The Death Penalty

April 5, 2018
By , Olympia, WA

Did you know that the United states is the only “G7” country that still allows the death penalty as punishment? Since 1977, 141 countries have abolished the death penalty. Why haven't we? The death penalty is an inhumane act of punishment and should be completely abolished in the 31 states in the U.S that still practice it.


The death penalty puts innocent lives at risk, in the United States in 1976, 138 innocent men and women have been released from death row, and some of these people were within minutes of there execution. And these are the happy cases, imagine the devastation of a family who find out there mother, father, sister, or brother was innocent, only after they have been executed. Executing innocent people as some sort of justice gone wrong is not morally acceptable. It isn’t a risk we should not have to take.


A particularly scary case reminds us all of the risk behind the death penalty and why it isn't worth risking innocent lives. A seventeen year old boy was put on death row wrongly. “As a teenager on death row, I often had nightmares of my own execution. Even though I was innocent, death seemed very close to me, and my mind would light up with images of my being strapped to a gurney, the sound of poison coming from a machine and being pushed through my veins.” Though this man was released and was never executed he did spend four years on death row and could have been unjustly executed for a crime he didn't commit.


In an article I read the ACLU or American Civil Liberties Union says this “The death penalty system in the US is applied in an unfair and unjust manner against people, largely dependent on how much money they have, the skill of their attorneys, race of the victim and where the crime took place.  People of color are far more likely to be executed than white people, especially if the victim is white.” These biases should be enough to abolish the death penalty, knowing that people's lives are dependant more on skin color, social economic class and who there lawyers are then the crime they commit.


In another article I read by The Guardian I found some statistics that might help me turn your head in my direction, “ At least 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US in the modern era are innocent, according to the first major study to attempt to calculate how often states get it wrong in their wielding of the ultimate punishment.”


However despite my claims there are a couple reasons the United States has kept the death penalty around for so long. One of these reasons is that in the constitution it states the application for death penalty is allowed. Those in favor of the death penalty often state that the death penalty is the only “moral” punishment for some crimes.
Abolishing the death penalty should be abolished in the United states completely, we want a country built on respect not fear. On top of that we want a country that spends our money wisely, it costs on average around three million dollars for a single execution, which is around 1.9 million dollars less than a non death penalty case. By all means punish crime based on the extremity of the crime, however death should never considered a reasonable punishment for any crime. Whose hands are we putting these decisions in? Who are we letting decide who gets killed and who doesn't? Whos to say the death penalty isn't murder?


This law will not be passed by just writing essays, if you support my claim that the death penalty should be abolished and you believe that the act of killing someone because it is a “moral” way to punish someone, is wrong then you should take action. Write to senate and to state, vote against it when you are able to and make others aware of the injustice of lawful murder that goes on in our country.






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