A Dead Man Is Good For Nothing

2258 Words Jul 23rd, 2015 10 Pages
Alexandra Hernandez
English 1A
Mr. Gejeian
5 July, 2015
Argumentative Essay

A Dead Man is Good for Nothing In 1995 Duane Buck was convicted for the murder of his former girlfriend Debra Gardner and her friend Kenneth Butler. He was sentenced to death in 1997 and his case should definitely not be taken lightly, but Buck was given the death penalty over life in prison because of the fact that he was an African American. A state psychologist in his case, Dr. Quijano, argued that African American criminals are more susceptible to pose a future danger to the public, and this was the key testimony that the prosecutor relied on. Since then, his case has not been reopened. It was later admitted by a district attorney at the time of Buck’s case
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It is also unusual because only a random sampling of convicted murderers in the United States receive a sentence of death” (Chapman, and Ciment).
The death penalty is unfair. It is applied in an “unfair and unjust manner against people, largely dependent on how much money they have, the skill of their attorneys, race of the victim, and where the crime took place” (“The Case Against the Death Penalty”). White people are a lot less likely to be executed than those of color, especially if the victim is white. It is also unfair that there are people who are sentenced to death for crimes they committed while under the age of eighteen, meanwhile there are other criminals who have committed much more heinous crimes as an adult and were sentenced to life in prison. Where is the line drawn to decide when one person gets to live while another does not?
In 2002, the Supreme Court ban the executions of mentally ill criminals because it is a cruel and unusual punishment, which is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. “Since then, states have developed a range of processes to ensure that mentally [ill] individuals are not executed. Many have elected to hold proceedings prior to the merits trial, many with juries, to determine whether an accused is mentally [ill]. In 2005, the Supreme Court held that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution forbid imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under

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