To use your own analogy, yes you destroy cancer cells, but sometimes this is to the severe detriment of non-cancerous, healthy parts of the body. Example: chemotherapy may kill cancer, but also poses a significant risk to the health of the patient. Similarly, The death penalty is damn expensive, and does not offer enough for what it costs us taxpayers.
Cases in which the death penalty is sought after cost on average between 1 to 3 million, with some cases reaching 7 million dollars. Cases in which death penalty is not sought after (and life imprisonment is reached) cost taxpayers 500,000 dollars on average. Also, the costs of death penalty cases are not only larger, but they are immediate. On the other hand, costs of giving a criminal life imprisonment are smaller and spread out over the life of the criminal (40 yrs on average), making them significantly easier for the taxpayer to swallow.
One interesting thing that people rarely take into consideration is that 82% of cases in which the death penalty is sought after result in life imprisonment anyway. This means that many cases rack up exorbitant costs involved with and death penalty cases but still ultimately result in the added costs of a life sentence.
Unconvinced that we're paying too much for keeping the death penalty? Look up New Jersey. Between 1983 and 2010, taxpayers in NJ paid 253 million dollars in taxes for capital punishment cases. Guess what? Nobody has been executed in that whole time in the state of New Jersey. That money could've helped prevent crime by going to hospitals, police stations, or other public services.
I am all for the death penalty as well. Many people think that it is inhumane but what these people do is inhumane. They deserve the death penalty if they do a crime of that magnitude. And anyways have you seen the men and women who are on death row? Most of them are heartless killers who just have the urge to kill and have no thought behind it? Do u want those kind of people out on the streets?
This is totally off the cuff, because I don't know who you're talking about, but it's likely that the man who received 40 life sentences was convicted in one of our 15 states that doesn't have the death penalty.
As for the fairness of the "light" punishment of life imprisonment, I guess I don't have much to say about that, except that as long as it keeps the criminal from committing the same crime again than it's okay with me.
I used to never believe the death penalty was justified. Ever. It is administered poorly and and mostly poor people with bad lawyers get this sentence.
Then I think of Ted Bundy who actually killed a girl on my campus at college; and then I am conflicted. I am glad he was executed and as he had escaped from prison twice and had killed again ....I just don't know.
And then there was Gary Ridgeway the Green River Killer who was not executed because he confessed to all his crimes. Was it because his victims were mostly prostitutes instead of college girls? I don't know.
And why does it seem (anecdotal as I have no facts) that those who are against abortion most vociferously are also for the death penalty for the most part. So you have unwanted children and damage them until they become killers and then kill them?
I believe that serious sexual psychopaths who can not be cured or reformed should never be paroled or released. If that cannot be guarenteed then execute them. Because they are a danger to everyone. But that is opinion, not logical or resonable. Pure emotion.
So I guess I just don't know.
Oh come on! To all who are for the death penalty: Is it acceptable for the state to kill innocent people? I ask this because, if you have the death penalty, it can happen. In fact, if you continue to execute people for a certain period, it will happen.
If you think it's OK for a few innocent people to be killed by the judicial system, then you are actually advocating murder. And don't say that this measure could save more innocent lives than it takes, because that's not the issue. Killing people and taking their organs would do the same thing, but actually taking action to kill someone innocent, even if it saves more people, should be unacceptable.
Again, the whole freaking world is moving in the direction of abolishing the capital punishment. It is barbaric, primitive and dangerous, so intelligent, educated people have started to realize this. That's why there are only tyrannies and theocracies that still practice this form of punishment... except for USA (+ Japan), but I'd say it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to include the US in these categories. I'm not an expert in history, but it seems that Americans have always had problems keeping up with the rest of the advanced countries when it comes to social issues, and things are only getting worse now.