Florida Death Penalty

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The death penalty is and has been one of the most controversial topics debated in the United States since its birth in the seventeenth century. Dating back to colonial times, the death penalty was influenced by European settlers who brought capital punishment with them to the new world. Similar to today’s laws regarding the death penalty, the laws for capital punishment varied from colony to colony (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”). Slowly, most states in the country have eliminated this cruel practice, however, in some states the death penalty persists. Florida is one of thirty-one states where the death penalty still exists (“States with and without the Death Penalty”). There are numerous reasons why Florida should outlaw the death penalty. …show more content…

“The death penalty is more expensive than life without parole because there is a long and complex judicial process for capital cases” (“Death Penalty Focus: The High Cost of the Death Penalty”). The process is complex and long in order to guarantee that innocent people are not executed. Still, there are some cases where innocents are tried and found guilty. According to the article “Costs of the Death Penalty” “The average cost of defending a trial in a federal death case is $620,932, about 8 times that of a federal murder case in which the death penalty is not sought”. There are several expenses to be paid by the state in a capital case. The first cost is the legal cost. Most criminals facing execution cannot provide their own attorney because they do not have the money. Therefore, the state must provide them with defenders as well as pay for the prosecution. The second fees are the pre-trial costs. These consist of hiring experts on forensic evidence, as well as the mental health and social history of the defendant. Then there is the Jury selection. Since there is such a grand decision to be made that involves executing someone, jury selection is extremely time consuming and more expensive than in regular cases. Finally, there is the appeals cost. In order to eliminate mistakes the convicted are permitted to appeals. Taxpayers are the ones who get to cover these expenses. If Florida abolished the death penalty they would save fifty-one million dollars each year by punishing first degree murders with life in prison without parole instead of the death penalty (“Costs of the…”). There are better ways to spend tax dollars than paying for the life imprisonment of people who have committed capital offenses. However, the cost of the death penalty is substantially higher than doing time without

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