Death penalty should be abolished in the region of California because the purpose due to which death penalty was levied in the region is not being achieved. The proponents argue that death penalty should be continued in California because it is achieving its purpose of deterring crime. The main purpose of death penalty was to increase the rate of deterrence and decrease the rate of recidivism. The term deterrence refers to the decrease in the occurrence of criminal activities caused due to fear of a particular punishment. Recidivism rate refers to the number of people who return back to the jail after being released on the basis of parole or being released due to completion of sentence time period.
It is believed that death penalty can deter crime and stop individuals from committing criminal activities in future and stop them from returning back to prison. Statistics clearly suggest that both these purposes have not been met by death penalty. According to CDRC, the rate of recidivism in the region of California during the period of 2012 was nearly 65% and these criminals were returning back to jail within the first three years of their release (CDRC 1).
These statistics depict that death penalty is not inflicting fear in the minds of criminals. This is because if they would have been afraid of capital punishment they might not have indulged in criminal behavior after being released from prison. Capital punishment should be abolished because this punishment has a very high monetary cost associated with it as compared to the monetary costs of those punishments that are more effective than capital punishment. One alternative to capital punishment is life time sentence and this sentence is provided to the criminals without being offered with parole or probation.
Life time sentence is a better option not only because it has a lower monetary cost associated with it as compared to death penalty. It is even better than death penalty because it achieves one of the purposes of punishment which is to ensure that a criminal is not let to be free on the streets and commit a crime. It even allows an individual to live a life instead of being killed by the state and the government even if he was innocent.
According to a study conducted by Alarcón, the 714 criminals in the prisons of the region of California who are supposed to experience death penalty are costing the state $184 million every year as compared to the cost that would be incurred if they would have been imprisoned for life without the option of parole (Alarcón S223).
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