What would happen if the death penalty just disappeared in the U.S.? The government could continue executions of the roughly 3,000 inmates currently sentenced to death, or retroactively sentence them to life without parole instead. From a financial standpoint, this would make a lot of sense. Death row inmates require stricter security that costs more money. And since prisoners can remain on death row for decades, that adds up. States would also save money on prosecutions. Death penalty cases can cost up to 10 times more than others. So, it's cheaper.
But shouldn't serious criminals pay the ultimate price? Perhaps. But since 1973, more than 150 people on death row were eventually found innocent. Prisoners wait years, even decades, for execution, not knowing when or if it will come. And recently, changes in drugs used for lethal injection have resulted in gruesomely botched executions. Some prisoners have chosen not to appeal their cases to shorten the time they have to spend on death row.
不過難道重刑犯不該付出最終代價嗎？或許吧。但自 1973 年來，超過一百五十名被判死刑的人最終被證實是清白的。囚犯等待處決好幾年，甚至好幾十載，不知道那天何時到來，或那天是否會到。近來，注射死刑用藥的改變導致極拙劣的死刑執行案件。有些犯人選擇不上訴自己的案子以縮短他們等待處決的時間。
But doesn't the death penalty deter crime? Actually, murder rates in states without the death penalty have remained lower than states which have it. The death penalty is also disproportionately applied to minority offenders. So, no death penalty might mean a little more equality in the justice system, a lot of money saved, and more time for prosecutors to try other cases.