Throughout the years
Throughout the years, many people have been sentenced to death. The death penalty is used to execute prisoners for their criminal actions. No one should have the right to decide whether someone lives or dies, because their fate should be in the hands of God. Although many people would disagree with it, seeking revenge will only make a situation much worse. Sentencing someone to death is a serious action, and one cannot take it back once the job is done. The death penalty should be abolished in all states because it costs a lot of money, is it racially biased, and it sometimes results in innocent people being killed.
All states should consider abolishing the death penalty because it is extremely expensive. For example, the death penalty cost over 1.26 million, but without the death penalty cost $740,000, in Kansas (“Death Penalty”). Most states would save more money if they just get rid of it and give prisoners life without parole. The money could be used towards many other important issues. Although the death penalty is an important matter, it would mean reducing available resources to prevent crimes, to treat mental health, and to provide education and rehabilitation (“Death Penalty”). These resources are extremely important for everyone in society because crime is a major issue in this country and providing more resources to prevent it could probably decrease it. Think about what would happen if the country starts decreasing emergency supplies and services. Furthermore, taxpayers must pay the extra costs of the trials and the costs of putting prisoners in jail for life or for a retrial (“Death Penalty”). This a lot of money that comes from taxpayers. Life sentenced is an option that all states should choose to save money.
Another reason the death penalty should be banned is that it is racially biased towards people of color. Most people believe that everyone should be treated equally, but in some cases, they are not. If someone committed a crime that person should be punished for that crime; however, the punishment should not be determined by that person’s race. According to “Racial Bias”, an article written by the National Coalition, studies have shown that people who are convicted of murdering Caucasians often get the death penalty rather than people who murder African Americans or Hispanics. Every trial should be treated equally regardless of the color of a person’s skin. What if the person is innocent, should the jury still convict that person because he or she is a colored person? In addition, many unfair prosecutors purposely remove jurors based on a false belief that colored people cannot follow the law and fairly serve as jurors (“Racial Bias”). Many people of color have gotten a college degree and are highly intelligent. The fact that prosecutors would believe that is extremely disrespectful. If there was an equal amount of race as jurors, maybe it could be a possibility that everyone would have a fair trial. Although the Constitution forbids prejudice, the claims that the system is biased are often prevented from being heard in court (“Racial Bias”). Many people would put aside this issue that concerns our country, but it should not continue to happen and determine who lives or dies. Although the death penalty is racially biased, the worse problem is when the life of an innocent person is taken.
Finally, many innocent people have been executed because of the death penalty. These mistakes have been made far too many times. According to an article by the National Coalition:
In 198l, Gary Graham, an eighteen years old man was sentenced to death for the robbery and murder of Bobby Lambert. During his trial, one witness stated while she was in a car, she saw Gary Graham through the windshield 30 to 40 feet away. Graham’s lawyer failed to bring two other witnesses to the stand that stated that they had seen the person who committed the crime and Graham was not him. Although Graham had a possession of a gun, it was not the murder weapon. There was no physical evidence to link him to the crime. He acknowledged and apologized for the crimes he had committed as a teenager; however, he maintained his innocence of the murder. In 2000, Gary Graham was executed. (“Wrongful Executions”)
Graham’s life was taken away at a young age. Imagine the pain and hurt that his family felt about his innocent death. An apology will not bring him back. The jurors did not take in mind that fact that there was no evidence to convict him instead they wanted to execute him anyway. Many other innocent people that been executed because of little evidence to fit them to a crime. This is one of the reasons why the death penalty should be banned because it is applied unfairly in some cases. Executing someone with no evidence shows that the justice system is not doing a good job. The article also stated that:
In 2004, in Texas, Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for setting his house on fire that killed his three daughters. He was convicted based on faulty forensic science that arson caused the fire. There were many fire science experts that reviewed Willingham’s case and stated that there was no evidence that the fire was purposely set. In 2010, a report was released by the Texas Forensic Science Commission that stated that Willingham’s conviction was based on “flawed” science. An inmate that testified against Willingham stated that Willingham admitted to the murder of his children had later recanted. Willingham’s last words were: “Please clear my name. I did not kill my children.” (“Wrongful Executions”)
An innocent man was executed based on faulty science and false testimony. Imagine the grief and pain he felt because of the death of his children and being charged for their death. Although his name was cleared, it was far too late. Life without parole is a better option for prisoners because they may be able to get a retrial if new evidence resurfaces. The death penalty is irreversible, and many of these mistakes have been made. A person life should not continue to be taken away by the death penalty.
Many people may be for the death penalty for many reasons. Some may believe in an eye for an eye because the victim’s families need justice and executing prisoners will give them the closure they need. Also, if criminals know that they could get executed for their crimes, they may not commit them again. This may decrease crime rates. In addition, some people may believe that the death penalty is applied fairly to everyone, and the prisons would not be overcrowded if they would just execute prisoners. There are many reasons to be for the death penalty, but people should reconsider it.
The truth is life without parole is the best punishment for people who have committed crucial crimes. Families can still get justice without the death penalty. Some may even find closure in talking to the prisoners. Seeking revenge will cause more pain. Some people even oppose the death penalty. According to “New Voices”, an article by the Death Penalty Information Center,
In 1996, Dawn Mancarella mother Joyce Masury was murdered. Mancarella says that the death penalty “is the opposite of justice and closure — even if the convicted offender is put to death in one, ten or twenty years, the anguish of losing your loved one never goes away and a state appointed execution doesn’t make you feel any better.” Many people may believe executing a prisoner will not decrease the pain that families are feeling; however, will not bring their loved ones back. The fact that a victim’s family member opposes the death penalty should mean something. Not everyone has hatred and seek revenge. It takes time to find closure, and people may find it when they start forgiving others. Also, crimes will be committed regardless of the death penalty. People cannot control the actions of others. In addition, many poor people cannot afford a good lawyer for trial. If they are innocent, it may be extremely difficult to clear their names. Although some prisons may be overcrowded, it would still be cheaper for prisoners to not be sentenced to death. Furthermore, prisoners will be punished for their actions and executing them would be an easy way out. When prisoners know what other prisoners did, do you think they will be safe? Many prisoners are haunted by their crimes and cannot sleep at night. Some may realize what they have done and could possibly turn their life around. The death penalty is not the only option and it should be a punishment anymore.
In conclusion, the death penalty is expensive, racist, and killed innocent people. Some have different opinions about it, but this country could be better without it. Although racism will continue to be in some trials, more money would be saved if all states got rid of the death penalty. Also, there would be no more innocent people executed like Gary Graham and Cameron Todd Willingham. This is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with.