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Capital Punishment Essay

1121 words - 4 pages

Anna AdamsCapital Punishment"An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind," Mahatma Gandhi. When the murders of today are murdered by the government, is that not hypocrisy? Capital punishment is legal in 32 U.S. states. Capital punishment was a penalty for many felonies under English common law, and it was enforced in all of the American colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence. Since 1976 lethal injection has been the primary method, although electrocution, gas chamber, hanging, and by firing squad are still legal and practiced in some states. The death penalty is barbaric and unethical. Innocent lives are being taken away. U.S. tax payer's money is thrown out the window. Capital punishment laws should be abolished in the entire United States."Studies have consistently failed to demonstrate that executions deter people from committing crimes." (Death Penalty Information Center) As we sit in a jury box playing God, deciding who must live and who must die, we hand out the death penalty to teach society a lesson. We step into the shoes of a God and pass an irreversible judgment to mask our pain or disdain. Why kill people who kill people to show killing is wrong? This is hypocrisy. In our judicial system, we do not rape rapists, make drunk drivers stand in front of a speeding car, or chop off the thieving hands of someone who steals. In Muslim practicing countries, the harsh punishment used to deter humans from stealing is to have the thieves hand cut off. This practice does not deter thievery and is considered barbaric and irrational in today's American society. For some reasons unknown, we resort to a revenge mentality society when man kills man. A family who has lost a loved one due to a murder, will not find closure from the killer's death. They will find closure with acceptance and forgiveness in themselves. We cannot take away the life of another who may or may not be guilty of a crime.Consequently, innocent people have been convicted and executed. The wrongful execution of an innocent person is an injustice that can never be rectified. Any error rate is completely unacceptable, when we are talking about life and death. "Since 1973 the U.S. has released 144 prisoners from death row because they were found to be innocent of their crimes." (Amnesty) Wrongful conviction causes range from eyewitness error, to government miscount, false confessions, informants, mishandled evidence, improper forensic evidence, and bad lawyering. Capital punishment is also discriminatory towards minorities, poor, and the mentally ill. "Africans make up about half of all homicide victims." Glenn Ford, a black man, was released last month after 30 years on death row in Louisiana's notorious Angola Prison for a crime he did not commit. As a result of his poverty, Ford was assigned two lawyers to represent him at his capital trial -the lead attorney was an oil and gas lawyer who had never tried a case - criminal or civil - to a jury. The second attorney had...

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