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Research Paper

  1. 1. Death Penalty – A Justice in Disguise?<br />Criminal laws are created to punish the offenders who have broken laws and to prevent them from committing the crimes again. It is a method in which our society uses to condemn the wrong doings, to prevent future occurrences from those criminals and to warn other people who attempt to break the laws. In the process, accused persons have an opportunity to defend themselves in fair trials before being sentenced to the jail terms, depending on the seriousness of the crime. If they have been proven innocent, they are to be set free. Therefore, when someone is guilty for a crime, it is acceptable that he or she receives their punishments. However, 37 states in the United States of America, such as Texas and Virginia, impose punishments to the extreme that would lead to a loss of a criminal’s life. (Almonte). In contrast, other states reject the idea of this kind of judgment as being inhumane and unjust. By “eliminating” someone’s life, it is an admittance that the correctional system has been proven fruitless and criminals can never be rejuvenated. The death penalty is an unjustified mean of punishment, as the investigating process is unfair, fallible and disrespectful to humans and their rights. Therefore, it should be abolished everywhere in the United States. <br />In some communities, the process of charging someone with a death penalty is a result of an ultimate discrimination against blacks. In Texas, the death penalty is often distributed unfairly to African-Americans. When a murdering charge is against an African-American, he or she has a higher chance of receiving the death penalty than murderers from other races do. (Grottfield). Although African-Americans represent only 12% of the United States population, 48% of the nation’s death row comprises of black Americans (Day). This means that while other races are given long jail terms, blacks are more likely to be given the death sentence. According to the Amnesty International, blacks who kill whites are five times more likely to be put on death row as whites who kill blacks. In Maryland, while the majority of the murder victims are black, surprisingly, twelve out of thirteen men who are currently on death row were convicted of killing whites (Amnesty International). This undeniably displays the fact that the process of the death penalty is frequently in favor of the whites. Since 98% of the United States chief district attorneys are white, it is highly questionable whether or not the present judicial system sympathizes the white murders and victims. <br />The death penalty constitutes high risks of sentencing innocent people as mistakes are inherent in the system. It is a process in which one wrong decision can irreversibly take away an innocent person’s life. Within the last century, at least twenty-five people who were executed were later found innocent (Almonte). Nothing can be done to ensure that conclusion is always right, and once a wrong decision is carried out, nobody can bring back the loss of life. Justice Moses Harrison II of Illinois State Supreme Court said that “[There are still] many frauds within the system. Innocent people are being executed…If this is the best we can do, we have no business sending people to their deaths.”(Day). Shockingly, today, many innocent people are in the final stage of getting the death penalty. In New York City, Tommy Morrison was accused and put on a death row for murder that he insisted he did not commit. Shortly before his execution, the police arrested another man whom confessed that he was the real murder. With the confession, Morrison wa<br />s freed (Grottfield). This case shows how an innocent man could come so close to the fate he is not responsible for. Governor George Ryan of Illinois in 2000 pronounces that “I cannot support a system which, in its administration, has proven so many frauds with error and has come so close to the ultimate nightmare…until I can be sure with the moral certainty…no one shall meet the fate.” Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence to prove one is guilty, many innocent people are constantly killed for the guilt they have never carried out. <br />The practice of the death penalty contradicts with the morals and violates the rights a man processes. Death penalty is a form of killing, and it should never be accepted in any civilized society. According to the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in 2000, “We [human beings] cannot overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore innocent lives by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders”. The conference concluded that no man, including the government, has the right to end a person’s life under any circumstances. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that every person has an equal right to live, and according to the Bill of Rights under the United States Constitution, every US citizen has the right to stay safe from the “cruel and unusual punishments”. Roy Persons, the husband of a dead victim, says that by putting people to death sentences, it sends the message of revenge, which would only “reinforce and perpetuate feelings of vengeance, hate and further human evil.” (Day). As a result, this process will not lead to a prevention of further killings, but will only lead to an acceptance of it. Why does the government kill people when they are trying to show that killing is illegal? These ruthless acts challenge the ethical beliefs in every man’s hearts.<br />The approval of the process of the death penalty reflects the unfairness and unreliability of human society. We are putting our fellow men to death just because we think they deserve it and who are we to do so? Does anyone really deserve to die as a result of another person’s decision? It has become obvious that whether or not you get a death penalty depends on who you are, not what you do. If so, is this what we really call justice? Death penalty still remains a common practice in several places around the world. In the 2007, at least 1,252 people were executed in 24 countries. This is only a minimum figure; the true number is certainly higher. In the United States alone, 350 men received death penalty in the past five years. (Amnesty International). How can we accept such inhumane act? Our society has to retreat from the “eye for an eye” revenge mentality if our civilization is to advance, and this means the process of death penalty is to be abolished everywhere in the United States of America. <br />