Innocent Victims of Capital Punishment are Possible

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Innocent Victims of Capital Punishment are Possible Try to imagine yourself being convicted of a crime you did not commit, and even worse being told you have die for that crime. This nightmare is actually a reality for some inmates on death row today. The death penalty should be abolished because the potential for even one death of an innocent man violates all principles of justice. "Can the justice system ever be 100 percent right? Not likely. Then how can it administer punishment that's 100 percent irreversible" ("Lock Up" 2)? "On October 23, 1989, the phone rang at Officer Gary McLaughlin's desk. He picked it up immediately answering, ‘State Police, Boston,’ from the other end of the line he heard a man's voice: "My wife's been shot. I've been shot” (Baird and Rosenbaum 95). Charles Stuart and his wife had been shot leaving Stuart critically wounded and his wife dead. The police were under considerable pressure to solve the crime. Charles Stuart gave a rough description of the gunman. He was described as being 6 feet tall, about thirty years old, and black. Two weeks after the murder of Charles Stuart’s wife, police in Boston arrested Willie Bennett for a traffic Cusson 2 violation. "Bennett, who had a previous criminal record, was a thirty-nine year old black man. Potentially a suspect the police showed a picture of Bennett to Stuart and also arranged a line-up for Stuart to view. "Stuart promptly fingered Bennett as the man who looked 'most like' the killer of his wife"(Baird and Rosenbaum 96). Bennett was later arranged on murder charges and would face the death penalty. Fortunately for Willie Bennett, on the morning of January 5, 1990, Charles Stu... ... middle of paper ... ... even for a crime is ok. The impact on the families of the condemned prisoners Cusson 6 and the homicide victims creates considerable amounts of stress. The criminal justice system offers death to the family of the victim and, in turn, destroys the defendant’s family. The families of the defendant are often ignored. Capitol punishment is a final sentence. There is no room for a mistake because once the execution is carried out there is no going back. Looking back, we see that the potential for innocent men to die exists, inmates must struggle to receive a fair trial, and that our society will suffer because of those who seek vengeance. Capitol punishment should be abolished. In the end, we must ask our selves one question. Is the potential to detour murder or get even with a killer enough of a reason to sacrifice even one innocent man’s life?

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