Why Is Capital Punishment Wrong

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Capital Punishment is State Sanctioned Murder

Old Sparky and Gruesome Gertie (affectionate names for the electric chair) have taken the lives of many, even the innocent (Finnerty 18). They are prejudiced and lack compassion. However, many Americans believe that they represent justice. Capital punishment does not represent justice, but vengeance and hate. Among the 7,000 people estimated to have been killed in the United States between 1900 and 1985, at least 23 were innocent (Finnerty 18). In at least 8 of 261 executions performed since 1976, something went wrong; for example, the executioner couldn't find a good vein, or the first jolt of electricity failed to do the trick (Finnerty 18). An innocent person, let alone 23 that …show more content…

They might argue that if someone does not prove their innocence in the first trial, then they are guilty. After all, we have a perfect judicial system, right? That is wrong! We do not have a perfect judicial system. According to a 1987 Stanford Law Review study, between 1900 and 1985 at least 23 innocent people were convicted and executed for crimes that they never committed (Dority 37). Barbara Dority said, "Until human judgment becomes infallible, this problem is reason enough to abolish the death penalty at the hands of a state more dedicated to vengeance than to truth and justice" (Dority 37). We are talking about 23 innocent lives that were taken away. What if one of those lives was your brother's, father's, mother's, or even yours? Would you then change your opinion on capital punishment?

Apart from just ordinary people who are killed, capital punishment is practiced on those who are mentally retarded. In 1989 the Supreme Court upheld state executions of the mentally retarded, and since then at least four mentally retarded people have been killed. Also, at least 10 percent of death-row inmates in the United States are mentally retarded (Dority 37). We are choosing to kill people who don't even fully comprehend what they did. These people should be in hospitals, but we are waiting for the first chance to ravage their bodies with jolts of electricity.

Capital punishment is very immoral.

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