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Capital Punishment Essay, Research Paper

Capital Punishment

By: Kevin Adams

The only right that we as humans have that should never be taken away is the right to live. The death penalty is unjust because it is not applied consistently. Every year people are wrongfully executed and worse yet, this punishment is irrevocable. The death penalty is not a deterrent, and it therefore should be abolished.

One concept of justice is the that for every crime there is a punishment which in some sense balances the crime. But If I murder you, it is not clear how that crime can be balanced. Having an agency of the government murder me because I murdered you does not balance the crime. The right to live is a fundamental right that should never be taken away. We cannot kill the killers because we then have no form of punishment that will fit the rapists or the burglars; We can t rape the rapists or burglarize the burglars.

By executing the offender, it will never take away the pain and suffering that he/she had already caused the victims family and friends. There is no justice in executing a person because they were convicted of murder. It only hurts the family and friends. The result of the murder is the family and friends of the murderer become the victims as they wait the day of the execution. This is one of the many reasons as to why capital punishment should be abolished.

One major common misconception about the death penalty is the deterrence of crime. Some people feel that capital punishment will deter crime if they know that the punishment may lead to their own death. Studies have shown that all twelve states in the United States that do not have the death penalty, have a lower homicide rate. The average of murder rates per one hundred thousand population in nine-teen ninety-nine among death penalty states was five and a half, whereas the average murder rates among non-death penalty states was only three and a half. These test results conclude that states without the death penalty are much safer than a state with the death penalty.

Every year innocent people are convicted of murder and they are sentenced to death. Although they are given extended amounts of time to prove their innocence, most times they do not have the proper funding to obtain a lawyer so the appeals are useless. When a person is placed on death row, it is obvious that the jury was one hundred percent sure that he is guilty. If this were true, why is it that there have been many cases of people that have not only been wrongfully convicted, but also wrongfully executed. Roger Keith Coleman was convicted of raping and murdering his sister in law in nineteen eighty-one. Due to the negligence of his lawyer, he was executed. His lawyer withheld evidence that was very useful and because his state appeal was filled out one day late, they would not let him have it. He was executed one year later and they found out after that he was wrongfully executes. David Spence was charged with the murdering of three teenagers in nineteen eighty-three. It was said that he was hired by a convenience store owner to kill another girl, and he killed these other victims by mistake. He was later executed in nineteen ninety-seven. Both of these men, and a long list of others were innocently executed. Capital punishment is a very poor way of punishing someone. It is ineffective, debatable, and barbaric. This is why it should be abolished.

In the court of law, every person is supposed to receive a fair, just trial. If this were true, than why is there very distinct evidence that people with different color skin are discriminated against. Studies have shown that if a black man is to kill a white man, his chances of getting convicted of a felony offence are about twenty-nine percent. If the victim was changed to black, the chances of a felony offence dramatically drop to eighteen percent. These studies were done in Florida because it had the largest number of death sentences. Others states were viewed and similar patterns were observed.

Capital punishment should be abolished because it is unjust, immoral, and very inconsistent. Time and time again it has proved to be a way on ruining the lives on innocent victims, and his/her families. This is why capital punishment should be abolished.


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