Argumentative Essay: Should The Government End The Death Penalty?

Decent Essays

Lawful executions have recently made the news due to failed attempts to put convicted prisoners to death which resulted in a slow and painful process. Many people are rethinking their position on the death penalty for that reason and others. All three branches of the United States government are and have been involved in the question of the death penalty. Is it now time for the people to decide whether or not the government can end the federal death penalty? An execution in the state of Oklahoma that went wrong made headlines in newspapers, television, and social media. A convicted prisoner, who was given lethal injection came to and was clearly awake. The prisoner showed signs of extreme pain. The President had always supported the death penalty …show more content…

In 2002, the Supreme Court took on the case of a mentally retarded man, Daryl Atkins, who was tried and convicted of killing a United States Airman in 1996. After many years of appeals, the case went to the Supreme Court. Atkins argued that because he is mentally retarded (his IQ range is 59), that he could not be legally put to death. In this case, the Supreme Court, bowed to the national consensus that the death penalty should not be used, and ruled in the favor of Atkins. The argument extended to prisoners that committed a capital offence as juveniles. The ruling directly affects twenty states. Nearly, two-hundred retarded and juvenile inmates are believed to be in the process of using Atkins v. Virginia to overturn their death penalty cases. Other cases that are coming before the Supreme Court may affect trials by judges causing a great number of inmates to have their death row status changed to life with or without …show more content…

The protection of inmates against being wrongly convicted and sentenced to death has come to the state level of government. There are many studies that seem to prove that a large number of prisoners have been found not guilty because of DNA testing. The American people are much more aware of DNA and how it can prove someone guilty or innocent. They are inclined to error on the side of not the side of not putting a man or women on death row when they may be innocent. They certainly believe in the appeals process, which can be long. When Congress voted to authorize the Patriot Act, many people thought that in may slow the appeals process for death row inmates to a crawl. In 2006, the worry was that the Patriot Act could keep private attorneys from even taking on death penalty cases leaving thousands with no representation. The House Representative’s Innocence Protection Act which passed with a vote of 357 to 67, put safeguards in place to protect innocent people by help to the state and federal officials in talking on crime investigations and using the DNA process. The Senate is also looking to use the IPA to give prisoners access to DNA testing and for getting better attorneys for them. The Innocent Protection Act has receive support from both the Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives and the United States

Get Access