Capital Punishment and the Death Penalty

1813 WordsOct 8, 19998 Pages
Capital Punishment and The Death Penalty Capital punishment and the death penalty are very controversial issues concerning modern times. Many people have different opinions about how a criminal should be disciplined in the court of law, but there is no one right or correct answer. Although, 80% of Americans are for the death penalty. Presently, thirty-eight states have the death penalty, but is the concept of "a life for a life" the best way to castigate a criminal? Of the thirteen states that do not have the death penalty, is crime more likely to occur there than in states that have the death penalty? (The Economist, April 1, 1995, p. 19) Have there been criminals wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death row? Does the death…show more content…
Also, the death penalty rarely discourages murderers who plan to kill because they do not believe that they will be caught. Humans are errable. Mistakes are made in trying capital cases very often and can and have taken innocent lives. A recent study showed that 350 people who were convicted of crimes for which they could have been put to death for, were later found to be inculpable. Tragically, twenty-three were executed wrongly. Some find that the death penalty discriminates against the minorities and the poor and is not administrated fairly. Approximately 20,000 murders are committed each year, but only one out of a hundred convicted murderers are sentenced to death. Almost half of those sentenced to die are black and 84% of those were convicted of killing a white. Furthermore, more than 90% of the inmates currently on death row were too poor to hire a lawyer to represent them at their trial. People are being executed not because of the heinousness of their crimes, but because of the incompetence of their lawyers. (Scholastic Update, p. 13-16 and prodigy) The American Civil Liberties Union believes that capital punishment is an intolerable denial of civil liberties. They feel that the death penalty essentially violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantee of due process of law and the equal protection of the laws. The state should not take unto itself the
Open Document