Capital Punishment4




Capital punishment was established in this country many years ago to punish those

members of society which have committed horrendous crimes against fellow citizens and in a

way to give the family of the victims a sense of peace. Various forms of capital and corporal

punishment exist around the world and in most cases are very closely related to the religion of

the nation. I believe that capital punishment is an atrocious institution and should only be used in

those very few cases where rehabilitation is not an option because it does not help the criminal

become a member of society. It should be used only for those who kill just for the act of killing

and for no other reason. The killer must be proved guilty beyond a doubt for this punishment to

be used, and many times we find people on death row who are totally innocent of the crimes

which have sent them to their deaths. Something is wrong with the justice system and it should

be changed.

Around the country there is a serious deficit in funds for our schools and courts which

obviously shows in the crimes rates around the nation. Lack of funds at schools, leads to kids

finding a way of living on the streets, by stealing, dealing drugs, and sometimes killing. Lack of

funds in the justice system gives us another problem. Many people who are innocent are sent to

jail for years suffering for a crime they did not commit, and in the worst cases they are sent to

their deaths. The law of this country is that everyone will receive fair and equal representation.

Now, when someone is suspected of committing a crime, they are assigned a lawyer so that they

may have their voice heard in front of the judge and jury and tried fairly. Is it fair that most of

these lawyers works over a thousand hours and in most cases get paid only around two dollars?

What kind of lawyer would work for this amount of money? The justice system is so poorly

funded that it has no choice but to hire lawyers fresh out of college, or lawyers who can get no

other case because of reputation, and throw them into the system to defend a poor guy with no

other means of representation. Is it fair that the poor get such bad representation while the rich

may get away with crimes simply because they can afford to pay for the best lawyers? Certainly

not. To illustrate this point we must look at the case of Antonio James. He has been on death row

at Angola Prison for nearly twenty years waiting for the death when he will walk down the

hallway and enter the death chamber. His death sentence had been previously postponed

fourteen times and he was up for the next walk to the chamber. Mr. James had been in trouble

the law as a young child growing up in the ghettoes of the south, but one day he was with the

wrong guy and totally not in the control of the situation. Shots were fired and in the end, two

people were killed, one two separate occasions. Antonio and two other men were arrested and

tried for the robberies and murders but only Antonio went to jail for any significant time and was

sentenced to death. His partners in crime walked out almost free because they testified that

Antonio was the gunman on both occasions. Antonio went to jail and years later he got a new

lawyer, who discovered evidence that Antonio had not committed the murders. This kept

Antonio alive for years until he was finally put to death. We then look at the case of O.J.

Simpson. Simpson, also African-American, was a popular football star. One day his ex-wife and

her friend were murdered just outside of her home. Later Simpson was placed as the only suspect

and he gave the police and the American public plenty of evidence that he was guilty of the

crime. Simpson was found innocent despite the substantial evidence against him, but only

because he could afford the best lawyers that could be bought. So what are the differences in the

two cases? Both men were tried for murder, and both men were