Capital Punishment- Who are we to take a life?

Essay by illicitHigh School, 11th gradeB+, June 2006

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

In the United States there have been many hangings during the Salem Witch trials, and as years went by capital punishment was less horrid and somewhat more "humane" compared to in the past. Although it is less gruesome, capital punishment is not an effective form of punishment and therefore it should be removed from the justice system. Out of the many factors that play a role in capital punishment and why it is ineffective, innocence, deterrence, and cost are a few.

Innocence plays an important role in capital punishment, it makes capital punishment ineffective because occasionally the justice system can be incorrect and an innocent person can be put to death. Then later on it is determined due to DNA testing that it was in fact, someone else who had committed the crime and an innocent person had lost their life for no mistake of their own.

"Study finds three-fourths of Americans believe an innocent person has been executed in the last five years weakening support for the death penalty especially among African-Americans."

(New Release, Study Finals Three-fourths of Americans Belive-Pg.1)

Only 68.6% of respondents supported the death penalty among those who believed any innocent person was executed versus support of 86.9% of the respondents who did not believe any innocent people were executed. "New Release, Study Finals Three-fourths of Americans Belive-Pg.2"

The number of innocent defendants released from death row has increased in recent years. Between 1973 and October 1993, averages of 2.75 innocent defendants were released. Since then the average has increased to 5 releases per year. "New Release, Study Finals Three-fourths of Americans Belive-Pg.2"

Instead of using millions of dollars on capital punishment, the money could be put to better use, for example medical matters, helping homeless and other issues with the public and economy.

John M.