The Death Penalty Is Unfair, Inhumane, and Ineffective

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Although the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly prohibits “unusual and cruel punishment”, the United States Supreme Court in the 1947 case of Louisiana ex rel. Frances v. Resweber ruled that the death penalty is not cruel or unusual, and it is still in practice (Hartley 1). While all the other democratic countries have already abolished the death penalty, it is still legal in most of the states. As for today, thirty-five out of fifty states have capital punishment statuses. The state of Texas “had carried out slightly more than a third of all the executions in this country” (Death Penalty Progress). An issue of should or should not the death penalty be constitutional is at its rise for about three decades now, since the Supreme Court reaffirmed its acceptance of the use of capital punishment in the 1976 Gregg vs. Georgia case (Hartley 1). The arguments for and against the death penalty are strong on both sides, but the capital punishment should not be constitutional in such a civilized and democratic country as it is the United States of America. There are many people who see the ultimate punishment as essential castigation of those who do not value a human life. Nevertheless, there is a risk of executing an innocent person. A case of Cameron Todd Willingham may be just one example. He was convicted to the capital punishment for setting a fire and thus killing his three small children. After remaining on death row for 12 years, he was executed in Texas in 2004, but later “rigorous scientific analysis has since shown that there was no evidence that the fire in a one-story, wood frame house in Corsicana was the result of arson, as the authorities had alleged” (Herbert 1). Moreover, as Death Penalty Information Cen... ... middle of paper ... ...015. http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/death-penalty/us-death-penalty-facts/death-penalty-and-race “Death Penalty Progress.” Dallas Morning News, The (TX). (Dec. 2013): A14. Web. 30 Dec. 2015. Enquirer, Cincinnati. “Death penalty not a good answer to crime.” National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. 27 July 2012. Web. 3 Jan. 2015. Hartley, Rogen. "Capital punishment." In Schultz, David, ed. Encyclopedia of American Law. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2002. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 30 Dec. 2015. Herbert, Bob. "Innocent But Dead." New York Times 1 Sept. 2013: A29(L). InfoTrac Newspapers. Web. 3 Jan. 2015. “There Is No ‘Humane’ Execution.” The New York Times 14 Dec. 2014: A30. Web. 4 Jan. 2015. “Top 10 Pros and Cons. Should the death penalty be allowed?” Death Penalty.ProCon.org. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Jan. 2015.

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