The Death Penalty, Right or Wrong? Essay example

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The Death Penalty, Right or Wrong? Fear of death discourages people from committing crimes. If capital punishment were carried out more it would prove to be the crime preventative it was partly intended to be. Most criminals would think twice before committing murder if they knew their own lives were at stake. As it turns out though very few people are executed and so the death penalty is not a satisfactory deterrent. Use of the death penalty as intended by law could actually reduce the number of violent murders by eliminating some of the repeat offenders. More timely enforcement of the death penalty would help to reduce the crime problem by instilling a sense of respect for the law in that sentences are more than words on a page.…show more content…
Washington DC and twelve states have no death penalty. They are: Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. (Demographics, 1996, pgs. 2-3) At the end of 2001, 37 prison systems had 3, 581 prisoners on death row. Fifty one of them were women. Between 1977 an 2001, 11% of the prisoners on death row were executed. (Capital Punishment 2001) But we must remember the death penalty is irrevocable. A prisoner discovered to be blameless can be freed; but neither release nor compensation is possible for a corpse. In 1992, Roger Keith Coleman was executed in Virginia despite widely publicized doubts Death Penalty 5 surrounding his guilt and evidence that pointed to another person as the murderer – evidence that was never submitted at his trial. Not until late in the appeal process did anyone take seriously the possibility that the state was about to kill an innocent man, and then efforts to delay or nullify his execution failed. Coleman's case was marked with many of the circumstances found in other cases where the defendant was eventually cleared. Were Coleman still incarcerated; his friends and attorneys would have a strong incentive to resolve

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