The death penalty is purported to be the ultimate punishment in extreme cases to bring one’s actions to justice. When one asks the question, “Is something just?”, they are actually asking if something is moral, and or the right thing to do. Justice is supposed to represent equity, righteousness, evenhandedness, and or fair-mindedness; none of which applies to the legal system of capital punishment. The death penalty is immoral because innocent people have been and will be executed, the death penalty is racially biased and financially unjust, and it is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. For these reasons, the death penalty is immoral and should be abolished.
Because we as a whole are only human, we are prone to making mistakes. We are not perfect and have many flaws. For this reason alone, errors in the death penalty system are inevitable. “No system of justice can produce results which are 100 percent certain all the time.”(Szunski 185) Among the list of these errors in the death penalty system are mistaken identification, inaccurate laboratory evidence, and prosecutorial misconduct. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Between 1960 and 1984, there were 4050 persons reported received in State and Federal prisons under sentence of death. In the same period 228 persons were executed (192 in the 1960 's and 21 in 1984 alone). At the end of 1984, there were 1405 persons awaiting execution, by far the largest number in U.S. history.”(Cahalan and Parsons 17)
If one assumes that only one half of 1% (.05) of convictions and subsequent executions to be in error, then at least one innocent life was wrongly taken, and at least twenty innocent men and women were wrongful...
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...o move, to breathe, while potassium chloride burned through your veins.”(Szunski 202) This is torture and is immoral. No human being should be allowed to be tortured to death legally.
In conclusion, capital punishment has the potential to take innocent individuals autonomy, and ultimately their life away. “The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in an Apr. 9, 2007 website section titled “The Death Penalty: Questions and Answers,” offered the following: “It [capital punishment] is immoral in principle, and unfair and discriminatory in practice…No one deserves to die. When the government metes out vengeance disguised as justice, it becomes complicit with killers in devaluing human life and human dignity.””("Is the Death Penalty Immoral?," sec. 3) The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment, and thus unconstitutional as well as immoral, and should be abolished.
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