Argument Against The Death Penalty Essay

1181 Words 5 Pages
In 1992, 17 year old Johnny Frank Garrett was put to death for confessing to raping and murdering a 72-year old nun. A crime as heinous as this certainly deserves the death penalty as a punishment right? The only problem is that Garrett didn't do it. Garrett was in fact, a mentally ill man who suffered severe childhood trauma, significant brain damage and multiple personality disorder. His mental instability and repeated police interrogation are only things that caused him to confess to killing the nun. Shortly after the confession, a psychologist declared him mentally unfit to admit to such a thing, and Garrett would proclaim his innocence right up until he was executed by the state of Texas who had conveniently ignored the psychologist's …show more content…
The different drastically different sentences for two people found guilty of the exact same crime is conclusive proof that something is flawed in the justice system and it needs to change, and one of those changes has to be the abolition of the death penalty. If Garrett had been sparred, like he should have been, he would still be around today and able to get the mental help he needed to overcome his mental handicaps and make something of himself.
Garrett's case is certainly not unique either. Over the years, at least hundreds of other people have been put to death for crimes they did not commit, and the recorded cases are only the ones we know about. Common sense dictates that there are probably many more innocent people that have been executed and evidence proving them innocent has yet to be discovered. Knowing that we put innocent people to death is only one of the many reasons that the death penalty needs to be abolished.
Another reason that the death penalty needs to be abolished is that when we enact this penalty, we cease to view criminals as humans, and begin viewing them as sub-humans who are no deserving of the same rights that the rest of us enjoy. The United States’ Constitution itself states that all of us, even the lowest criminal is deserving of basic human dignity and basic rights. One of those rights is the right to life. When we take someone’s right to life away from them, they die as something less than human in our