3 reasons conservative millennials should oppose the death penalty

The death penalty is the epitome of government overreach. (Photo via AP)

The death penalty is the epitome of government overreach. (Photo via AP)

No matter which of the 17 Republican candidates you supported in the presidential primary, we can agree that fighting big government overreach is what unifies us as conservatives.

Government-ordered execution of American citizens is big government epitomized.

Hear me out.

According to 2016 data from Pew Research, 51 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds oppose the death penalty. Of the population overall, however, that number is slightly lower at 42 percent. The political ground is fertile for a change in our justice system that would save money and innocent lives.

As the Republican party grows and millennials are able to have a tangible impact on the future of our country, outlawing capital punishment is a must. Here are three reasons why:

1) For every ten people we’ve executed, one has been exonerated (proven innocent).

Of the total number of individuals that the United States has executed, one-in-ten people originally convicted and sentenced to die have been proven innocent, whether by new DNA or additional eyewitness testimony. Even further, a 2014 study shows that at least 1-of-25 people executed will be completely innocent. The justice system is not infallible. You cannot undo the death penalty.

2) Life in prison without the possibility of parole is less expensive than the death penalty.

The antithesis of fiscal conservatism is negligence in spending when there are viable alternatives. Fox News reports that a trial in which the prosecutors seek death costs $1 million more than if they sought life without parole.

3) Capital punishment does nothing to deter crime.

It may sound like a great way to reduce crime, but in reality, there is no verifiable effect. Psychologically or otherwise, capital punishment is not a crime deterrent and does not diminish criminality. Murder rates in states without the death penalty are consistently lower than those that do execute citizens. Criminologists by-and-large remain adamant that the death penalty does not reduce crime.

China, Iran, Pakistan, and the United States are the top executioners worldwide. Not exactly good company to be in.

Debates about the death penalty distract Congress and state legislatures from actually focusing on solutions to crime. We can do better. Abolish the death penalty.


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