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The Death Penalty Is Wrong

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The death penalty is absolutely outrageous. There is no real reason that the government should feel that it has the right to execute people. Capital punishment is murder just as much as the people being executed murdered. The is no need for the death penalty and it needs to be abolished. It goes against the Constitution which states that there will be no cruel and unusual punishment. There is nothing crueler than killing a person.

A perfect example of the death penalty going awry is the state of Illinois. Former governor George Ryan has put a stay on all executions. This came as a result of finding thirteen death row inmates not guilty of their convicted crimes. Also, by staying executions, Illinois is not spending the three hundred million dollars to almost three hundred men and women to death row in the past twenty two years (Ryan 14). That is a ridiculous amount of money to send only three hundred to death row, making it approximately one million dollars a person. Those people make up only two percent of all convicted murders in Illinois (Ryan 14). This leaves ninety eight percent of killers in jail. Why are only three hundred people acceptable to kill when the other ninety eight percent are not? In New York as well, prosecutors have only sought capital punishment in twelve out of one hundred ninety eight possible cases. They have found that the penalty of life without the chance of parole works well, and have come to prefer it (Shipp).

Without the philosophy of life without parole, inmates who are tried for the death penalty are tried unfairly. In the year 2000 in Illinois, eight out of ten inmates sentenced to capital punishment were minorities (Mendieta).

"Minority inmates constitute 83% of those who have thus far been shown to be wrongfully convicted." One study has shown that people who murdered white people were found more likely to be sentenced to death than people who have murdered African Americans (The Death Penalty is Wrong. Dead Wrong).

"Between 1930 and 1990, 4,016 persons were executed in the United States. Of these, 2,129(or 53 percent) were black" (Bedau). But race is still not the only discrimination. "During the 1980s and aerially 1990s, only about 1 percent of all those on death row were women, even though women commit about 15 percent of all criminal homicides" (Bedau).

Discrimination is increasingly less if money is a factor. Chances are that one will not get convicted for the death penalty. "...Associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said: "I have yet to see a death which the defendant was well-represented at trial" (Shipp). The same if they have money goes if the prisoner has information for the government, or is a member of the mob. If the murderer was smart enough to travel to a country that opposes capital punishment, the government would most likely reduce that person's sentence to life without the possibility of parole to bring them back to the United States (Shipp).

Many people who are supporters of the death penalty say that it's a successful deterrent. But this isn't true because the death penalty is administered very inconsistently and arbitrarily. "Only a small proportion of first-degree murders is sentenced to death, and even fewer are executed" (Bedau). There are also several states that have a lower criminal rate without using capital punishment. For example Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan all get along just fine without the use of the death penalty. Also "...all other Western industrial countries get along quite well without killing their citizens" (Ryan). There are many judges that are against the use of capital punishment as well.

"A federal judge in Vermont has become the second magistrate in two months to say the current national death penalty law is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge William Sessions ruled in Vermont that the federal Death Penalty Act does too little to ensure that the fights of defendants in death-penalty cases are safeguarded" (Second Judge Rules Against Death Penalty).

Richard Dieter, who is the director of the Death Penalty Information Center, has said that there is still a great



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