The Death Penalty Should Not Be Applied

975 WordsOct 16, 20154 Pages
In 1972, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional, removing over 600 prisoners from death row. The justices described the application of the death penalty as arbitrarily, random, and discriminatory. Justice Potter Stewart remarked that the death penalty like being “struck by lightning” and that “if society 's ultimate punishment cannot be applied fairly, it should not be applied at all” ¹. Of the 22,000 homicides committed every year, less than 100 people are sentenced to death, and politics, the quality of legal counsel, and where the crime was committed are often more determining factors than the crime itself ². The race of the victim has also been found to influence the likelihood of receiving the death penalty even today. Despite all these reasons, in 1978 the United States Supreme Court declared that the death penalty would no longer violate the Constitution under a two-stage trial system even though it made no real changes. Capital punishment today is an offense just as immoral, arbitrary, and illogical as it was and has been since the beginning of time. Imagine being convicted of a crime that you did not commit. Now imagine being sentenced to death for that crime. Just how frequently is an innocent person convicted and sentenced to death? The answer is not simple. Since 1973, there has been a total of 156 exonerations in America that have released prisoners from death row due to evidence suggesting their innocence³. These
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