Argument Against The Death Penalty Essay

1789 words - 7 pages

Once a popular punishment for crime, the death penalty has now become one of the most controversial forms of punishment. The death penalty has been abolished in most civilized nations around the world. Currently, the states in America are reanalyzing this method of punishment. There are many critics of the death penalty who find this practice of punishment barbaric and uncivilized. There are, however, many that still hold that the biblical verse: “But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,” (Exodus 21:23-24, KJV Bible) as principle. Supporters of the death penalty believe that for the ultimate crime, you must pay the ultimate price. But at what cost does the rest of the community pay and what if the justice system gets it wrong? What if the ultimate price is paid for by the wrong person? The death penalty has been in existence since the dawn of man; it is time that we reevaluate this ancient form of punishment. The death penalty should be abolished.
Since 1846, nineteen states of the United States have abolished the death penalty completely (“History of the Death Penalty”, 2014). There are several reasons stated as to why the states are re-evaluating the death penalty. Some states are recognizing the cost of the death penalty, specifically, the State of Maryland in which the governor has voiced her support to abolish the death penalty and redirect a portion of the funds that would be saved to the victims’ families (“Many States to Consider Death Penalty Abolition and Reform in 2013”, 2013). Exactly how much it costs to sentence a person to death is unclear because of the different variables; however, a telling fact is that New Jersey's governor abolished the death penalty after learning it cost the state more than $4 million to execute an inmate (“Costs of the Death Penalty”, 2013). Other reasons for abolition include the execution of innocent men.
Columbia Law School Professor James Liebman and a team of students set out to investigate the wrongful conviction of Texas native, Carlos DeLuna who was executed in 1989 for the murder of convenient store clerk, Wanda Lopez (Liebman et al., 2011-2012). Carlos had maintained his innocence from the day he was arrested until the day he was executed. Liebman’s investigation proved that there was not only shoddy police work and eye witness inconsistencies, but that officials had ignored verified statements from credible witnesses who stated a man named Carlos Hernandez had actually bragged about the murder and that DeLuna was on death row for the murder he committed (Liebman et al., 2011-2012). Hernandez had a proven history of stabbing and cutting women and even his family members that were interviewed identified the murder weapon as a knife that Hernandez was known to have carried. Furthermore, Carlos Hernandez and Carol DeLuna were so similar in appearance, that they were often mistaken as twins in their...

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