In a nation that many consider the standard bearer of human rights, more than 3,500 men and women sit on death row. Nearly all of them are poor. Many suffer from mental illness or mental retardation. A disproportionate number are people of color. And some are innocent of the crimes for which they have been condemned to die. (Religious Organizing Against the Death Penalty Website) .
The main argument that advocates for the death penalty have is that the death penalty deters crime, that the threat of execution is enough to make criminals think twice about committing a capital crime. It is irrational to assume, however, that a criminal is going to carefully weigh the consequences of his actions before committing a criminal act. Clearly, by the time he has decided to commit his crime, he has already disregarded other forms of punishment besides the death penalty, such as lengthy imprisonment. He is also likely to assume that he will not be caught anyway. Also, states that do not have a death penalty experience lower number of murders each year than that of the states who do. (National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Website).
Another argument I would like to refute is that it costs too much of taxpayers dollars to keep an inmate in jail for a life sentence. Contrary to what citizens are led to believe, it often costs more to execute a criminal than it would to keep him/her alive in jail. This is because before a criminal can be executed, he/she gets several opportunities to appeal, and all of those transcripts, court officers, and (often state-funded) defense lawyers cost money. Also with all the added security, the per-person cost of keeping inmates on death row far exceeds the per-person cost of a normal prison. (Death Penalty Information Center Website) .
People justify the death penalty in saying that in the Bible God says that murder should be punished with death.