On Wednesday, the Connecticut legislature voted to repeal the state’s death penalty. After a 10 hour debate, the Connecticut House voted 86-62 in favor of the repeal. Lawmakers have been working for years to get rid of the death penalty in the state. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected to sign the legislation into law. Connecticut will become the 17th state to outlaw the death penalty.
Prisoners will face life in prison without the possibility of release in place of the death penalty. The death penalty has long been a controversial topic. It brings up several moral and economical conundrums. Those who oppose the method claim it is inhumane. They try to argue that it should be unconstitutional since the documents outlaws cruel and unusual punishment.
The bigger problem is that sometimes innocent people are executed. This was a major problem in the middle of the last century, especially for minorities who did not get a fair shake in the legal system. DNA testing has helped drastically reduce this problem. However, even with this new technology we can’t be sure that we always get it right.
There are major economic implications to the death penalty discussion as well. If you abolish the death penalty and choose to imprison the guilty party for the rest of their life it comes at a great monetary cost to society. Housing prisoners is not cheap. The United States already imprisons more of its population than any other industrialized nation. Adding more members to the club is not going to help the countries debt problems.
I believe the death penalty is necessary in some cases. There should be no argument against the punishment when a murderer admits to committing the crime in cold blood. Those who commit premeditated murder do not belong in our society. Why should be pay to house, feed, and give them healthcare for the rest of their lives?
In my personal opinion, life in prison is a more cruel punishment than the death penalty. You do not have to watch to many episodes of “Oz” or “Lockup” to know prison is a bad place. People almost always come out of prison worse off than they went in. I’ve never understood why people think life in prison is more humane than the death penalty.
Given the imperfections that are inherent in our legal system, I do believe the death penalty should only be used in cases where there is no doubt about a prisoner’s guilt. If there is doubt, then a prison sentence is the correct punishment. Further evidence down the line could clear a prisoner’s name. We should not be executing people that could be innocent. Those that are admittedly guilty should pay the ultimate price.