by Max Brantley
1. The death penalty does not deter crime.
According to FBI Crime data, the murder rate is 25% higher in death penalty states than in non-death penalty states. 88% of the country's top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide.
2. The death penalty is expensive.
The Death Penalty is more expensive than the sentence of life without parole.
Studies from twelve states and the federal government all show that the death penalty costs taxpayers more than any alternative sentence.
3. Innocent people have been sentenced to death.
Since 1976, 156 individuals sentenced to death were later found innocent and set free. During that same period, the United States carried out more than 1,400 executions.
4. There have been numerous mistakes with the death penalty in Arkansas.
At least 25 Arkansans have had their death sentences reduced on appeal.
5. The death penalty is unfair and arbitrary.
A recent study by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock shows that Blacks are over two times more likely than whites to receive the death penalty for a charge of capital murder. Black Arkansans constitute 134 of the 195 executions that have taken place since the state began to keep records. An estimated 20% of all death row inmates suffer from a severe mental illness.
6. The death penalty is out of step with our values.
In 2015, only China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan performed more executions than the United States. More people were executed in the U.S. than in Iraq, North Korea, Yemen, or Somalia.