The Death Penalty is Wrong

This essay has a total of 1095 words and 6 pages.

The Death Penalty is Wrong

The death penalty is absolutely outrageous. There is no real reason that the government
should feel that it has the right to execute people. Capital punishment is murder just as
much as the people being executed murdered. The is no need for the death penalty and it
needs to be abolished. It goes against the Constitution which states that there will be no
cruel and unusual punishment. There is nothing crueler than killing a person.

A perfect example of the death penalty going awry is the state of Illinois. Former
governor George Ryan has put a stay on all executions. This came as a result of finding
thirteen death row inmates not guilty of their convicted crimes. Also, by staying
executions, Illinois is not spending the three hundred million dollars to almost three
hundred men and women to death row in the past twenty two years (Ryan 14). That is a
ridiculous amount of money to send only three hundred to death row, making it
approximately one million dollars a person. Those people make up only two percent of all
convicted murders in Illinois (Ryan 14). This leaves ninety eight percent of killers in
jail. Why are only three hundred people acceptable to kill when the other ninety eight
percent are not? In New York as well, prosecutors have only sought capital punishment in
twelve out of one hundred ninety eight possible cases. They have found that the penalty of
life without the chance of parole works well, and have come to prefer it (Shipp).

Without the philosophy of life without parole, inmates who are tried for the death penalty
are tried unfairly. In the year 2000 in Illinois, eight out of ten inmates sentenced to
capital punishment were minorities (Mendieta).

"Minority inmates constitute 83% of those who have thus far been shown to be wrongfully
convicted." One study has shown that people who murdered white people were found more
likely to be sentenced to death than people who have murdered African Americans (The Death
Penalty is Wrong. Dead Wrong).

"Between 1930 and 1990, 4,016 persons were executed in the United States. Of these,
2,129(or 53 percent) were black" (Bedau). But race is still not the only discrimination.
"During the 1980s and aerially 1990s, only about 1 percent of all those on death row were
women, even though women commit about 15 percent of all criminal homicides" (Bedau).

Discrimination is increasingly less if money is a factor. Chances are that one will not
get convicted for the death penalty. "…Associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said: "I
have yet to see a death case…in which the defendant was well-represented at trial"
(Shipp). The same if they have money goes if the prisoner has information for the
government, or is a member of the mob. If the murderer was smart enough to travel to a
country that opposes capital punishment, the government would most likely reduce that
person's sentence to life without the possibility of parole to bring them back to the
United States (Shipp).

Many people who are supporters of the death penalty say that it's a successful deterrent.
But this isn't true because the death penalty is administered very inconsistently and
arbitrarily. "Only a small proportion of first-degree murders is sentenced to death, and
even fewer are executed" (Bedau). There are also several states that have a lower criminal
rate without using capital punishment. For example Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan all get
along just fine without the use of the death penalty. Also "…all other Western
industrial countries get along quite well without killing their citizens" (Ryan). There
are many judges that are against the use of capital punishment as well.

"A federal judge in Vermont has become the second magistrate in two months to say the
current national death penalty law is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge William
Sessions ruled in Vermont that the federal Death Penalty Act does too little to ensure
that the fights of defendants in death-penalty cases are safeguarded" (Second Judge Rules
Against Death Penalty).

Richard Dieter, who is the director of the Death Penalty Information Center, has said that
there is still a great amount of unsettlement, especially after September 11th, about our
death penalty (Willing).

Another popular argument about capital punishment is that it offers closure for the
victim's family. For many families this just simply isn't true. Katie Lowenstein, the
daughter of a murder victim, agrees. "The idea that the execution of the murderer will
heal the crimes is false. Nothing is going to bring my father back" (Mendieta). There are
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