A Valid Argument For Abolishing The Death Penalty

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Lindsey Hogan
Professor Reynolds
English 321
July 22, 2015
Determinism: A Valid Argument for Abolishing the Death Penalty? In 1940, Lawrence Bittaker, an infamous serial killer from the 1970’s, was born to two unloving parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was adopted but eventually left abandoned by his adoptive parents who could not put up with him anymore (Chojnaki, M. & Danz, E. p. 1). By the age of 17, Bittaker dropped out of high school, never to obtain his GED. From the ages of 21 to 26, Bittaker was diagnosed “borderline psychotic” and “basically paranoid” multiple times by different doctors (Chojnaki, M. & Danz, E. p. 1). Bittaker was in and out of jail before murdering five teenage girls in 1979 with a partner, Roy Norris (Chojnaki, M. & Danz, E. p. 2). In 1981, Bittaker was sentenced to death. As of today, he is 70 years old and is still on death row at San Quentin Prison in California (Chojnaki, M. & Danz, E. p. 3). A professor at the University of Houston Law Center, David Dow, has represented over 100 death row inmates over the last 20 years (Dow, David, 2012). In a 2012 TED Talk, David explained that he could predict the past history of the death row inmates he represented over the years. Out of those individuals, 80 percent of the time he would accurately predict their life story. Most of their characteristics were similar to Lawrence Bittaker’s early life mentioned previously (Dow, David, 2012). As of December 2014, 35 states in the U.S. still have the

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