Death Penalty

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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DEATH PENALTY There are those who believe that Capital Punishment is wrong, because innocent people die in the process. Yet the evil likes of Jeffrey Dahmer get life sentences instead of the death penalty.

When their crimes are so vividly horrific and brutal.

I grew up in a country were the death penalty is greeted with open arms, not because we love to see people die, but common sense tells us that when you take an innocent life intentionally. Yours should also be taken. I notice some people drop their jaws when I support capital punishment with such simplicity, but it is the only way you can punish murderers.

Most of those who oppose the death penalty, want to preserve life no matter what the circumstances are than to protect the innocently accused one. For instance, on October 1977 a seventeen-year-old by the name James Terry Roach with a history of juvenile crime already behind, escaped from a reform school.

He got together with another juvenile about his age an and older man who supplied the youth with alcohol and drugs.

All three were high while driving down a South Carolina road when they came upon a parked car with people in it. Roach pulled out his gun and shot the man behind the wheel three times in the head. Then pulled the man's fourteen-year-old daughter out of the car and he and his two companions gang raped her. She, too, was killed.

After the three were arrested there was evidence that he may have been in the early stages of a Huntington's desease at the time he committed the crime. The jury did not accept those factors as an excuse for his crime. They felt that his total disregard for human life more than outweighed any mitigating circumstances. Therefore found overwhelming legal justification for a sentence of death and impose it.

Although the general public approved the sentence, there were appeals for mercy. Among those who asked South Carolina Governor Richard W Riley to spare Roach were United Nations Secretary General Javier Peres de Cuellar, former United States President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Price winning humanitarian Mother Teresa. But the governor refused.

He was executed on January 10th 1986; his last words were " I pray that my fate will someday save another kid from the wrong side of the tracks". It is a shame that such dignitaries could appeal for such a cold-blooded killer and rapist simply because he had an ailment. What about the victim's loved ones who suffered a deep personal loss. Sitting in that courtroom but only to hear the details of the torture and pain suffered by there loved ones caused by the very same person infront of them.

I can tell you that anyone, who argues that capital punishment should be discontinued, would change their mind if at the comfort of their home their wives and children are subjected to the rape and murder that the victims have suffered.

In some cases death penalty fails due to lack of decent rapresentation and flaws in the court system that carry these sentences. Far too many poor and minority people end up on death row, not simply because they are guilty, but the fact that they did not have a proper representation.

An example if the murder trial of Robert Wayne Williams in Louisiana. An all-white jury tried Williams, a black man. He was convicted, sentenced to die, and finally put to death in the electric chair in December 1983. His court appointed lawyer had spent a total of only eight hours preparing his defense.

There is little doubt that poor people are more likely to fall victim to the death penalty than rich people.

Philadelphia Judge Lois Forer wrote: " the legal system is divided into two separate and unequal systems of justice: one for the rich, in which the course take limitless time to examine, ponder, consider, and deliberate… and hear elaborate, endless appeals… the other for the poor, in which hasty guilty pleas and brief hearings are the rule, and appeals are the exception." Another reason for this is double standard for which the bias prosecutors in seeking the death penalty. There is evidence that they are much more to do so in cases where the victim is white and the accused is black than vise versa.

Even more terrible was the case of Shabaka Waglini. He came within thirteen hours of being put to death by the state of Florida. That is how close it was when an appeals court finally accepted new evidence showing that the prosecutor at his original had hidden the fact that the murder bullet had not been fired from Mr Waglini's gun. He has also persuaded the only witness against Waglini to lie at his trial in exchange for a reduced sentence for another crime.

These are only a friction of the injustices done to the poor and minorities not to mention the biased and corrupt law enforcement officers who abuse their power and plant evidence.

Therefore goverenment should provide more support for these helpless victims and make sure that the people responsible suffer a great deal on consequences.

We can't simply say no to death penalty, when evil driven criminals are committing an unspeakable crimes to their fellow humans. Especially when such crimes are calculated cold-blooded.

Most cases death penalty works, but we need to not rush into judgments and look closely in those cases that the guilt of the accused are questionable. That is why we need to further investigate in all that are involved including the authority.