Argument Against The Death Penalty

1998 Words8 Pages
"The question with which we must deal is not whether a substantial proportion of American citizens, would today, if polled, opine that capital punishment is barbarously cruel, but whether they would find it to be so in light of all information presently available. -Justice Thurgood Marshall Family members of the wrongfully convicted, This letter is for everyone out there who has ever suffered. Anyone who has ever felt the infallibility of our criminal justice system. Anyone who believes that death is scary. And most of all… anyone who is humane. We are in the 21st century now. That means that we have had over 2000 years to realize that killing is inhumane and wrong. How is it that we can look back at the hangings that took place merely a few hundred years ago and see the merciless and appalling acts of beheading, and not learn from them? And in a predominately Christian country, we still cannot learn from the death of Christ. He was one of the first victims of the death penalty. After reviewing pertinent literature, I have written this essay in hope of letting those that have been hurt, know that there are people who care. And to show those who stand by indifferently, that 'miscarriages' of justice are acknowledged and cannot be ignored. In my opinion there are four factors (among the many) that are most significant in leading to the wrongful conviction of innocent people. These are, perjury by prosecution witnesses and mistaken eyewitness testimony, community bias and passion against vulnerable defendants, failures in police work, and a predisposition for making the defendant fit the crime. I feel it is hard to differentiate between perjury and sincere (but false) testimony. Regardless, however, the signi... ... middle of paper ... ... of Crime and Criminal Justice. 3rd ed. Waveland Press, 2000. 3. Parenti, Christian. Lockdown America. Verso, 2000. 4. Rydell, C.P. and Everingham, S.S. Controlling Cocaine, Prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the United States Army (Santa Monica, CA: Drug Policy Research Center, RAND Corporation, 1994), p.xvi. 5. Simpson, Sally. Of Crime and Criminality. Pine Forge Press, 2000. 6. Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation. 7. Winslow, George. Capital Crimes. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1999. "No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power." --P. J. O'Rourke (in "Studying For Our Drug Test" from Give War A Chance)
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