In study and the total average was $39

In 1612, the death penalty, also known as capital punishment) was first put into place as a part of the Divine, Moral, and Martial Laws enacted by Virginia Governor Sir Thomas Dale. As a part of the law, minor offenses such as stealing grapes or killing chickens could warrant the death penalty. While it was outlawed for a long time, the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Since then there have been 1466 executions. Some say the death penalty should be illegal and goes against the Constitution, others think the law is fair and just. Roughly 61 percent of Americans support the death penalty in cases of murder. Today, 31 states recognize the death penalty as a law. Espionage, treason, and murder are all considered crimes punishable by death. Each state should hold this law to be true because of the high cost of keeping an inmate, the lack of racial discrimination, and it’s ability to deter future crime. The Vera Institute of Justice released a study in 2012 that stated the average taxpayer cost to keep an inmate behind bars was $31,286 a year. 40 states participated in this study and the total average was $39 billion a year (nytimes.com). That includes feeding, housing, and guarding each inmate. The cost of drugs needed for lethal injection often isn’t released, but it’s estimated that they cost about $100 (forbes.com). With so many inmates serving life sentences, it is extremely expensive to continue keeping so many of them locked up. When an inmate is sentenced to life in jail, they often try to appeal the court’s decision. This just costs more money for the government. It can also take up the time of several people unnecessarily. By expanding the number of states that use capital punishment, the government could spare the taxpayers thousands of dollars. ? Keeping the death penalty also helps reduce the chance for racial discrimination. With some court cases, it can be easy to claim prejudice on the ruling. “In 2014, African Americans constituted 34% of the total correctional population.” (NAACP.org). African Americans also are incarcerated at five times the rate of whites. With no set boundaries, discrimination can occur depending on who the judge is. When a certain crime is committed, the punishment should be the same for every culprit. For example, if someone murders another person they are to be sentenced to death no matter their race or gender. There can be no question of bias when everyone receives the same ruling. As of 2017, 42% of death row inmates are white, 41% are African American, 13% are Hispanic, and 3% other (deathpenaltyinfo.org).  With the two majority races being so close, there’s not much room for discrimination.  The deterrence theory states that individuals make decisions based around the potential consequences or rewards of their behavior. A study done by Emory University conducted research of over 3,000 counties between 1977 and 1996 and found that each execution resulted in 18 fewer murders per county. It also shows that with 2.75-year reduction on the wait times on death row, there is at least one murder deterred (usnews.com). The removal of a person from death row has also proved to increase the likelihood of another murder. By allowing defendants in child murder cases to be eligible for the death penalty, an almost 20 percent reduction was found in the rates of these crimes. When the death penalty is allowed, people become afraid. Most people become more aware of their actions and the repercussions when shown an example of what could happen to them. It’s a sad truth, but it is effective. By allowing the death penalty for people convicted of a murder or one of the other capital crimes other lives can be saved. The death penalty may not be a perfect solution, but it is the best course of action for our country. Capital punishment is reasonable and effective. It saves money and helps to save the lives of other innocent people. It is also the only fair course of action. As Hammurabi said, “an eye for an eye.”