Is Capital Punishment Necessary? Essay

1174 Words5 Pages
Is Capital Punishment Necessary?

In 1980 Clarence Brandly, a black high school janitor, and his white co-worker found the body of a white female student. As the police interrogated them, the officers told them, "One of you is going to hang for this." As he was looking at Brandly, the officer said, "Since you're the nigger, you're elected." Brandly was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. The evidence against him was weak and the police disregarded other leads. In 1986, a volunteer group devoted to freeing wrongly convicted prisoners came to Brandly's assistance. Meanwhile evidence surfaced that another man had committed the crime that Brandly was convicted for. He wasn't released until 1990
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This is the smallest percentage in 25 years. This survey also found that 94% of Americans believe that innocent people are convicted of murder and of those surveyed; they believe that 12% of those convicted are innocent. (

One of the major reasons suport of capital punishment is declining is discrimination. There is an excessive amount of discrimination of African Americans and the poor in the court systems. For example the story of Clarence Brandly, there was uncalled for discrimination both in the courtroom and with the police because he was black. Our county's death row prisoners have always had disproportionate numbers of African Americans, considering that they represent about 12% of the population. Between the years of 1930 and 1996, 4,220 prisoners were executed in the United States. Of those executed, over half of them were black. Over the last century, blacks were often executed for what was considered less-than-capital crimes for whites, such as rape and burglary. In 36 years, 455 men were executed for rape. Out of those 455 men 405-90 percent- were black.

In our society, racial minorities are excessively poor compared to whites. Approximately 90% of those on death row could not afford to hire a lawyer when they were needed and therefore receive inadequate representation. The wealthy can afford the best lawyers and therefore either get a lesser penalty or get
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