Killing Inmates Is Costly~Cheaper to Watch TV (w/ Torture Videos)
Do you remember Johnny Taylor’s song from the 70’s entitled "It’s cheaper to keep her"? The lyrics addressed the high cost of divorce as opposed to keeping one’s wife. Some states are making a similar assessment when they consider the high cost of the death penalty compared to making life in prison without parole their highest punishment.
Associated Press reports, “While US opinion polls for years have shown a two-thirds support for lethal injections, this year the financial crisis has stressed the 10-to-one cost of execution compared to life imprisonment and made 10 states also consider its abolishment.”
SEE? It pays to be nice.
When Americans see the torture videos below, they may agree that prison is enough punishment. An excerpt from the AP report is below. Use the link to access an article.
WASHINGTON (AFP) Amnesty International USA said in an annual report to be published Tuesday that capital punishment in the United States has become regional and fairly isolated event, with Texas accounting for roughly half of all executions.
"Only nine of the 36 states that retained the death penalty in 2008 actually carried out executions, and the vast majority of these executions took place in one region: the South," the US section of the London-based human rights group said in a statement.
"Texas accounted for, in essence, half (18 of 37) of the US executions in 2008," it added. And the southern state has carried out 12 of the 20 nationwide executions so far this year.
Other states including Virginia (east), Tennessee (south), Alabama (south), Ohio (north) and Oklahoma (south) also allow lethal injections -- the preferred method of execution, but in much smaller numbers.
New Mexico, also in the south, last week abolished capital punishment in its territory.
"Executions in the United States are increasingly a regionally isolated phenomenon," said Amnesty's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign director Sue Gunawardena- Vaughn.
"Elsewhere, concerns about cost, the possibility of executing the innocent and racial bias have led to a significant decline in support for capital punishment", she added.
While US opinion polls for years have shown a two-thirds support for lethal injections, this year the financial crisis has stressed the 10-to-one cost of execution compared to life imprisonment and made 10 states also consider its abolishment.
This link has more information on AI's report: http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Executions_in_US_a_regional_phenome_03242009.html
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports, “New Mexico isn’t the only state taking another look at the death penalty. Bills to repeal, study or place a moratorium on executions have been or are being considered in eight other states: Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and New Hampshire.” See more of ACLU’s death penalty report at this link: http://www.aclu.org/capital/index.html
Southern states must be some rich if they pass up a deal like this during tough economic times. Commuting death row inmates’ sentences to life without parole reduces the cost of punishment by up to 90%. That is a great deal! Hopefully, more states will take advantage of the opportunity to reduce the burden on their taxpayers by abolishing the death penalty. Some of the savings could be channelled toward inmate rehabilitation. The AP reported that Florida recently made commendable steps to improve on prisoner rehabilitation and better prepare inmates to re-enter society. See this link:
AP Reports Florida's New Goal: Rehabilitate Prisoners
Certainly, when the Southern states give up the death penalty, there are citizens who will miss it. But we should all pull together and make sacrifices during the economic downturn. Enjoying Cable TV is much cheaper than lethal injection, and many Americans are getting by on that.
Let's crunch the numbers, shall we? The Death Penalty Information Center reports: "The additional cost of confining an inmate to death row, as compared to the maximum security prisons where those sentenced to life without possibility of parole ordinarily serve their sentences, is $90,000 per year per inmate. With California’s current death row population of 670, that accounts for $63.3 million annually.” (2008 data)
Think of it! Savings of $90,000 per year, per death row inmate! That is a whopping lotta money, even in a flourishing economy. More financial considerations comparing the death penalty to life without parole sentences are available at this link: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty
While most of us are concerned about the high cost of living, state legislatures and governors are re-thinking the high cost of killing. The following excerpt is from 2003, so it is reasonable to assume that inflation has hit the death penalty industry like any other.
NY -The estimated costs for New York’s death penalty, which was reinstated in 1995: $160 million, or approximately $23 million for each person sentenced to death, with no executions likely for many years. (The Times Union, Sept. 22, 2003)
Here's "Cheaper to Keep Her" Texas style. Enjoy! (Texas remains #1 in executions)
As a Southern girl, born and raised, I am willing to give up killing inmates and just watch TV. It's too darn expensive. Plus that, the Innocence Project reports that 233 people have been exonerated since 1989 by DNA testing - turns out they never did the crime! Most Southerners try to be good Christians, and I certainly wouldn't want to meet my LORD with innocent blood on my hands.
Best to end executions to save money and be sure not to kill the innocent.
Here is a way to contact your representatives about this and other issues. Also, check online for contact information and email your own governor. $90,000 per year per inmate could fill lots of cracks in the state budget! That's more money than the average family of four lives on in two years. The innocent don't deserve execution; the guilty don't deserve to cost us that much money to save them from life in prison. Let them rot in jail! Just let them live. http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/
I hope you recognize satire. This writer, a death penalty opponent, was surprised to encounter a certain callousness in people's attitudes recently while reviewing online comments about Edward Bell's execution. It was pretty shocking to realize that some people seemed to enjoy knowing there was an execution happening. I therefore adopted that tone for this article, recognizing that financial constraints might achieve what compassion cannot. See these films and know that prison is punishment.
PRISON TORTURE VIDEOS
See this prison torture video, and it is happening INSIDE the U.S.A. We need to stop prison torture at home. (Beware - graphic violence, nudity, and death):
Our mental patients are in prison now. See how many of them live:
Solitary Confinement - More Torture
Here is how our most vulnerable citizens live since we were "humane" enough to "save" them from mental hospitals in the 1970's, and other inmates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEs3BQ0znAs
And the final bad news is that lots of people sent to prison for what used to be misdemeanor offenses end up on this website: (WARNING - graphic images; violence): http://www.geocities.com/prisonmurder/
PRISON IS ENOUGH PUNISHMENT, yet 2,400 people were executed last year, including the mentally ill and children.
LONDON (AFP) – Almost 2,400 people were executed last year, including more than 1,700 in China alone, but the world moved closer towards abolishing the death penalty, Amnesty International said. A total of 2,390 people were put to death in 25 countries in 2008 and five states -- China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United States -- accounted for 93 percent of the executions, the group said in an annual report.
RUMOR HAS IT that Americans may get a taste of our own medicine.
MASS GRAVES BEING PREPARED IN AMERICA
Here’s another old saying: “What goes around comes around.” Comments are invited after the blank space below.
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.
Wake-up Call BlogTalk Radio
Jan. 2008: "The Wrongful Death of Larry Neal Show"
Real Talk with Brothas Keepa
May 2008: "Mental Illness in the Black Community"
The NVO Radio Hour ~ Second Guest on Show - Mary Neal
March 2009: "CHANGE the Justice System" - Capital Punishment Discussed
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Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States