Capital punishment, or the “death penalty”, is the act of punishing to death for an offense. Interesting issues arise like the wrongful executions, death penalty deterring crime, and alternatives to the death penalty. Today, a commonly debated topic in the criminal justice systems is the death penalty.
According to deathpenaltyinfo.org, there are five types of capital punishments. They include: Lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squads, and hanging. Perry Smith and Dick Hickock were hung.
There are many reasons why the death penalty should be abolished. The death penalty is irreversible and this is one of the main reasons why the death penalty should be abolished. Those who favor capital punishment over other methods may argue that that there is little likelihood of the innocent being executed however, evidence suggests otherwise.
A journalist from Newsweek Pema Levy claims that since 1973, 144 people on death row have been exonerated. That is just 1.6%. She goes on to say that the innocence rate is 4.
1% which shows that an untold number of innocent people have been executed. There are also many alternatives to the death penalty. In every state that currently has the death penalty, jurors have the option to sentence convicted capital murderers to life in prison without parole. To taxpayers this is much cheaper and this is reversible unlike the death penalty. Life without parole also allows a criminal to potentially correct their mistakes.
Many families of murdered victims also favor alternatives to the death penalty. Death is a life changing event no matter how it happens.Alvin Dewey was the head investigator of the Clutter murders. “Dewey shut his eyes: he kept them shut until he heard the thud- snap that announces a rope-broken neck… He remembered his first meeting with perry in the interrogation room… The dwarfish boy man seated in the metal chair, his small booted feet not quite brushing the floor. And when Dewey now opened his eyes, that is what he saw: the same childish feet, tilted, dangling.
” (p.340). It seems that Dewey is showing sympathy to now dead Perry Smith and it is hard to not to feel the same.