Capital Punishment : The Death Penalty Essay

Capital Punishment : The Death Penalty Essay

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Capital Punishment

According to the death penalty information center, there have been 1,414 executions since 1974. The death penalty is the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime (www.oxforddictionaries.com). The first recorded execution in the new colonies was 1608 in the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Captain George Kendall was executed ("Part I: History of the Death Penalty"). Seventeen people on death row have been found not guilty and released since 2010 ("Innocence Database"). Proponents believe that capital punishment deters crime while opponents say it can be unfair for some people who are mentally ill and because it can be racially biased.

People with a severe mental illness often only receive needed help after a tragedy, leaving victims ' families to wonder what, if anything, could have been done to prevent the crime in the first place. “I wish people who were ignorant like [I was before this happened] would understand that mental illness is an illness; people don 't [commit crimes] because they want to.” The victim’s families are forced to reason with the fact that the individual may be less than fully responsible for his or her doings. The focus on the families is to make sense of what happened. Putting mentally ill people to death doesn’t give the victim’s families peace. They just wish the crime could’ve been prevented instead. (“Mental Illness Should Be Exempt from the Death Penalty")

Recent studies have confirmed that the death penalty does save lives. The more executions there are, the lower the murder rate is. The rate is even lower when executions are quickly after sentencing. “Americans support capital punishment for two good reasons. First, there is little evide...


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...how a pattern of death penalty cases with similar racial circumstances. Anyone of any race could use statistics to get out of the death penalty. Since African Americans are a majority of federal prisoners on death row and a minority in the United States population, it could make some to conclude that the federal system discriminates against African Americans. ("Legislation Will Not Help Prevent Racial Bias in Death Penalty Convictions")

This is a very heavy topic that comes with a lot of debate. Proponents of capital punishment say that it deters crime while opponents say it can be unfair for many people like those who are mentally ill and because it can be racially biased. Since 1973, over 155 people have been exonerated from the death penalty and they could have easily lost their lives for something they didn’t do. ("Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row")

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