Death Penalty Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

Death Penalty Should Not Exist in the United States
Shih-Ju, Chen
California State University, Long Beach

Death penalty has been used to punish criminals for a long time and it is time to change now. Although some states still remain to enforce capital punishment, more and more states are taking actions to abolish death penalty in recent years. Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed a law abolishing capital punishment on March 9th, 2001 which makes the state becomes the 16th state where death penalty is no longer exist (Falsani, 2011). The number of supporters of death penalty is decreasing because people rethink about the necessity of existing execution and change ...view middle of the document...

However, he was sentenced to prison in 1985 for fifty years for a crime he did not commit. The State of New York released him after DNA testing had proved Fappino was guiltless. He is solely one of the wrongly convictions in the United States. Many prisoners have suffered worse sentences, for example, death penalty for crimes they are not involved with today.
Executing innocent inmates due to wrongful convictions is shocking and numerous in the United State. According to a recent study, at least 23 innocent people were executed in the United States prior to 1984 (Brandley, 2011). Human errors will easily cause wrongful execution and put innocent people to death and it s difficult to prevent. Two Illinois men were sentenced to death in 1985 for murdering a 10-year-old girl. Even though the real murder had confessed to the crime and the evidences against them are incorrect, the state still kept prosecuting that they were guilty. They were sent to prison for many years. Fortunately, they were vindicated at the end from great effort of strong defense team. They were free from death row, but many people are not as lucky as these two men. One of the many cases, Cantu, a 17-year-old teenager was arrested in San Antonio in 1985 for killing a man during robbery. An eyewitness only identified him from picture being shown by the police and he was convicted afterwards. After he was put to death by injection in 1993, he was proved innocent because the testimony of eyewitness who survived being shot that night has retracted and his friend has stated that the triggerman was someone else. Catus was executed already and no one can return his life. His lost represents the injustice system, which brings public’s attentions on death penalty result in wrongful conviction. Although, state officials defend themselves that executed prisoner has never been formally proven innocent, the case of Catus tells people whose telling the lie without doubt.
Besides the risk of executing convicted people improperly, putting mental retarded to death is also a prominent problem when it comes to death penalty. Mentally retarded is defined as a person who’s IQ is below 70. Mentally retarded is different from two other conditions normally appear in trails which are competency and insanity. Mental health advocacy groups claims that mentally retardations are not blamable for their crimes because they lack the mental capacity. Mental capacity includes the skills of coping with everyday life and ability of thinking. On the other hand, supporters of death penalty insist that mentally retarded offenders should be banned as unconstitutional and fair. Nevertheless, mentally retreaded people have very low intelligence, so they cannot evaluate the consequences of his conduct. They cannot imagine what will happen after they commit a crime. They do not know that they will be put to jail or sentence to death if they kill or hurt people. We as a normal people have no problem conforming to...

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