Capital Punishment Essay

830 words - 3 pages

Not many issues come to mind that have affected society in such a way that has resulted in protests, out roars and heated debates as ha the issue regarding the death penalty. Debates have hovered around as long as capital punishments beginning; differing on viewpoints whether to abolish it or not and whether or not it is s just form of punishment. The different ends of the spectrum arguing their beliefs has resulted in a divided society with innumerable tallies under the pros and cons to the issues at hand. People’s outlooks on the issue have varied on situations involving the death penalty, with the very mentioning of it sparking passionate opinions and responses regarding the justness and fairness of the American judicial system. Death penalty opponents argue that capital punishment demoralizes America as a civilized society by violating its fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which according to the Bill of Rights are all inalienable to all citizens.
Both articles were written in wake of the execution of Troy Davis, and African-American male who was convicted twenty years ago for the murder of a white male police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Georgia. Many of the witnesses who testified against Davis have since stated in sworn affidavits to be pressured into signing statements condemning Davis by police officers (Tew, 2011). His conviction, which lay solely in the hands of nine witnesses and contained no physical evidence connecting him to the crime, in relation to the other components of race, geography and politics led to a swift conviction and futile appeals. This recent execution has put the spotlight back on the death penalty, bringing awareness that there is an unjust system still running amok in America. A way of justifying the death penalty is that is seen as a procedure which can be made into a spectacle for the public, thus making it appear that while the execution is taking place, the actual act of killing is not; dehumanizing and degrading (Prokosch, 1998). The thought process that criminals who have been accused or condemned don’t have a formal place in society but rather should be handled appropriately contradicts the rights of citizens of the United States. The good, as well as the bad in society have the right to be defended equally but no matter that regardless how good the intentions may be, something happens; “mistakes are just an ineradicable part of any system… no institution is perfect, and we can't expect perfect results” (Tew, 2011). “The death penalty, however, is not an act of defense against an immediate threat to life. It is the...

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