The United States criminal justice system is not exactly perfect, it is flawed. There are issues and problems within law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. One issue and problem that exceeds these three sections of the criminal justice systems is capital punishment, otherwise known as the death penalty. Capital punishment in the United States is a flawed system and it needs to be fixed. Numerous of debates over the use of the death penalty has been occurring in America since the late 1700’s.
The United States’ history of death penalty goes way back during the colonial times. The very first execution that occurred in America was in 1608, when Captain George Kendall was accused of being a spy for Spain (Gill). As I can see the morals during the colonial times was very different compared to present morals. “In 1612, Virginia death penalty violations included what modern citizens would consider minor violations: stealing grapes, killing chickens and trading with Indians” (Gill). During the colonial era, the criminal justice system was very strict and broken based on the modern’s viewpoints on the system. People can just accuse someone and have it go through the death penalty without any evidence. I can’t imagine how some of these innocents are being killed for no reason. In my opinion, they took the measures of the morality too serious. They need to take it lightly because there is nobody that is not sinned. Everybody steals at one point in their lifetime.
The criminal justice system is so flawed that it almost sent the wrong man on a death sentence. This case is known as the Juan Roberto Melendez- Colon case. It all happened with Juan Melendez being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Delbert Baker was murdered at the beauty school on September 13, 1983. His roommate found his body at 8:30 pm and notified the police. The Medical Examiner had estimated that Baker’s death occurred around 7:30 pm (FADP). The police examined the evidence and asked people’s whereabouts. They discovered that Terry Barber had stopped by the school at 6 pm and saw that Baker had a company in the back room. Terry Barber believed that he saw two males that was Vernon James and his friend Bobo. Strangely, the police abandoned that lead when Bobo denied that he and Vernon James were there (FADP). This is where the criminal justice system made a mistake. In my opinion, a police officer shouldn’t drop a lead just because the suspect denies. I believe that the police officer was a corrupted officer for various reasons or he/she just simply didn’t have enough training.
Instead, Juan Melendez was arrested in March, 1984 and charged with first degree murder and robbery. It was based on David Luna Falcon’s claim. David Falcon said that he was doing cocaine together and Juan Melendez had confessed the murder. Also, Juan told Falcon that John Barrien drove him to Mr. Baker’s making him an accessory. Juan Melendez and John Barrien were eventually arrested. “The...