One of the first established death penalty laws go back as far as the Eighteenth Century and during some time, death was the punishment for all crimes. The death penalty is a very controversial topic and is a punishment of execution due to a crime a convicted person has committed. There are many reasons why the Death Penalty should not be supported and ways to help stop it.
It doesn’t happen only in the United States, but also all across the world. Of course everyone wants justice but it’s difficult to determine whether the death penalty is or is not necessary. Many say the accused should be executed to pay for their crimes because they don’t deserve to live, be fed and taken care of in while behind bars. It becomes personal when the families and friends of the victim or victims, want the accuser to go on death row because “they don’t deserve to live” and it could put their mind at peace in a way knowing the accuser won’t be violent to others and continue their crimes.
According to the “Persuasion and Resistance: Race and the Death Penalty in America”, white people say the criminal justice system is fair and African Americans deserve to be treated more punitively and don’t see them as victims of discrimination. Especially in the United States, racism has been a large conflict and the reason for mass incarceration because of the criminal justice system being unfair.
The legalized killing is expensive on many levels. States that go through with the death penalty, end up spending three times or more money than on someone who is not sentenced to death, according to Vice News. In Oklahoma, the capital cost on average is 3.2 times more than non-capital cases based on the prepared studies done by Peter A. Collins and Matthew J. Hickman for the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission. According to “The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies”, a single death penalty trial can exhaust a country’s resources and instead of using that money to benefit the country like hiring more police officers and creating more rehablitation programs, the politicians worry about appearing on the soft side on crime. A study in California revealed that the value of the death sentence has been over 4 billion dollars since 1978. There were other cost involved as well. “Study considered pre-trial and trial costs, costs of automatic appeals and state habeas corpus petitions, costs of federal habeas corpus appeals, and costs of incarceration on death row” (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2011). In Florida, enforcing the execution costs the state $51 million a year which is way over the cost to punish all first-degree murderers with life in prison without parole. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, based on the 44 Judicial executions the state of Florida had proceeded with since 1976, each execution came to a total of $24 million.
No government should have the power of life or death over people. As time goes by, countries are taking into consideration on making a change in this situation. According to Amnesty International, 106 countries had completely abolished the death penalty at the end of last year. Although people may say it is what the criminals deserve, death as punishment, it’s considered to be inhumane because killing someone, even in the name of law, is murder and a wrong act. In the Journal of “Criminal Law and Criminology” published by Professor Michael Radelet, 88% of the country’s top criminologists believe having the death penalty won’t make crime rates go down.
A good amount of mentally disabled inmates were sociopaths. The others were psychopaths. The difference between sociopath and psychopath is that sociopaths are made and psychopaths are born. In the brain of a psychopath, the gene MOA-A, affects amygdala which is a part of the brain involved with emotion and learning. People with a low MOA-A activity, don’t experience normal brain development so they don’t learn what is correct and what isn’t. In 2002, the United States Supreme Court ruled that sentencing the mentally disabled on death row was unconstitutional. Does it also apply to psychopaths since their neurological biology is the reason they are a threat to society? There are psychopaths who know right from wrong. Those people are still capable of making the right choices. Psychopaths feel no remorse or guilt while sociopaths feel a little bit. When psychopaths are being tried by the lie detector, they’re capable of getting away with their lies. The nervous systems of psychopaths and sociopaths are different but they both lack empathy. One more than the other.
Death Penalty Center Information states “DeLuna maintained his innocence from the time of his arrest until his execution, claiming that the actual culprit was Carlos Hernandez, who looked so similar to DeLuna that friends and family had mistaken photos of the two men for each other. Prosecutors called Hernandez a “phantom” of DeLuna’s imagination, although Hernandez was known to police and prosecutors because of his history of violent crimes, armed robberies and an arrest for a murder similar to the one for which DeLuna was executed. Carlos DeLuna was executed in the state of Texas by lethal injection on December 7, 1989. These two cases are some of the strongest demonstrations against the death penalty. However, there have been cases where criminals have been freed from death row. 164 people have been freed from death row since 1973.Some people who were let go because of evidence of innocence from death row, were Wilbert Lee, Freddie Pitts, Earl Washington and Leroy Orange.
Getting this type of information across social media and having a credible background can help to get this message across thousands of people at a time. Joining to take a pledge with 90 million other Americans can make a difference as well. Getting together with “death penalty speakers” and setting goals to get signatures, helps to raise awareness.
Bedau, Hugo Adam, ed. The death penalty in America: Current controversies. Oxford University Press, 1998.
“INNOCENCE: New Evidence That Texas May Have Executed an Innocent Man.” Millions Misspent: What Politicians Don’t Say About the High Costs of the Death Penalty | Death Penalty Information Center, 6 Apr. 2016
Kozinski, Alex, and Sean Gallagher. “Death: The ultimate run-on sentence.” Case W. Res. L. Rev. 46 (1995): 1.Peffley, Mark, and Jon Hurwitz. “Persuasion and resistance: Race and the death penalty in America.” American Journal of Political Science 51.4 (2007): 996-1012