Capital Punishment Essay: Death Penalty Maintains Justice

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Death Penalty Maintains Justice It is no triumph that death sentences are routinely carried out, or even that such a device is necessary within our society. Yet the fact remains that society does require a death penalty, and to believe that the topic is one-sided or easily answered would be a fatal mistake. It is best to note the absolutes of the death penalty - first, that once it is carried out, there is no reversing the outcome. It seems an obvious point, but it is worth remembering, as it warns us that state-sanctioned executions must never be taken lightly. Just as firm is the fact that in most cases, the death penalty is a matter of justice and equality. With most crimes, the purposes of the punishment are to rehabilitate…show more content…
The Illinois death penalty moratorium enacted in 1999 was an intelligent response to one state's miserable record in the application of justice. The student journalists who worked to free a number of wrongly convicted men on the state's death row may have been sharp, but they were far from young Alan Dershowitzes. This raises the question: how did these poor slobs slip through the cracks for all these years? The evidence which originally "convicted" them was in several cases extremely thin, based merely on eyewitness accounts from unreliable witnesses who had other motives. Thus, it may be a wise move for each state to emphasize extreme caution in imposing the death penalty. Certainly it is within their rights for a state or municipality to focus their prosecution exclusively on the aspects of a case which will prove most likely to convict a defendant. This is all well and good for non-capital cases, where, if a wrongful conviction results, the innocent may rot unjustly in jail for many years - but at least no one is executed. But when a prosecutor in a capital case intentionally ignores strong evidence that could exonerate a defendant or presses ahead despite gaping holes in his case, leading to a questionable conviction, the result is negative public perception of an integral part of the justice system.
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