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Abolishment Of The Death Penalty Essay

2800 words - 12 pages

The death penalty was reinstated in this nation on January 17, 1977 after a ten year ban following the Furman v. Georgia case. Following this act, torture has turned into one of the biggest controversies in the United States. Currently, there are seventeen states that do not enforce the death penalty while others are continuing to debate legislation on whether or not to make the death penalty illegal. Law makers who advocate the abolishment of the death penalty generally believe the punishment is cruel and unusual, claiming there is vicious cycle that the action of killing is promoting. Those against the death penalty believe it does not deter individuals of crime, that it actually endorses the idea of revenge and killing. In contrast, those who are for the death penalty believe that the criminals who are sentenced to the death penalty deserve the punishment for the crime they committed. Furthermore, advocates explain that the families of the victims are entitled to the retribution. Advocates claim that the sentence of life in prison costs more the general public. They argue the individuals are put to death in a humane way, and assure that it causes no pain. While both sides of the spectrum have strong arguments, the death penalty is an extreme and harsh punishment; it promotes an unhealthy message to the public and should be abolished in every state.
One of the main goals of the death penalty is to deter crime, or in other words, the death penalty is meant to create fear so that fewer crimes are committed. However, there have been numerous studies conducted which prove this theory otherwise, “According to a survey of the former and present presidents of the country’s top academic criminological societies, 88% of these experts rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder”(Radelet & Lacock, 2009). These are not the opinions of everyday people; the individuals surveyed were experts in criminology which makes this argument even more effective because when the average American citizen is surveyed it leaves room for bias and error. When an individual has the intent to kill and take the life of another individual, their judgment is clouded by anger, sadness, jealously, depression, and an array of other emotions, their actions will not change due to a fear of the death penalty or losing their own lives. Furthermore, there has been considerable speculation that there is a major racial bias in capital cases, recent studies have shown a pattern that black defendants in interracial murder cases are at high disadvantage, “Ultimately, the moral question surrounding capital punishment in America has less to do with whether those convicted of violent crime deserve to die than with whether state and federal governments deserve to kill those whom it has imprisoned. The legacy of racial apartheid, racial bias, and ethnic discrimination is unavoidably evident in the administration of capital punishment in America” (Stevenson...

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