The Death Penalty: It’s Conditional

User Jennifer Hor writes:

Last time I looked at the financial cost of capital punishment in the US was several years ago and already in the late 1990s – early 2000s, the cost of executing someone was US$8 million in Florida… There are costs involved like the various appeals processes which take up people’s time and hiring and paying juries for several trials that might take weeks or months. Economic austerity may be the one thing that gets cash-strapped states like California to abolish the death penalty.

My highlights. The death penalty is expensive in America only because it chooses to make it so. I’m not much against that because the US is also clearly rich enough to afford the process. The only problem of course is that it in effect nullifies the deterrent value of the DP. I read in Freakonomics that the average life expectancy of a man on death row is actually higher than of a bro selling drugs in the hood. So what kind of deterrent is that? Either go the Singapore/China route of a quick trial and execution – or you might as well cancel it altogether.

But it’s not really an issue I care about much either way. It’s not exactly going to make the US or California bankrupt. As long as the DP applies for appropriate crimes (e.g. premeditated murder, serial murder, national treason during wartime, etc) and not stupid shit like blasphemy or drugs possession then I’m basically fine with it. I’m not a bloodthirsty person but why the hell should I care about the life of some lowlife who derives entertainment from killing people or eating children or whatever?

I submit that in some places and circumstances however the DP would be highly useful. In low IQ / high testosterone countries where violent crime levels are extremely high – and where policing isn’t very effective. Visceral demonstrations are very good deterrents and this is in fact probably the reason why virtually all pre-industrial societies enforced the DP. I submit that the DP would still be highly desirable in places where violent crime is out of control like Venezuela or South Africa.

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