President Trump is rushing to execute as many people as possible before the end of his presidency. He has already put to death eight in the last five months and has scheduled five more executions. Before Trump, the U.S. had joined the rest of the free world in avoiding legal killings. Now we are the worst killers among the western democracies. And the administration wants to restore forbidden means of execution. Currently, only lethal injection is used. Trump wants to bring back electrocution and the firing squad.
So I resurrected my blog post of last year arguing against execution:
Research evidence makes it clear that capital punishment does not deter murderers. According to Amnesty International, “Scientists agree, by an overwhelming majority, that the death penalty has no deterrent effect. . . . States without the death penalty continue to have significantly lower murder rates than those that retain capital punishment.”
Besides, it costs far more to inflict the death penalty than incarceration for life does. The Death Penalty Information Center argues that “the average cost of a case without capital punishment involved is $740,000. For cases where the death penalty is sought by prosecutors, the average cost off the case is $1.26 million. In addition to the prosecution expenses, the cost of housing a prisoner on death row is $90,000 more per year, on average, than a prisoner in the general population.”