Cost of Life Imprisonment Without Parole Vs. Death Penalty in Utah

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Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

Cost of Life Imprisonment Without Parole Versus Death Penalty (Capital Punishment)

Introduction

  • Capital Punishment

A lot of debate has been going on for and against the issue of the death penalty over the years. Also commonly known as capital punishment, the tradition of putting people to death is as old as the country itself, or probably older. In the old days, people were executed by stoning, crucifixion, stake-burning (which was common to the people considered witches) and so on. But what kinds of death sentences or capital punishment are issued in this modern age? Is it the same as the old ones? The answer is no. Capital penalties in today’s times include injection of lethal gas, hanging, electrocution or firing.

Cost of Life Imprisonment Without Parole Vs. Death Penalty in Utah

The world is divided in half in modern times as to nations that use capital punishment, and countries that do not. The death penalty regime has been abolished by many nations including some of the developing nations by any means or methods mentioned above. One nation where this program would be strongly likely to not operate is the United States of America (USA). Unlike other industrialized nations, some US states still have intact system of capital punishment or death sentence. The above graph shows the increase and decrease in compliance during the period from 1930 to 2004.  Reviewing the western part of the globe will reveal that the US is the only western country in which death sentences are executed. The country’s executions are related to the country’s legal system, which is considered one of the world’s most advanced structures due to the its characterization for respect of human rights (Zimring, 2000).

According to an article by Zimring published in the MSN Encarta, the implementation of the death penalty and its regulations varies among states in the US. About 12 states have no death penalty, but they have rules for life imprisonment. This life imprisonment can sometimes be without parole. The rest of the states have different death penalty laws for different kinds and degrees of offences. Around 200 to 300 criminals and prisoners are sentenced to death.

Cost of Life Imprisonment Without Parole Vs. Death Penalty in Utah

When the death penalty was restored in 1976, the use of death penalty as punishment rose to its height. More than 600 executions have taken place in the US since then. The graph taken from Wikipedia.com shows the death penalty status in US since 1976. twenty-nine states out of 38 have executed capital in the last two decades. The execution states are Louisiana, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, Georgia, Utah, Texas and many more  (Zimring, 2000). If the graph is looked at more closely, executions can be seen concentrated in the southern part of the US.

  • Life Imprisonment with No Parole

The history of life imprisonment in President Fillmore’s term is synonymous with an American case. The case is of Ex Parte Wells. This case has been taken from Wikipedia. The person Wells was convicted of a murder and was sentenced to be hanged in 1951. President Fillmore gave Wells a conditional pardon and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Thus the term ‘life imprisonment’ was coined in 1987.

According to the New York Times study undertaken by Adam Liptak, it was found that almost 10% of the prisoners in the US that is almost 132,000 prisoners are serving life sentences. Out of the 10%, almost 28% of these prisoners are sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Since 1993, when the New York Times conducted a report, the rise in life imprisonment has increased by 8% and found that the inmates without parole were 20%.

Crime in Utah

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

Utah’s crime rate is the lowest crime rate in the U.S., and ranked 8th. The State’s crime rate is 236.9 per 100,000 residents. The state’s violent crime rate has been growing lower than the national average. Since a peak in violent crimes in 1997, the violent crime rate in Utah has fallen 29.1%. (Jared, Utah’s Crime Rate).

Capital Punishment in Utah

Utah has managed to keep its crime rate down due to a provision for execution. The methods of execution in Utah have changed over time. In the past capital punishment was carried out by means of beheading, hanging or firing squad. Although the punishment of beheading was never used it was still in the provisions till 1888. In around 1980, hanging was also eliminated. It was replaced by lethal injection which is another form of capital punishment that is being used widely (Gillespie, Capital Punishment in Utah)

Till this date, Utah has executed 47 prisoners out of which 39 were executed through firing squad, six by hanging and the last two by lethal injection. The following table has been taken from Wikipedia and shows the death penalty and methods through which a few of the prisoners were executed.

Cost of Life Imprisonment Without Parole Vs. Death Penalty in Utah

A little account of the executions that were carried out in the state of Utah is given below:

  • Hanging: Two Indians were executed by hanging as they had killed two brothers. Also two other men were executed for killing a gas station employee in 1956. Barton Kirkhamn was the last person who was hanged by the state of Utah in 1958 for killing two people (Gillespie, Capital Punishment in Utah).
  • Firing Squad: The first person to be executed after ten years of moratorium was Gary Gilmore in 1977. He was executed through firing squad for killing two young men in the state (Gillespie, Capital Punishment in Utah)
  • Lethal Injection: The use of lethal injection in Utah began with the death of Pierre Dale in 1987 as he had killed three people and was the second black that was executed in Utah. Lethal injection was also the fate of two Hispanics and Indians while the rest of the prisoners executed by this method were white (Gillespie, Capital Punishment in Utah).

The state of Utah has an unusual provision that sets it apart from other states in the matters of execution. The state allows the prisoner or the convicted to choose which method of execution he/she would prefer. For example choice is given between squad firing and lethal injection. If the convicted doesn’t choose, then he/ she are executed by lethal injection. (Gillespie, Capital Punishment in Utah).

Life Imprisonment in Utah

The crime in Utah is divided into three categories. These are

1. Felonies

According to the law, felony can be punished by imprisonment or fine. A table shows the different categories of felony and its punishment (Criminal Penalties, 2008). In the below table capital means motivated murder whereas the rest represent different crimes.

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

2. Misdemeanors

According to the Utah State Law, a misdemeanor is an offense that is lower than a felony and a person involved in any misdemeanor can be punished by a county jail up to 1 year and/ or a fine (Criminal Penalties, 2008).

3. Infractions

It is a minor offense that is punishable by a fine only, up to $750 like city traffic violations and some disorderly conduct offenses (Criminal Penalties, 2008).

The death sentence rates in Utah have declined since the state passed a life without- parole statute in 1992. The option of life imprisonment without parole is a helpful option for the prosecutors of Utah as they can convict a person to imprisonment rather than death penalty. According to the data in 2006, 22 prisoners in Utah are serving life imprisonment without parole and 9 are on death row (Life without Parole..,2006).

Cost of Capital Punishment vs Life Imprisonment

There are a lot studies and research that have been undertaken by different institutions and individual person regarding the cost effectiveness of capital punishment and life imprisonment. It is almost impossible to put a finger on the exact cost of execution of either life imprisonment without parole or capital punishment. Some of the death sentences are carried out quickly which are cost-effective but others are not. Similar is the case of life imprisonment. It has been widely argued that death penalty is more expensive than the life imprisonment and vice versa. The argument rises because it is believed that it is expensive to retain and look after the prisoner sentenced for life imprisonment than executing that convict. It is a very rational assumption because if a person is sentenced to life imprisonment then the costs related to the needs of the convicted would be high as the convicted will be living almost his whole life there.

Cost of Life Imprisonment without Parole

According to research conducted by the member of the Legislative Research Council, Annie Mertz, the cost of imprisonment is very high. The cost of imprisonment without parole includes the following variables:

  • Construction
  • Financing
  • Operation costs for maximum cell security

According to Mertz, the annual costs of building and operating a maximum security cell is $5000 whereas the maintenance cost is about $20,000 annually. If the average age of a few convicted is taken into account the total cost for life imprisonment per person would be around $750,000 to $1.1 million (Mertz, 2006). Another research indicates that the life imprisonment which on the average is of about 30 to 40 years, the average cost per person is $50,000 (Pro Death Penalty Webpage).  Another research was undertaken by the TIME magazine in December 1995. The research indicated that average cell cost amounted to $ 24,000 per year and the maximum security cost was $75,000 per year for the nation as a whole.

Cost of Capital Punishment

It is widely argued and claimed that cost of capital punishment is much higher than the cost of life imprisonment. It is costly for the state or the country to execute a convicted than to imprison him. Capital punishment cases are complex and require more attention. A study shows that the taxpayer could save $90 million each year by eliminating the capital punishment in the state of California. During 1977 to 1996, five criminals execution cost the state more than $1 billion. Also the Department of Correctional Services in New York calculated that it would cost $118 million if death penalty was reinstated (Facts about Death Penalty).

The reason that death penalty is so costly is due to the legal proceedings of the case. Capital punishment trials are expensive as they take longer time to reach a verdict. The use of pre-trial motions, investigations by expert witnesses, and selection of two juries- one for guilt and one for sentencing- adds heavy expenditure in the account of capital punishment cases. These are just the costs before the process of appeal. If there is no guilty plea and the verdict goes in the favor of life imprisonment, the state pays the cost of the trial as well as the cost of life imprisonment (Mertz, 1999). The costly, time consuming, controversial and devastating process of capital punishment drains the criminal justice system of necessary resources that it could otherwise use to meet its goals.

Comparison between Cost of Life Imprisonment and Capital Punishment

The cost of imprisonment is expensive but in comparison to the cost of capital punishment it is less expensive. According to the Justice for All, imprisonment without parole will cost $1.2 million – $3.6 million more than equivalent death penalty. The Pro Death Penalty Webpage argues that the cost comparisons of both the punishment should be carried out if capital punishment equivalent life imprisonment cases are taken into consideration. The following table of statistics taken from Death Penalty Paper (Sharp, 1997) is based on the above assumption:

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

The cost of the capital punishment increases annually based on the following variables:

  1. Increase in prison costs
  2. National inflation rate
  3. Medical costs
  4. Prison violence can cause injury or death as the criminals with death row have nothing to lose may increase the probability of violence.
  5. Risk of escape by the convicts
  6. Prisoners can be released governors, parole boards and judges.

According to an anti-death penalty website, a capital punishment costs $2.3 million which is about three times more than the cost of imprisonment for 40 years. Therefore it can be inferred that life without parole will cost $766, 666. The Death Penalty Information Center has stated that: “The costs of trials and appeals for death penalty cases are twenty-one times that of a life in prison without parole case.”

  • Costs Until Now

Until now, the life without parole has a cost of $70, 000 and the death penalty has a cost of $1,470,000. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has concluded that to imprison one convict it costs $27, 025 annually. The breakdown of this cost is given in the table below:

Facility Operations$22,650 per year
Medical Care, Food and Utilities$4,375 per year

 

The Bureau of Justice has calculated the cost of imprisonment taking into account all the variables that might impact the cost. This is calculated as follows:

“Take $27,025; multiply it by 40 years and factor in an increase of 3% each year. It results in the expense of imprisoning a prisoner serving a life sentence without parole being $2,187,007.19. Now we can equate this to the amount needed to jail a death row inmate. Antideathpenalty.org presents the figure that eleven years is the average time a prisoner spends on the death row. Now, take $27,025; multiply it by 11 years and factor in an increase of 3% each year, which yields an amount of $393,923.52” (Voice of Liberty, 2008).

  • Cost of Trial, Appeals, and Incarceration

The cost of trial, appeal and incarceration for life without parole is much higher than capital punishment. The cost according to a web post by Voice of Liberty has written that the capital punishment is $1,863,923 and imprisonment is $2,257,007. The high cost of life imprisonment is due to the requirement of additional medical care which arises because of diseases like HIV, Hepatitis C among the convicts. Also the geriatric care of the convicts is costly.

If the above information is kept in view, it can be analyzed that the claims of capital punishment being costly than imprisonment are a bit hazy. Sometimes the politics involved also manipulate the statistics so the policies can be changed.

Costs and the Government

No matter which form of punishment is highly expensive, the cost of both the punishments is being bear by the government due to which the citizens suffer. Due to recession in the country in1992, police were being laid off and prisoners were released early due to which the crime rate continued to rise. Due to the recession in the country, cutbacks in the backbone of criminal judicial system were caused. For example, 3000 prisoners were released early in 1992 due to budget crisis. Prisoners are serving 20% of their total time in Texas during the 1992. New Jersey laid off 500 officers while Georgia laid off 900 correctional personnel (Dieter, 1992).

Today, many states are hammering millions and thousands of dollars in punishment like death penalty and still no reduction in crime has been seen. The high and expensive capital punishment costs are bad as the resources both legal and financial are being diverted from making effective crime policies and strategies.  For example, in 1992 California was spending almost $90 million on capital punishment due to which it did not have enough money developing crime strategies. The infamous state of Texas where the crime rate or most notably the murder rate is the highest in country is spending almost $2.3 million per case and has more than 300 people on death row (Dieter, 1992).

Politicians and Death Penalty

Death penalty is the weapon of the politicians through which they can make themselves stronger than the opponents by masking it as the only solution to reduce crime. It is a trend that whether they are politicians, prosecutors or presidents, each have chosen some form of statement or symbol that can relate to support of death penalty. If death penalty becomes the most common form punishment, a single trial of it can result in bankruptcy, increase in taxes and laying off government personnel. According to the statistics, a trial can cost small country $100,000 from their unbudgeted funds. Politicians wage their campaigns on the symbols of death penalty without analyzing the cost-benefit analysis for the people. What the citizens do not know is that the cost benefit analysis of the death penalty is shadowed and other programs are being deprived of the needed resources. Crime prevention is one department that is being deprived of the funds with the expansion of the death penalty (Dieter, 1992).

Expenditure by Justice Function

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

The graph above shows, according to the Bureau of Justice statistics, how much is expended or how much is directly spent by the criminal justice profession that includes Judicial, Police and Corrections. The graph shows a steady increase in spending from 1982 to 2004. The increase in judicial spending was almost 474 percent, while the largest rise in expenditure is noted in the corrections, with a change of 613 percent from 1982 to 2005. According to Bureau of Justice the Federal, State, and local governments had spent around $204 billion for police protection, corrections and judicial and legal activities. The per capita expense to all three governments and criminal justice has been around $600. State and local governments spent a combined 83 percent of all federal justice funds in 2005; where the Federal government spent the remaining 17 percent. In 2005 the federal government spent nearly $35 billion on direct crime and justice spending. State and local government, by comparison, had invested $65 billion and $104 billion respectively.

Cost to Governments

Governments at all local, state, and federal levels are under financial pressure to increase the death penalty. Governments are not just funding one department (namely capital punishment) but supporting and caring for agencies such as health and human services and other public sector institutions. The government has made some really hard choices between the demands to provide the essential services relevant to keeping the citizens safe and the goal of increasing capital punishment.

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

The graph on the right has been taken from the Bureau of Justices which shows the increasing amounts of government expenditure on the death penalty and life imprisonment. The expenditure of the local government has increased by 396% from 1982 to 2005 amounting to more than $100 Billion. The state government’s expenditure has increased by 510% amounting to more than $60 billion. Whereas, the expenditure made by the federal government has been the greatest from 1982 to 2005 by the change of 730% (in amounts less than $10 billion to increase to almost $40 billion).

There are many different states in the country that complain about the budget drain due to costs of capital punishment. Some states are also on the state of bankruptcy as they cannot require the cost invested in the cases of capital punishment. In order to pay back the amount, taxes have also being increased. Below are some states and their expenditure on capital punishment.

  • Utah: Utah became the first state to create a risk pool for funding the death penalty cases in 1997.
  • California: By 1992, the state of California was spending $10 million each year to compensate different investigators, witnesses and capital punishment costs to small counties in the state. In addition to the $10 million, the state also pays $2 million to pay for the murder trial costs. A study shows that the capital punishment expense for this state is $1 billion since 1977 (Dieter, 1992).
  • Mississippi: In the Jasper County, in order to raise money for the expense of capital punishment, county taxes were raised to a significant amount (Dieter, 1992).
  • Connecticut: The Connecticut Law Tribune had reported that the costs of capital punishment in the state were high even though not many prisoners are on a death row (Dieter, 1992).
  • North Carolina: The death penalty costs in this state were $2.16 million per execution as compared to life imprisonment. The capital punishment amounted to $4 million per year. Governors spent 60 hours whereas attorneys spent 600 hours on a single case (High Cost of Death Penalty)
  • Florida: The state of Florida spends around $51 million a year to enforce death penalty. This cost is high as compared to the cost that would be incurred if the state punished convicts with life imprisonment without parole. Florida had almost 44 executions since 1976 to 2000. These executions amounted to $ 24 million per execution whereas in the case of life imprisonment, it would cost $23 million less. (High Cost of Death Penalty)
  • Texas: The capital punishment cost is three times higher in this state than the cost of life imprisonment with highest security level. The cost for death trial amounts to $2.3 million (High Cost of Death Penalty).
  • New Jersey: The implementation of death penalty system caused an estimated cost of $16 million each year which is almost enough to hire 500 officers with a yearly salary of $30,000.
  • Kansas: According to the review conducted in the state of Kansas it was found out that capital punishment cases are 70% more expensive than life imprisonment cases. In addition to this, investigation costs occurred in capital punishment cases is 3 times higher than investigation cost for life imprisonment cases. The trial costs were around $508, 000 per case for death penalty and for imprisonment it was $32,000. Also the appeal cost for death penalty case was 21 times greater. The investigation costs for death-sentence cases were about 3 times greater than for non-death cases.

Capital Punishment vs Life Imprisonment: Cases

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

In terms of costs and economic cost-benefit analysis, life imprisonment serves as a better option than capital punishment. But then again, if it’s between choosing between capital punishment and life imprisonment people have different opinions. According to an opinion poll conducted by Gallup Poll in 2006 it was found that people’s support for death penalty was  65% (down from 80% in 1994). When the same poll was taking again with option of life without parole the result was life without parole (48%) than the death penalty (47%) (Facts about the Death Penalty, 2008).

People against the death penalty claim that life imprisonment without parole serves just like death penalty. But there are many dangers in imprisoning a convict that if the criminal escapes many decent citizens come in danger. Also the prison guards are sometimes killed. Dawud Mu’Min is one such criminal who was serving a life imprisonment sentence escaped and killed a storekeeper in a robbery that amounted to $4. In such case, the state of Virginia executed the criminal in 1997 (Pro Capital Punishment Webpage).

Another flaw in life imprisonment is that it deteriorates with the passing of time. This means that the laws keep changing as the time passes. An example of such kind happened in the state of New York. A criminal named James Moore was guilty of raping and strangling a 14- year old girl and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole as the parents of the girl decided to spare the criminal death penalty. In 1982, the law changed giving Moore parole every two years. If this change in law was known, then the parents of the girl would have never opted for life imprisonment (Pro Capital Punishment Webpage).

Yet another similar case occurred in 1966 in Texas where a person named Kenneth Mc Duff was convicted to death penalty by electrocution for killing two boys and raping and then strangling a girl. After the US Supreme Court banned death sentences, McDuff was imprisoned for life. Then in 1989 was set loose quietly due to the overflowing Texas prisons. After being released, McDuff’s reign of terror began and was one of the America’s Most Wanted. He had killed almost 9 or more females before he was finally captured and sentenced again to death penalty by Lethal Injection. If the first death penalty was undertaken as planned many lives would have been saved (Pro Capital Punishment Webpage).

Robert Dwight Foster of Covington brutally murdered a 5-year-old girl using a steel lug wrench and severely injured her 10-year old brother. The criminal had no remorse against the killings and did not fear any kind of punishment. The only punishment that he will endure is life without parole (Wooten, 2007). Another similar case where the punishment should have been capital death was given life without parole. The torture endured by 13-year-old at the hands of a gang commanded by Ahmond Dunnigan was very awful. When this case is spoken of it is linked with the immorality of the genocide directed at the Jews by the Nazis. Life without parole is no deterrent to people such as Dunnigan. (Wooten, 2007)

As it can be analyzed from the above mentioned cases especially the McDuff case, there is no better substitute for punishing criminals other than capital punishment. This way the convicted person can never kill anyone else and doesn’t get a chance to repeat his crime. The above cases clearly represent that capital punishment is the best alternative for murders and other crimes. But the question that arises here is whether capital punishment should be given if a person hasn’t committed any murder. The following case highlights the negativity of the death penalty punishment.

This case is related to the state of Utah where a death penalty was sentenced on the basis of racial biasness. William Andrews was an African- American was guilty of burglary of a hi-fi store and murder of three people which he never actually did. He became the first person in the state who had received a death penalty for not actually killing anyone. This was the first racial injustice that was done in the Utah. The jury was predominantly Mormon jury when it was preached that the blacks are inferior to the whites. (Utah Shows Death Penalty’s Racism)

How does the above case stack up against the capital punishment? In many cases life imprisonment is a better option rathexr than sentencing an innocent to death.

Death Penalty and Deterrence

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

Despite the pros of capital punishment a lot of question has arisen on the issues such as whether or not capital punishment is an effective deterrent or not in respect of other punishments namely life imprisonment without parole.  A survey was undertaken by Gallup Poll of the many known and experts of criminological societies. The graph shows that 84% of the experts reviewed rejected the statement that death penalty acts as deterrent (Facts about the Death Penalty, 2008).

    Another graph (below) taken from Death Penalty Information Center reports that murder rates are high in the states the have death penalty or capital punishment. In contrast the states with non-death penalty have low murder rates. Studies have made to research this phenomenon but still no empirical evidence has been found.

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

According to a research conducted by Donnohue and Wolfers in 2006, they concluded that many researches and statistics that claim of death penalty saving numerous lives might not be credible. If the same data which predict less murder rate due to death penalty deterrence and proper methodology is used, then the results will be opposite like the above graph depicts the situation.

Life Imprisonment Versus Capital Punishment

If one criminal is being executed, it would cause other criminals and people to hold them back from doing such a crime that might result is loss of their lives. The fear of losing life combined with death penalty is deterrence in itself. On the contrary to the above graphs and research the following graph from the Bureau of Criminal Justice portrays that the death penalty does cause deterrence among the employees. This graph contradicts the above poll and proves that death penalty can serve as an effective deterrent. This is due to the statistics from the graph which shows that when the execution rate had fallen, murders had increased and vice versa.

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury released a report in which it said that the death penalty was not effective as costly it was. The following findings were concluded (Financial Facts):

  • In Tennessee death penalty trials cost was 48% higher than life imprisonment cost trials.
  • Tennessee District Attorneys General is not consistent in their pursuit of the death penalty.
  • Surveys and interviews of district attorneys indicate that some prosecutors “use the death penalty as a ‘bargaining chip’ to secure plea bargains for lesser sentences.”
  • Previous research provides no clear indication whether the death penalty acts as a method of crime prevention.
  • The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals reversed 29 percent of capital cases on direct appeal.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, death penalty does not induce deterrence. Instead it is a barbaric practice that is not administered fairly. Many factors influence the imposition of capital punishment. These include defendant’s race, ethnicity, geographic location and economic status. In an article namely ‘The Death Penalty: Teacher Edition’ it is said that death penalty does cause deterrence among the criminals. The article cites: “

“Ernest van den Haag, a professor of jurisprudence at Fordham University who has studied the issue of deterrence closely, wrote: ‘ Even if statistical proofs are not definitive and maybe can not be conclusive Be, capital punishment is likely to discourage more than other punishments because people are more afraid of death than any other. We are afraid of most death intentionally inflicted by law and arranged by trial. It is possible that whatever people fear most will discourage them. Hence, the death penalty threat could dissuade some murderers who might otherwise have not been deterred. And the death penalty is definitely the only punishment that could stop inmates who are already serving a life sentence and who are tempted to kill a guard or criminals who are about to be arrested and facing a life sentence.”

If a general opinion of the people of US is taken into account as well as the studies for and against whether capital punishment is deterrent or not a clear answer can never be obtained. The effect of deterrence can vary from a criminal to criminal.

Life Imprisonment Without Parole and Deterrence

It is impossible to say if life imprisonment can be a source of deterrence in contrast to capital punishment. Like said before, the effect of deterrence depends on the behavior and thinking of each person. Life imprisonment does induce deter to an extent. The concept of being retained for the rest of the life in a prison is little crueler than capital punishment. Also if a person has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, it becomes undeserved after some years. Suppose a person has being convicted of one murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Do you think it is fair? This concept of punishment can cause deterrence among the criminals.

Conclusion

Capital Punishment and life imprisonment without parole are some of the harsh punishments that the US government follows. Many states in the country are aggressively pursuing the capital punishment strategy without thinking about the high cost that is related to each trial. Death penalty should be there as an option but should be followed often. Life imprisonment on the other hand is a good option because it is cost effective. But to create deterrence among the criminals capital punishment is a better option than life imprisonment without parole. All in all, if vicious murderers are to be stopped from creating an insecure society and harming the citizens, death penalty is the only solution. Although it is very expensive and takes years to a formal verdict, different states would have to shift the resources that they could use in other institutions to make the system of death penalty stronger.

References;
  • Dieter, Richard. (October, 1992). Millions Misspent: What Politicians Don’t Say About the High Costs of the Death Penalty. Revised Fall 1994. Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=45&did=385
  • Donnohue, John and Wolfers, Justin. Death Penalty: No Evidence for Deterrence. April 2006. The Economist. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/DonohueDeter.pdf
  • Gillespie, Kay. Capital Punishment in Utah. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/c/CAPITOLPUN.html
  • Jared, Cook. Utah’s Crime Rate. Utah’s Homes. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.utahshomes.com/Utah_Crime_Statistics/page_1701934.html
  • Liptak, Adam. New York Times Series Examines Life Sentences .October 2, 2005. New York Times. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?&did=2147
  • Mertz, Annie. The Cost of the Death Penalty. December 20, 1999. Legislative Research Council. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://legis.state.sd.us/IssueMemos/IssueMemos/im99-20.pdf
  • Sharp, Dudley. Death Penalty and Sentencing Information .October 1997. Justice for All. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html#B.Deterrence
  • Voice of Liberty. Should the Death Penalty be carried out within a specific amount of time from the day of sentencing? January 7, 2008. Yahoo Answers. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080107103118AAW65Lp
  • Walsh, Nancy. Life in Prison without Possibility of Release. November 2000. Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.policyalmanac.org/crime/archive/life_imprisonment.shtml
  • Wooten, Jim. Life without Parole: Option only a Cop-Out. September 24, 2007. Thinking Right.  Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/shared-blogs/ajc/thinkingright/entries/2007/09/24/life_without_parole_option_onl.html
  • Zimring, Franklin. Capital Punishment. Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2000. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://autocww.colorado.edu/~blackmon/E64ContentFiles/LawAndCourts/CapitalPunishment.html
  • Capital Punishment Should Be Abolished. 1999. ACLU Briefing Paper. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.samford.edu/BADL_Packet_1_2007_2008.pdf
  • Criminal Penalties. Utah State Court. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/criminallaw/penalties.asp
  • Deterrence: States without the Death Penalty Have Had Consistently Lower Murder Rates. Table. Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=12&did=168#stateswithvwithout
  • Direct Expenditure by Criminal Justice Function. Graph. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/exptyp.htm
  • Direct Expenditure by Level of Government. Graph. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/expgov.htm
  • Facts about the Death Penalty. August 15, 2008. Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from  http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/FactSheet.pdf
  • Financial Facts. Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=108&scid=7#financialfacts
  • Life without Parole Offers Prosecutors, Jurors, and Victims an Acceptable Alternative to the Death Penalty. November 13, 2006. Deseret News. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?&did=2151
  • Pro Capital Punishment Webpage. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html#deter
  • Pro Death Penalty Webpage. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from  http://www.wesleylowe.com/cp.html#life
  • The Death Penalty: Teacher Edition. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org/teacher/c/about/arguments/argument1a.htm
  • The High Cost of Death Penalty. American Civil Liberties Union. August 19, 2008.
  • Utah Shows Death Penalty’s Racism. August 19, 1992. New York Times. Retrieved on August 19, 2008 from http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE6DD153BF93AA2575BC0A964958260

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