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Death Penalty: Time For Change Essay

911 words - 4 pages

Once a popular punishment for crime has now become one of the most controversial forms of punishment. The death penalty has been abolished in most civilized nations around the world and states in America are now reanalyzing this method of punishment. There are many critics of the death penalty that find this practice of punishment barbaric and uncivilized. There are however, many that still hold that the biblical verse of Exodus 21:23-24 “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,” as principle (Bible Gateway, 2014). Supporters of the death penalty believe that for the ultimate crime, you must pay the ...view middle of the document...

Columbia Law School Professor James Liebman and a team of students set out to investigate the story of Texas native, Carlos DeLuna who was executed in 1989 for the murder of convenient store clerk, Wanda Lopez (Los Tocayos Carlos, 2014). 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, eye witness inconsistencies, but that officials had ignored statements from witnesses that stated that a man named Carlos Hernandez had actually bragged about the murder and that he had gotten away with it. 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. (Mclaughlin 2014). Carlos De Luna was a poor uneducated man who was not afforded experienced counsel.
Racism and socioeconomic class play a very large factor in considering who is executed in America. An alarming statistic shows that 70% of all executions are those in which the victim was a white person (Wade 2013). “Since 1977, the overwhelming majority of death row defendants have been executed for murdering white victims, although African-Americans make up about half of all homicide victims” (Wade 2013). The old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ unfortunately stands true when considering the representation that is provided for indigent defendants accused of murder.
Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, Executive Director, Joe P. Robertson stated that he believes that eventually all states will abolish the death penalty but that Oklahoma will be one of the last states to follow suit. “We are one of the few nations in the world that still practices it,”...

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