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Eliminating The Death Penalty Essay

973 words - 4 pages

A phrase commonly presented in American society, “An eye for an eye,” is used to represent the ideology of the death penalty in the US. The death penalty also known as capital punishment is defined as punishment by death for a crime. In its simplest form, it is “state sanctioned killing (Jones).” Recent facts show that as of, “April 1, 2010, there are approximately 3,260 individuals,” waiting for their execution date while on death row in the US (“Death Penalty”) .It has been reported that, “since 1973 over 130 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence (“Death Penalty”).” The execution of an innocent citizen, along with the violation of the, “cruel and unusual clause” and the extensive cost of killing an inmate are all plausible reasons why the death penalty should be eradicated.
Nearly killing or taking away many precious years of life from an innocent individual in jail, to me, is enough reason to eliminate the death penalty. It is disturbing to think that the court system has killed someone's innocent father or has held someone’s innocent child captive for years and is a mental burden left on the minds of that individual’s unfortunate family. It is probably merely seen as a subtle mistake to the court because, “ courts do not generally entertain claims of innocence when the defendant is dead. Defense attorneys move on to other cases where clients’ lives can still be saved.” Although the number of people actually executed and claimed to have been innocent is only recorded at “23 people in the 20th century,” of the more than 1,000 people executed, it can only be assumed that there are more innocent individuals who were killed, than were recored (Jones). Truthfully, one person who is innocently executed is already too many.
However many people feel that the innocent individuals that are released are compensated through the payment of money and with a meaningless apology, but does that honestly equate to the number of years that inmate has spent in prison. Also, it does not compensate for the emotional distress created after he/she has been wrongly accused and punished.
Not only does the death penalty run the risk of killing an innocent citizen, but it also violates the Constitution through the use or threat of “cruel and unusual punishment.” The opposing view might argue that it is only right for the individual responsible for the death of another individual to be killed also, but: “two wrongs do not make a right.” I feel that although one person made a drastic mistake by killing someone else, he/she still should be treated as a human. He/she should also still be subject to the same rights as any other citizen, which includes the right to avoid cruel and unusual punishment. Killing death row inmates to me seems like a hypocritical action which , “devalues the respect we place on human life (Jones). In the US we stress the importance of human life and...

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