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Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment I once saw a bumper sticker that read, Why do we kill people, who kill people, to show that killing is wrong? Suddenly I thought about what I had read. I am against the death penalty as a solution to crime. Capital punishment is a sign of a deep sickness in our civilization. Execution is an act of violence, but you cannot use violence to end violence. The death penalty is not an effective way to punish a criminal. It is used by the powerful to pretend that violent crime is under control, and being disposed of, but in reality the death penalty disposes of the poor, the uneducated, and the minorities in the world. Even states that use the death penalty seem to have a higher number of homicides than states that do not use it.

Capital punishment has never been shown to eliminate crime more effectively than other punishments. If the death penalty isnt lowering the murder rate then why waste the taxpayers money? It cost more to put a prisoner to death with any method than it does to keep them incarcerated. Our justice system shouldnt just execute the criminal, they should also make his life miserable. Prisons should supply the bare necessities and nothing else. One solution is to eliminate televisions, libraries, gyms and basketball courts.

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Even though our prisons need to toughen up, I do give them credit for taking away a criminals freedom. Many family members want to see the offenders dead. The families emotions are understandable, but death is not a solution. The victims family has to suffer for a lifetime, so why shouldnt the murderer suffer too? Another problem is the chance or executing an innocent person. The executed prisoner cannot be given another chance.

In the last hundred years there have been more that seventy-five documented cases of wrongful convictions in criminal homicide cases. One example is Walter McMillian who was released from Alabamas death row after having spent six years there because of perjured testimony and withheld evidence that indicated his innocence. He was convicted of the shooting death of a storekeeper. On the day of the murder he was at a fish fry with his friends and relatives, many of whom testified to this at his trial. No physical evidence linked him to the crime, but three people who testified at his trial connected him to the murder.

Only sheer luck saved Walter McMillian. After listening to a tape recording of a key witnesses testimony against McMillian, a volunteer lawyer flipped the tape to see if there was anything on the other side. Only then did he hear the same witness complaining that he was being pressured to frame McMillian. With that fourutious break, the whole case against McMillian began to fall apart. All three prosecution witnesses recanted their testimony.

On March 3, 1993, the County District Attorney joined the defense in a motion to dismiss the charges. Walter McMillian was finally freed. There are many other cases of mistaken conviction and execution that occur and remain undocumented. An innocent person can be freed, but neither release or compensation is possible for a corpse. If a man is truly a murder, the thought of execution will not stop him from committing murder.

So if capital punishment is not lowering the murder rate, is more expensive, and being alive is more of a punishment than being dead, then why not abolish the death penalty?.


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