The death penalty also known as “Capital punishment” has been around for decades and has been used throughout the years against people who have been convicted of committing horrendous crimes such as first-degree murder. Almost all countries in the world have the death penalty or have had it at one point, but most nations have since abolished the practice of the death penalty because it is inhumane and violates human rights. The united states of America is one of many countries that still practices the death penalty to this day and it continues to be a hot button issue of controversy among its citizens. Most Americans have a very strong point of view when it comes to the death penalty, no matter which side of the debate they belong too. Supporters of the punishment reason that it serves as a tool to deter crime, preserve the law, it is inexpensive than life imprisonment and that justice is being served to the victims. Capital punishment may sound like a great idea, but do you know that it is legal in at least 31 states as of today. The killing of a law breaker is something that is authorized by the government and is very wrong. The death penalty is a cruel, unnecessary, disgraceful punishment and should be eliminated because it does not deter crime, places innocent lives at risk and
One of the many reasons people approve of the death penalty is because they believe that it is a beneficial factor that helps to decrease the rates of homicide by deterring criminals from committing crimes, but this is not always the case. According to a study done by Amnesty International “There is no evidence that capital punishment has a greater deterrent on crime than terms of imprisonment” and many reputable criminologists have reported the same conclusions. Our country does not need this harsh punishment to stop crimes and it does not make our society a safer place if we kill people for breaking the law. For a society that denounces violence, executing criminals on death row sends a message approving of violence to its people and that there is no wrong doing in seeking revenge to those who have hurt you.
Secondly, the problem with the death penalty is that it promotes racism and discrimination. Many individuals who are likely to be placed on the death row or to be executed are poor, minorities or people who belong to certain racial, ethnic or religious groups because of the blatant prejudice that is within our justice system. For example, a person of color is more likely to be executed for the same or similar crimes to that of a white defendant which is injustice at its peak for a nation that pledges justice for all. These same individuals are also faced with difficulties to access legal resources they may need to defend themselves in court. since the majority of convicted defendants come from underrepresented communities and unfortunate family backgrounds they are unable to afford good legal representation so they are forced to resort to use underpaid, inexperienced and overworked state appointed attorneys. When it comes to the death penalty I believe that it is applied in a racially biased approach. This unfairness extends not only to the race of the accused singled out for death row but also to the race of the victim. It is disgusting to know that when deciding on who gets the death sentence the color of the defendant and victim plays a crucial and intolerable role in the U.S justice system. According to a study done by general accounting office(GAO)in the 90s they found that for homicides committed under otherwise similar circumstances, and where defendants had similar criminal histories, a defendant was several times more likely to receive the death penalty if the victim was white than if his victim was a person of color. In the year of 2000, the department of justice also did a study on death penalty prosecutions which revealed that U.S. Attorneys recommended the death penalty in 36 % of the cases with black defendants and non-black victims, but only recommended the death penalty in 20 % of the cases with black defendants and black victims. This just explains how the justice system values lives of minorities less than that of their white counterparts and how they want people of color to fight against each other.