Death Penalty

Decent Essays
English 1101
27 November 2012

The death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1977, and since then murderers and rapist have been executed for the violent and harsh crimes they were found guilty of committing. In the past thirty years over 1,200 prisoners have been put to death for crimes in which they were convicted. The government of each state executes these prisoners by way of the electric chair, gas chamber, and the most common way lethal injection. A survey, from the Death Penalty Information Center, shows that over half of the citizens in the United States support the death sentence. Some supporter of the death penalty may even believe that sparing the guilty shows them mercy and the victims’ families no justice. If
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The Death Penalty Information Center reports that “in Louisiana, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those whose victims was white than for those whose victims was black.” A study in California found that those who killed whites were over three times more likely to put to death than those who killed blacks and over 4 times more than those who killed Latinos (The Death Penalty Information Center). The pie chart below provided by Amnesty international USA displays the race of the victim in each execution case since 1977.
The information displays that the race of the victim determines if the death sentence will be enforced. Although the three previous reasons are great reasons we should abolish the death penalty, none are greater than an innocent person could be executed. Since capital punishment was reinstated in 1977, over 120 people have been exonerated from the death row because they were found innocent of the crime they were once found guilty of committing. Therefore, how many mistakes have been made by the capital punishment system? Alexis Stodghill reports that Professor James Stodghill from Columbia University found in an execution study that 82% of death row inmates did not deserve the death penalty and one in twenty is later found not guilty.
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