The Death Penalty Essay

1119 words - 4 pages

The Death Penalty

The death penalty should be a last result action that is taken when one person is convicted of a crime involving the death of another person or living thing. The actions taken to kill someone on death row are horrific in, and to kill someone that didn't commit the crime is an appalling thing to do. DNA is an efficient way to prove the absolute guilt of an individual. The death penalty should not be enforced without the opportunity of a DNA test.
For years, DNA has been an effective way of determining whether or not the death row inmates are guilty. DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the genetic coding in cells specific to an individual. Body fluids, semen, bone, and blood samples can all be tested by DNA. It is used to show connections to crimes and people. It can also prove that they are not guilty. DNA is only enforced in New York and Illinois. Ninety-five prisoners have been freed, and DNA freed ten of those. If DNA testing was enforced in all the states there would be less error in the legal system, and more guilty people would be behind bars instead of the innocent. Since January 1,2000, 3,652 inmates were on death row nationwide. Some of them could be innocent, and they deserve to have the right to a DNA test if there is evidence to test.
DNA testing has proven to verify a death row inmate to be guilty or innocent. In Oklahoma, Ronald Williamson and Dennis Fritz were released from the Pontatoc County Courthouse after being convicted of a rape-murder they didn't commit. At one point Williamson was five days away from death. He was convicted of raping and killing 21 year old Debra Sue Carter. He had a retrial and was again sentenced to death by the evidence of semen samples and 17 hairs that were traced to him by primitive forms of DNA. DNA then tested the evidence, and it showed that he in fact did not commit the murder. DNA saved his life, and it was more accurate than two juries (24) people. Dennis Fritz was serving a life sentence for the same crime. He was a schoolteacher before the murder, and said that he wasted 12 years of his life in prison.
DNA has also proven the guilt of people as well. Robert Lee Massie was convicted of a double murder by DNA and died of lethal injection 21 years after his imprisonment. He spent 13 years in prison for the death of a woman during a robbery, got out, and killed a liqueur storeowner. He spent a total of 21 years in prison for both murders and was executed by lethal injection. The Supreme Court said that Massie was going to drop his appeals, and that the judge's order to keep the curtains open for the whole procedure was to stay in effect. This shows that they were absolutely certain that they had the right guy. The five workers that injected Massie only took off their ID badges to keep their identities unknown.
The possibility for DNA tests was offered to 201 death row inmates, and none of them took advantage of the opportunity. Prosecutors say that this...

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