Capital Punishment: The System that Buries Its Worst Mistakes

2130 Words9 Pages
Capital Punishment: The System that Buries its Worst Mistakes The use of capital punishment is a contentious social issue in the United States. Currently, it is a legal sentence in thirty-two states and illegal in eighteen (States With and Without the Death Penalty). Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty is “the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime” (Oxford Dictionaries). A sentencing for the death penalty can be mete out due to a capital offense of treason, murder, arson, or rape. The most commonly used methods for capital punishment include lethal injection, handing, and electrocution. The act of capital punishment is unethical and immoral. Capital punishment is…show more content…
He stated the following: "The problem is that inevitability of actual, legal and moral error gives us a system that we know must wrongly kill defendants, a system that fails to deliver the fair, consistent, and reliable sentences of death required by the Constitution" (Changing Views of Supreme Court Justices on the Death Penalty). To sum it up, Blackmun is saying that there are profusions of errors that are bound to occur in court, for instance, problems with eyewitnesses, jurors, forensics and lawyers. These fatal errors can result in a wrongful execution. Just one example is the case of Frank Lee Smith, who was sentenced to death on the testimony of single eyewitness, there was no physical evidence that could tie him to the crime, yet he was still convicted. Four years later, the same eyewitness saw a photo of a man and realized she made a mistake in court. DNA tests confirmed that Smith was in fact an innocent man (Innocent Lives in the Balance). The danger of innocent people being accused and convicted of a crime they did not commit is inequitable, thus, capital punishment must be eradicated. Advocates of capital punishment often argue, "there is no proof that any innocent person has actually been executed since increased safeguards and appeals were added to our death penalty system in the 1970s" (Death Penalty Curriculum). There may be no physical

More about Capital Punishment: The System that Buries Its Worst Mistakes

Open Document