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Cessation of Life: Who are we to choose?- A look into the Death Penalty

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The topic of capital punishment is a hot one. Human beings are capable of doing some monstrous things. For a victim of a heinous crime, sometimes the only justice seems to be an eye for an eye. And most of the time those victims look to our court systems to provide that justice. But is death the answer? I believe that with human fallibility and the fallibility of our court system as variables, that a sentence that cannot be overturned should not be passed down in any case, especially when that sentence is as irreversible as death. In an editorial from USA Today found on deathpenaltyinfo.org, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is quoted as saying, “If statistics are any indication, the system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed” (England). The author goes on to say that O’Connor’s statement is supported by “increasingly disturbing data” and gives us some statistics to chew on. The most disturbing: Roughly two-thirds of all capital convictions are overturned on appeal. The problem lies in the fact that attorneys are not available to all defendants, and the public defender’s office is swamped to the point of no return, making them less efficient on each case. How many innocent men have fallen through the cracks? Maggie Clark goes one step further in her article on USAToday.com by giving us statistics of all wrongful convictions, capital or otherwise. “Since 1989, 1241 people have been wrongly convicted and later cleared of all charges based on
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