Captial Punishment Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1056 words and 5 pages.

Captial Punishment

through each and every death row inmate a thousand times a day; But should it? Capital
punishment is one of the most controversial topics among Americans today. Since every
person has there own opinion on this topic, either for or against, the question always
raised is "Is it morally right." The number of problems with the death penalty are
enormous, ranging from innocence to racism, and these problems will never be resolved
unless the death penalty is abolished.


The problems with capital punishment stem as far back as the ritual itself. The number of
occurrence on why the death penalty is racist is uncountable. A 1990 report released by
the federal government's General Accounting Office found a "pattern of evidence indicating
racial disparities in the charging, sentencing and imposition of the death penalty after
the Furman decision." Professor David Baldus examined sentencing patterns in Georgia in
the 1970's. After reviewing over 2,500 homicide cases in that state, controlling for 230
non-racial factors, he concluded that a person accused of killing a white was 4.3 times
more likely to be sentenced to death than a person accused of killing a black. The
Stanford Law Review published a study that found similar patterns of racial dispair, based
on the race of the victim, in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, North
Carolina, Oklahoma and Virginia. For example, in Arkansas findings showed that defendants
in a case involving a white victim are three-and-a-half times more likely to be sentenced
to death; in Illinois, four times; in North Carolina, 4.4 times, and in Mississippi five
times more likely to be sentenced to death than defendants convicted of murdering blacks.


There is also the issue of Capital Punishment being a deterrent. But does the death
penalty really deter crime? The death lobby wants you to believe the answer to that
question is "yes." But, in fact, it is a resounding "NO." Consider this...the US is the
only Western nation that still allows the death penalty, and we also have one of the
highest crime rates. During the 1980s, death penalty states averaged an annual rate of 7.5
criminal homicides per 100,000, while abolition states averaged a rate of 7.4 per 100,000.
That means murder was actually more common in states that use the death penalty. Also
consider this...in a nationwide survey of police chiefs and sheriffs, capital punishment
was ranked last as a way of reducing violent crime. Only twenty-six percent thought that
the death penalty significantly reduces the number of homicides. The theory behind the
deterrence doctrine is flawed itself. Murderers do not examine risk/reward charts before
they kill someone. Being a criminal is inherently irrational...life imprisonment ought to
deter a rational person itself. Besides, no criminal commits a crime if he believes he
will be caught.


The next issue that deserves some observation is that of Capital punishment being
economically correct, meaning will it save the U.S. and its taxpayers money. "The death
penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life
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