The Death Penalty: The Financial Impact on Society


This is phase one of this research paper. I would like for the selective writer to continue with my research topic until final completion. The focus in this phase is the Introduction, Title of course you would know better than I do this is why I need professional assistance: The Death Penalty The financial impact on society. Thanks


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Political Science Paper

4 July 2016.

The Death Penalty: The Financial Impact on Society


Introduction. 1

Works Cited. 4


Capital punishment has long been used against major criminals as a way of permanent incapacitation and as a form of retribution to society. This has been the case not just in the United States but also across the world. Capital punishment, also called the death penalty, is a form of punishment in which a court of law metes out the death sentence upon a convicted offender as a form of punishment for a crime that is defined by law as a capital offense. In some countries, offenses such as first-degree murder, espionage, and treason are punishable by death (Kasten2). After being given a death sentence, the convicted is given a window period to appeal the ruling. Upon the expiry of this period or loss of appeal, execution is carried out.


While a majority of the countries have abolished capital punishment, others continue to practice it. For example, in some America states, the death penalty is being applied, albeit in an environment of deep controversy particularly in relation to discourse on human rights and constitutionalism. Some abolitionists of the death penalty see it as unconstitutional since it violates two important human rights: the right to live free from torture and the right to life. Others simply see it as an extreme expense on the part of the government that can be avoided entirely such that the funds allocated to the lengthy process are put to better use through alternative methods of fighting crime (Aviram andNewby8).

Over the years, governments have continued to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the execution of death penalties scheduled to be carried out every year. In California, for example, $100 million is spent annually on death penalty cases (Aviram and Newby7). On the other hand, Texas, with over 300 people on death row, spends an average of $2.3 million per case (Dieter117).These examples represent just two states in America that still carry out death penalty, which begs the question of whether death penalties are a worthy investment to the public and the society. Moreover, concerns are being expressed regarding whether the penalty is doing more harm than good to the already struggling and depressed economy.

Notably, death penalties, as compared to life imprisonment with no parole under highest security levels, cost about 3 times more (Garey1257). These costs include pre-trial motions, jury selections, police investigations of the crimes involved, voir dire, sentencing trials and guilt trials, and expert witness investigations (Dieter119). Such exorbitant costs not only financially overburden state governments but can also eventually push a state towards bankruptcy. This is especially the case today considering that the number of death row inmates is now rapidly increasing in comparison to the previous decades across the United States.

The purpose of this research paper is to determine the financial impact of the death row penalty on society as a whole. To do this, it is imperative to break down all the costs involved during each death row case. It is worthwhile to note that while many studies show the benefits of the death row penalty in terms of crime reduction, they rarely discuss the financial impact of the same. Therefore, as state and federal agencies continue to update and tighten budgets, the issue of capital punishment should be ones of the issues that need to be addressed delicately. Accordingly, this study will examine the marginal costs and the consequent marginal benefits of death penalty in terms of effective allocation to the society.

That said, the following are the research questions for the study:

  1. Does the death penalty cost more than life imprisonment?
  2. Under what circumstances may the death penalty be justified despite costing more?
  3. What is the economic rationale for choosing life imprisonment over the death penalty?
  4. Is there a possibility that every state and country still practicing capital punishment will find it plausible do away with the death penalty altogether?

Works Cited

Aviram, Hadar and Newby, Ryan. “Death Row Economics: The Rise of Fiscally Prudent anti-Death Penalty Activism.” Criminal Justice, 28 (2013): 33. Web.

Dieter, Richard C. “What Politicians Don’t Say About the High Costs Of The Death Penalty.” In Richard C. Dieter. Capital Punishment a Balanced Examination. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers (2005): 116-120. Print.

Garey, Margot. “The Cost of Taking a Life: Dollars and Sense of the Death Penalty.” UC Davis Law Review, 18 (1984): 1221-1272. Print.

Kasten, Martin. “An Economic Analysis of the Death Penalty.” University Avenue Undergraduate Journal of Economics, 1.1 (1996): 2. Print.

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