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Amy York April 24 2000 Protecting the Innocent Capital punishment should be abolished in the United States There may have been a time when capital punishment was needed and acceptable but that time is far behind us The concepts and beliefs supporting capital punishment are outdated and have no place in our modern society There is no longer a need to perform executions to maintain a safe society There are two opposing viewpoints on the issue of capital punishment and both present strong arguments with valid points One side maintains that capital punishment is an ethical response to crime and the opposing side believes capital punishment is not an ethical legal action Undeniably capital punishment does offer some advantages to our society such as deterrence and incapacitation However both of these can be gained without the death penalty There is no proof that the death penalty is a deterrent to criminals and incapacitation can be achieved by sentencing offenders to life in prison A common misconception is that executing an offender costs less than life long imprisonment The cost of apparatus and maintenance of the procedures attending the death penalty including death row and the endless appeals and legal machinery far outweighs the expense of maintaining in prison the tiny fraction of criminals who would otherwise be slain Draper 46 A report issued in1998 by the Judicial Conference of the United States found the cost of sentencing a defendant to the death penalty is higher than imprisoning the accused for life This is due to the high cost of providing representation in federal death penalty cases wwwuscourtsgovdpenaltyhtm Cases involving the death penalty take longer to prosecute and therefore have higher costs than other cases The state is usually responsible for paying the accused legal fees as most cannot afford a lawyer Some legal firms do handle capital punishment cases pro bono
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