Example research essay topic: Economic And Ethical Problems With Capital Punishment – 803 words

Capital Punishment has been one of the most
controversial topics in the past decade, and for
that I will only be addressing certain aspects of
the argument, due to its broadness. What is cruel
and unusual punishment? Is having a man shot in
the head or hung by a rope until he dies cruel and
unusual? Also, why is it that the unknowing
American tax payer has to blow there hard earned
money on non human like criminals who feel no
remorse for what they have done. The answer is
elementary, Capital Punishment is unconstitutional
and not cost effective. According to the 8th
Amendment of the Constitution, the people of the
United States shall in no way receive any cruel or
unusual punishment. That being the case, then what
is cruel and unusual punishment? It is safe to say
that Capital Punishment is highly unused and
therefore unusual punishment. According to the
Death Penalty Information Center nearly a fourth
of the United States does not have an acting death
penalty and of those that do nine have executed 3
or less inmates since 1976.

Knowing these facts
you can only conclude that the death penalty is
highly unused and therefor is unusual punishment.
Cruelty is even a more obvious when you examine
the current methods of capital punishment.
Electrocution, hanging, and a firing squad all of
which are barbaric in origin to begin with. As
stated by one of the Florida State Supreme Court
Justices execution by electrocution is a spectacle
whose time has passed… Floridas electric chair,
by its own track record, has proven itself to be a
dinosaur more benefiting the laboratory of the
Baron Frankenstein than the death chamber of
Florida State Prison (the Death Penalty
Information Center). The Websters Dictionary
defines justice as a principle of moral or ideal
rightness. No where does he describe justice as a
non forgiving force in which the punishment for a
crime is death. Webster states that justice is an
act conducted in a moral and reasonable fashion.
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed with
Webster in their search for justice in 1976 when
the voted the death penalty was unconstitutional
in Woodson v.

North Carolina. The Supreme Court
and Webster do not solely share this opinion about
the death penalty, a Hart Research Poll of police
chiefs in the U.S. found that the majority of
chiefs do not believe that the death penalty is an
effective law enforcement tool (The Death Penalty
Information Center). To examine how American tax
payers get shafted by Capital Punishment, take a
look at states like North Carolina and Texas.
According to the most comprehensive study in the
country, (Duke University in may of 1993) North
Carolina spent an extra 2.16 million per execution
over the cost of a non-death penalty murder cases
with a sentence of imprisonment for life. In
Texas, a death penalty case cost an average 2.3
million, about three times the cost of imprisoning
someone in a single cell at the highest security
level for 40 years (Dallas Morning News, March 8,
1992). To stand back and exam Capital Punishment
on a national level, we have wasted an extra 700
million dollars since 1976 on the death penalty
(the Death Penalty Information Center).

To many,
Capital Punishment would seem to work as a
deterrence for violent crimes. However, when you
analyze the facts your cloudy vision soon becomes
clear. According to the Bureau of Justice
Statistics report the South had the highest murder
rate in the country in 1996 followed by the West,
Midwest and Northeast. The murder rate in the
South that year was 9.0 and the South
overwhelmingly killed the most in the country
(81%). The Northeast on the other hand killed less
than 1% and had the lowest murder rate by far at
5.4 (the Death Penalty Information Center). With
these statistic it is only fitting to say that
Capital Punishment has failed as a deterrence for

As of late public opinion in the United
States has shifted. Stated by the Death Penalty
Information Center public support for Capital
Punishment drops below 50% when voters are
presented with alternative sentences. The justice
system is not perfect in any way, and because of
that I can not conceive how we can keep a
offensive type conviction such as the death
penalty in our arsenal . Considering that the
death penalty has no appeals and there is no
turning back, what is done is done. In the past
there have been several cases where as a whole
many though that the justice system put a innocent
man to death. Not to mention the fact there are
many death row inmates that are released because
of either poor representation at trial or new
evidence to their case.

For that reason as well,
it is with out a doubt that Capital Punishment is
unconstitutional and not cost effective..

Research essay sample on Economic And Ethical Problems With Capital Punishment