What if a prisoner escapes from death row? Sure, it's not very likely, but it can happen. What chance is there that this escaped prisoner will come along quietly when he knows that the needle is waiting for him? I'd say he's be even more likely to shoot it out with the police since he knows he's going to die even if he surrenders.
Actually, he's not more likely to shoot it out, because either way his life is over. Either scenario is likely to result in a shootout or hostage situation.
Besides, the risk is lessened in the case of the Death Row inmate because there's a narrower window of opportunity. The "life without parole" inmate has the rest of his natural life to find a chance to escape and exploit it. The "death row" inmate has only until his execution. Narrower window of opportunity.
Good point, but prisons can and do seperate particulary dangerous prisoners from general population.
Uh-huh. That's why prisons are so calm and peaceful, with so little violence.
The cost to society, at least monetarily, is higher in a death penalty case. The lenghty appeals process often winds up costing more than it would have to just put the convicted criminal in prison for life.
Of course, one answer to this is allow less appeals, make the death penalty easier to hand out. (and thus cheaper) However, I don't think we can look at the taking of a life so simply. It truly is the "ultimate price". In the end juries are human, and humans make mistakes. We have a judicial system based on the concept of "better to let 1000 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent", and this should apply even more so to taking a life.
The monetary cost of the appeals process is flawed. What are you paying for? The judges' time, the DA's time, possibly the public defender's time. These are all costs that would be paid whether or not the case was being heard; none of those people are paid by the hour, after all. Actual time in the courtroom is minimal unless the appeal is granted, which fits in with your argument (which I agree with, btw) that we must be certain of guilt before applying punishment.
On the other hand, there is a monetary cost of maintaining that prisoner. He takes a space and a bed, making the prison more crowded, meaning that prisoners who are "lower risk" are released early on society.
You're right of course, but they are still people. I see nothing wrong with taking someone who is guilty of the worst possible crimes and sticking them in the darkest hole for the rest of their life. But the taking of a life, not in self-defence, but in revenge, is not justice.
Here is where we disagree. You say (essentially) that all people have the same basic worth and value. I say that there are people who have forfeited their value and worth.
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