parole will cost $1.2-$3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty cases. They also stated that while life without parole will seem cheaper at first, death penalty costs will end up coming out less expensive. (Sharp, Dudley. "Top 10 Pros and Cons - Death Penalty - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. ProCon.org, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. ) Therefore, in the long run, each state would not be saving millions.
Although the costs of the death penalty could be less expensive in the long run, there is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment. States that have death penalty laws do not have lower crime rates or murder rates than states without such laws. And states that have done away with capital punishment laws show no significant changes in either crime or murder rates. Claims that debunk such evidence have been thoroughly discredited by social science research.
The death penalty may not lower murder rates, but it is unlikely that anything will. There will always be messed up people in this world who will murder, no matter the consequences. Murder has tragically been in existence since the beginning of time and will, most likely, never go away. Therefore, the consequence our country decides to use should not be based off of an attempt to stop murder, but rather what is appropriate for a man or women who has taken the life of another.
Also, one must think about the family and friends of the victim. When someone's loved one has been tragically killed, he/she must deal with grief and anger. He/she must also deal with the knowledge that their loved one is dead while the murderer is still living. For taking a life that was not yet meant to be taken, the murderer should be killed.
What about if the person receiving the death penalty was wrongly accused? Since the reinstatement of the modern death penalty, 87 people have been freed from death row because they were later proven innocent. That is a demonstrated error rate of 1 innocent person for every 7 persons executed. It is a central pillar of our criminal justice system that it is better that many guilty people go free than that one innocent should suffer. It should be the main goal of the court that we do not kill a single innocent person.
It is true that this is a flaw of the death penalty system; however, changes can be made in order to minimize this. For instance, of those people falsely accused, many were put to death before a DNA test was performed. To make a DNA test required before a death sentence would lessen the risk. Also, "The Innocence Project" recommends that moratoriums be enacted and that experts of all criminal justice aspects should have a role in the death penalty cases, in order to further learn how the mistakes, of convicting innocent people, occur and how to minimize them. With these changes, the death penalty could continue on with limited risk of an innocent person being killed. Then, murderers and rapers would be killed and justice would be brought to the family and/or the victim.
Justice may be brought to the family and/or the victim, but what about the family of the person being put to death. By having the death penalty we only move the grievances from one family to another. Retribution is just another word for revenge, and the desire for revenge is one of the lowest human emotions. To kill the person who has killed someone close to you is simply to continue the cycle of violence which ultimately destroys the avenger as well as the offender. Also, requiring physicians to participate in executions violates their oath to protect lives and erodes public confidence in the medical profession. A physician is a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life.The use of a physician's clinical skill and judgment for purposes other than promoting an individual's health and welfare undermines a basic ethical foundation of medicine.