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Life Imprisonment vs Death Penalty

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steven laurie

on 8 December 2011

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Transcript of Life Imprisonment vs Death Penalty

Death Penalty vs. Life Imprisonment Cost? What is Life Imprisonment What was the Death Penalty Better for society? Homicide
Rates The removal of Capital punishment has not increased homicide rate; in fact, it has decreased since 1976 (when capital punishment was abolished). The rate of murders in Canada has steadily decreased since 1976, going from 3.0% per 100,000 people to 1.81% in 2009 per 100 000 people. Clearly, the threat of possible execution was not a leading factor in why people did not murder others. This raises the question for debate, which is more effective and better for society, Capital Punishment or Life Imprisonment? Is it better to simply dispose of these dangerous criminals or should they spend at least 25 years in jail with no parole? Which is better for the economy? More effective for lowering homicide rates in Canada? From 1892-1961 murderers were sentenced to death by hanging in Canada. The final execution taking place in 1962 when two men were hanged. In 1976 a bill was passed to abolish Capital Punishment. Instead, it was replaced with 25 year mandatory sentences for 1st degree offenders. Life imprisonment in Canada means that the convicted will be under supervision, in prison or the community, for the rest of their life. First degree cases have a mandatory sentence of life in prison with a parole ineligibility period of 25 years. "It is not cheaper to keep a criminal confined, because most of the time he will appeal just as much causing as many costs as a convict under death sentence. Being alive and having nothing better to do, he will spend his time in prison conceiving of ever-new habeas corpus petitions, which being unlimited, in effect cannot be rejected as res judicata. The cost is higher." However, the cost of capital punishment is more expensive than life imprisonment. Maryland tax payers paid an unnecessary 186 millions over 20 years to pay for capital punishment cases that could have been used for much better things towards society. California spent over 4 billion dollars for 13 executions. Wrongful Convictions One of the main reasons why people want to keep Capital Punishment abolished is the possibility of a wrongful conviction. Canada has had 5 high profile wrong convictions; The significance of all of these cases is that had Capital Punishment still been in place they all would have been executed wrongfully and it would have caused a public outcry. This leads to serious doubt in the minds of those who would support capital punishment knowing that the possibility of taking an innocent life is exactly what they are punishing the criminal for and would be hypocritical David Milgaard Donald Marshall Jr. Guy Paul Morin Thomas Sophonow Clayton Johnson Public Safety The public should feel safer with the judicial system the way it is now. People may think that capital punishment is fair to criminals who have committed a first degree murder. However, there is the possibility that this would not deter criminals from committing these murders because they do not fear death. It is a quick and possibly painless procedure and the amount they have to suffer is nowhere near the amount that the family of the victim suffers, The threat of having to spend 25 years at least in prison could (and has) deterred criminals from committing homicides. Therefore, the public should feel safer with the laws that are currently in place as opposed to capital punishment. Closing Thoughts Before I researched this topic I fully believed that the death penalty was a much better option as opposed to life in prison. However, even with the possibility of parole granted after 25 years and the convicted being let back into public I do believe now that life imprisonment is a better as well as safer option (wrongful convictions would have led to wrongful deaths). However, with the information I read while researching this topic my opinion has changed and I now feel that it would be better for society (and the economy) as well as the families of the victims to have the prisoners locked up for a minimum of 25 years. Final Question What is your opinion on this topic? Life imprisonment or Capital Punishment?

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