Many people have disagreements on the death penalty. My opinion on this argument is that we should abolish the death penalty from our criminal punishment system. As someone once said two wrongs do not make a right and I think that he is right. It is not doing justice killing another person because that person killed someone. My friend says this “If the person didn’t mean to kill them they should live but, if they wanted to kill them then they should die”(Holeman).
More than half of the countries in the world have abolished capital punishment from law or practice. Some of these countries that have abolished it, to us are considered third world countries. Are we any better than these third world countries if we still use the death penalty and they don’t? A total of 109 countries have abolished the death penalty. 749 prisoners have been executed since capital punishment was resumed in 1977.
Almost all the states in the U.S. use the lethal injection if they even have the death penalty. Electrocution that used to be widely used is now the second most used. Very few states use the gas chamber, hanging, and firing squad and most of the states have lethal injection as a secondary. Most people see the lethal injection as the most humane but; all of them are very terrible deaths to die. On January 1st
2001 there were around 3,700 inmates on death row. The average cost to seek the death penalty is $218,112 and that is added to the total cost of the case. U.S. is
the leader in killing kids worldwide. We have sentenced 160 children to death since 1973. There is not really an official age at which you can sentence a child to the death penalty. Mississippi sought the death penalty in 1996 for kids of the age of 13.
Most kids sent to death row are colored and stats show that two out of three kids sent to death row are children of color. Also, almost 90% of people put to death for committing a crime were convicted of murdering whites but, about half of all homicide victims in the U.S. are colored. It is so bad in Maryland that if you kill a white person you are seven times more likely to get the death sentence than if you murder a colored person. About 90 % of the people that the U.S. Government prosecutors tried and execute are Black or Latino. Many people that seek the death penalty only want it for people that are not white.
Another major problem with the system is that even if you are innocent you have a high chance of being put on death row. Around 23 innocent people have been sentenced to death row and have been executed for crimes they did not commit this century. More than 69 people have been released from death row since 1972 for being wrongly convicted. That is more than one innocent person for every
100 convicts on death row. One example of mistaken guilt was of Robert Nelson Drew who was executed even after another man confessed to the murder.
A few countries other than the U.S. show that we don’t execute people that bad. Go live in Afghanistan they will stone you to death or maybe go to Sudan where
you can be stoned or crucified and other countries even behead you. Another bad thing about the death penalty is that in Florida each of the states executions cost $3.2 million and life inprison only cost $600,000. Spending our taxpayer’s money on the death penalty takes away from more important stuff for example investigating drug crimes, domestic violence, and child abuse. If we did not have the death penalty we could have better education and rehabilitation.
Around five years ago many Americans heavily supported the death penalty and around 80% of Americans favored executing convicted murders. According to the polls now it is at 66 percent that is a major drop. In ten or twenty years will we even have the death penalty? Now for the first time for a very long time people can debate whether we should have the death penalty or not. Governor George Ryan of Illinois started up the train to debate the death penalty and has it moving. Many states in the U.S. are looking over the death penalty in their state.
In the 1990’s the death penalty was the main thing to do to get tough on crime movement. In the ’90’s the death penalty has seen the toughest increase in death
row inmates. With President Clinton in office he expanded the federal death penalty to additional 60 more crimes.
Now I come to my conclusion many people have disagreements on the death penalty but nobody will change my decision. If you look at the facts the death penalty has some major mess-ups. Nobody is going to be able to correct those fully
and the only way to stop the mess-ups is to abolish the death penalty. Many innocent people are killed and a lot of jurors are racist and judge the crime poorly. Almost half of the countries in the world have abolished it why shouldn’t we.
What if you were wrongly accused of committing a crime and were put to death would justice have been served I think not. Do you see why it should be abolished? Maybe some day you will march against the death penalty even if you don’t just please do not support it. Thank you for your time and I hope you learned a lot about the death penalty.
www.web.amnesty.org 2 April 2002
www.agitator.com 2 April 2002
www.abcnews.go.com 2 April 2002
www.derechos.org/dp/ 2 April 2002
www.uscourts.gov 2 April 2002
www.ncadp.org 2 April 2002
www.amnesty-usa.org 2 April 2002
www.alternet.org 2 April 2002
www.prodeathpenalty.com 8 March 2002
Pence, Alex. Death Penalty. Report by Alex Pence. 2001
Holeman, Spencer. Interview. 4 April 2002