Beccaria Death Penalty Analysis

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America's idea of the death penalty arose from Britain in the 1600's. Around this time hanging was the usual sentence given for arson, piracy, treason, murder, sodomy, burglary, robbery, rape, horse-stealing, slave rebellion, and often counterfeiting. In 1767 the Italian jurist Cesare Beccaria, published On Crimes and Punishment. Beccaria's exposition on abolishing capital punishment was influential and had a strong impact on others. He believed that there was no justification for the state to take a life. "He said that the death penalty was "a war of a whole nation against a citizen, whose destruction they consider as necessary, or useful to the general good" (Reggio, n.d.). Soon after Beccaria’s theory became publicized, many people began …show more content…
According to Jones, Gallup created a poll May 19-21. Gallup asked Americans whether they supported or opposed the death penalty. Over half of those that favored the death penalty mentioned revenge. Around 37% of American's mentioned eye for an eye, 13% believed the convicted deserved to be executed, 4% said that it would give out justice, and 3% believed it was a fair punishment. 11% percent of supporters thought it was costly, and that the death penalty would save taxpayers money because executed prisoners would not have to be incarcerated. Although deterrence is often mentioned as a major benefit to society of executing those convicted of murder, only 11% of death penalty supporters volunteer that as a reason for supporting it. 7% percent of those who favor the death penalty do so because they believe it keeps the criminal from repeating the same crime (2003). These supporters also desire for vengeance or retribution. They also tend to focus on the financial cost to taxpayers of capital punishment which is several times that of keeping someone in prison for life. According to NBC News, taxpayers are paying between $50-90 million dollars more per year to prosecute death penalty cases than life sentences. From a series of recent surveys it proven that it is tens of millions of dollars cheaper to imprison killers for life …show more content…
This process takes so long because someone's life is on the line. "The capital cases involve more lawyers, more witnesses, more experts, a longer jury selection process, more pre-trial motions, an entirely separate trial for sentencing, and countless other expenses – racking up exorbitant costs before a single appeal is even filed" ("Wasteful and Inefficient", n.d.). The cost of attorneys are expensive because they are paid by the hour. Many attorney's get paid around $200-$400 an hour in most metropolitan areas ("How, and How Much Do Lawyers Charge? -", 2016). The more time they spend on gathering information and trying to show reasonable doubt, the more money they will be paid. The cost of experts, juries, and housing are also the cause of expensive death penalty trials. Experts may be needed to explain why mistaken eyewitness identification commonly occurs, or to explain why someone might falsely confess. Experts may also be called to give distinctive and useful information about evidence brought up in the case. “If defense attorneys do not spend the money to hire adequate experts in the initial trial, it is more likely that the case will be sent back to the trial court on appeal (and cost the county yet more money)" ("What Makes the Death Penalty So Expensive?"(1992). Another reason the death penalty is so expensive is because of the jury and housing

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