Show me the money

Opinion

Ever hear the phrase, “money talks BS walks”? It’s one of those old colloquialisms that your grandpa, and pretty much any old-timer who has tried to give you advice uses. Well, as our society advances, we find values falling to the waste side and capitalism taking their place: which I love. It lets you use the good ole green back as a solid defense for pretty much anything: capital punishment anyone? The death penalty is one of those hot button topics that everyone and their mom have an opinion on. Not only do they have their opinion, but, if you don’t share it, you are a moron and any conversation regarding it is like beating your head into a brick wall. Now I know it is hard, but for a second, let’s set aside all of our feelings over the issue and talk about the almighty dollar and how the death penalty affects it.

Plain and simple: I like money, and I would be willing to lay a bit of it down that you do too. It affects my daily life; it affects the daily life of every single person I know. This is why it is my favorite reason for not supporting the capital punishment. Did you know that Indiana’s cost for the death penalty is greater than the cost of its life without parole sentence? Not just a little either, we are talking a whopping 38% greater. According to deathpenaltyinfo.org, the numbers are different but the story remains the same across the board. It costs more to kill someone than to keep them alive. Where exactly do you think that money is coming from? That is right boys and girls: our tax money.

Why is it so expensive you ask? Well, the utmost care has to be given to these cases. This includes public defenders, lengthy jury selection and several appeals to minimize mistakes. As a tax payer, you might be tempted to say “cut the frills,” but hold on there. These things are in place to ensure that each person who has charges brought against them is tried fairly. As a society that has a justice system based on due process, there is no way to do capital punishment cheap. Why should a system that is already morally bankrupting us take the same toll on our already weakened dollar?

Capital punishment is ultimately a failure as an institution; not just because it makes us hypocrites, but because we simply aren’t getting the bang for our buck. To be candid about it, right now we need money flowing to the right places: not towards a barbaric practice that is useless and cost ineffective. Why not flow that capital away from capital punishment and to oh, I don’t know- schools after school programs. Now, I know it might seem radical, but education does make a person less likely to commit crime and seems like a much more deserving recipient of my tax money than “legal” retribution killing.

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