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Word Count: 660
Also known as Capital Punishment the death penalty is the most severe form of corporal punishment as it requires law enforcement to kill the offender Forms of the death penalty include hanging gassing firing squad electrocution and lethal injection This paper will look at the death penalty as it applies to cost deterrence and the innocence of the accused It will discuss these issues as it applies to the overall benefit of abolishing the death penalty all together One of the main benefits of abolishing the death penalty is the immediate financial gain each state receives In 1988 Dr Harold G Grasmick and Dr Robert Bursik Jr found that the general support for the death penalty dropped from over 802 to 646 if the cost of the death penalty was more than the cost of life imprisonment Life imprisonment is far from cheap but the cost is much less than the death penalty In a report from the US Judicial Conference it was reported that in cases where the death penalty was pursued costs were 4 times higher than cases where it was not In cases involving the death penalty the state prosecutors costs were 67 higher than the defense costs This is not including costs incurred by law enforcement for investigative purposes On average the trials for death cases cost about 508000 while the trials for non-death cases cost 32000 Based on statistics from the US Department of Justice as of 2001 there were 3557 people in prison under the sentence of death These trials cost an estimated 1806956000 With the abolition of capital punishment this number would be reduced to approximately 113824000 a savings of 1693132000 This money could be used to improve social conditions that would potentially decrease crime in the inner cities Supporters of capital punishment like to tout the death penalty as a deterrent to crime The only problem with this claim is that the facts do not back this
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