Death penalty supports human rights

William Castillo, a man on death row in Nevada, recently filed an appeal and received a stay of execution from the state’s Supreme Court. The stay was granted 90 minutes before the lethal injection was to take place.

This brings to mind the question of whether we as a society should use the death penalty. One of the things to look at in death penalty cases is the cost. To keep an inmate in prison for life, it will cost an average of $34,200 a year for 50 years with a 2 percent annual cost increase, plus $75,000 for appeals and trials. This adds up to $3 million. The cost of housing and sometime executing the average death penalty inmate is significantly less. An inmate on death row would cost the government $60,000 a year for six years with a 2 percent annual cost increase plus $1.5 million for trials and appeals. The total cost would still be only $1.88 million.

Both these amounts are ridiculous, but if one were to compare the two prices, it is still far less expensive to condemn a killer to death row and execute him or her. Economically speaking, this is in the better interest of the government and the people.

The real problems are the human rights issues.

Many will say that it is not for other humans to judge who is to live and who is to die. Society is made up of human beings—who can make mistakes—and we may kill an innocent person. This could happen, but it’s not likely. Technology, like the abilities to make DNA comparisons and to use other forensic evidence from crime scenes, greatly limits the possibilities for errors.

Condemnation to death row is not a common occurrence either. There is one execution for every 1,600 murders. So 1,600 people die in an unjust way, most often brutally, for every one person put on death row.

I guess I do see the inhumanity of the matter. The way I see it, though, is that 1,600 people are killed before a single murderer is punished for his or her deeds. This is sad and disturbing. The person who has done something so heinous deserves to be punished in a harsh way.

I don’t believe that humans should play God. But this is not the case here. This is a case of the government trying to create a safe atmosphere for law-abiding citizens. Knowing that the bad guys often get caught and punished for their wrongdoing helps me sleep at night.

If you don’t want to be put on death row, then don’t murder anyone! That’s a fairly simple task to follow. Those who don’t follow this advice will suffer the consequences of their actions.

This may sound like I don’t have feelings. Or that I am harsh and inhumane. But what about those who think these murderers should sit and spend our tax dollars? They are the cruel ones. Those people brutally murdered one or more people. Their actions were heartless and full of malice. Those murderers caused endless numbers of people to suffer the loss of a family member or spouse, and each has caused an innocent person to lose their life.

So call me cruel if you must, but in my support of the death penalty I am considering human rights—the rights of the victims.