Result of Re-Imposing the Death Penalty Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Death Penalty

Since re-imposing the death penalty in 1977, the United States of America has executed more than 1200 persons, and currently has more than 3000 more awaiting execution. Proponents of capital punishment claim that these deaths were necessary for the protection of society and the deterrence of future criminal activity. But opponents reject these arguments and cite scientific studies and statistics which demonstrate the death penalty has been used by courts in an arbitrary and unfair manner, more often given as sentences to the poor and minorities. In addition, opponents point to the fact that over 138 people have been exonerated and released from death rows since the early 1970's, while statistically, at least 10% of those convicted of capital crimes are actually innocent. While there are many more reasons why the death penalty should be permanently abolished, the way it has been misused and the fact that many sentenced to death are later exonerated of the charges, a law should be passed bringing this unfair, unjust, and cruel punishment to an end.

In 1972, the Supreme Court of the United States abolished the death penalty after finding in the Furman case that the death penalty had been unfairly applied based on the race of either the defendant and victim. However, this decision was overturned when a number of states rewrote their death penalty statutes in order to remove the taint of racial bias. Unfortunately, statistics have once again demonstrated that since the reinstatement of the death penalty, "race continues to plague the application of the death penalty in the United States." ("Racial Disparities") For instance, while close to 75% of those convicted in drug-related capital cases were white, only 11% of those white defendants received the death penalty. On the other hand, while 24% of the defendants were black, 78% of those black defendants received the death penalty. With statistics…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Gross, Samuel, et al. (2004). "Exonerations in the United States 1989 Through 2003:

Social Science Research Network." Going to Search. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=753084

Information Center. Retrieved from www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.

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