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Abolish Capital Punishment

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Abolish Capital Punishment

What is the outcome of capital punishment? Does it bring peace or happiness to a victim's family or does the victim regain his or her life back? Capital punishment, also referred to the death penalty, has been a controversial issue to the society for past decades. It is an ongoing debate that the society argues whether to be abolished or supported. In the United States, the country most characterized by the concept of equal justice for all, the Supreme Court declared the death penalty to be constitutional. I resolutely oppose their act, which seems to support injustice. Capital punishment needs to be abolished for it is manifestly unjust and there is disparity in sentencing.

Racism is one cause of the unequal treatment. It exists in most sensitive areas of the judicial system. Racism plays an important factor of determining who will be sentenced to death and who will have lesser punishment. Black inmates are more likely to be executed than white inmates. According to the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund's publication, Death Row in America, 40 percent, or 1,117, of the prisoners under sentence of death were blacks, despite the fact that blacks comprise only about 12 percent of the national population. Shareef's case is one example of this racism. Sareef Cousin, a 16 year old, African American, by the testimony of a white witness's claim to the jury that he is the killer of a white victim, was convicted and sentenced to death. After couple of years, his lawyer saw a copy of the witness's original police statement in which she said she couldn't even describe the killer because " It was dark and I didn't have my lenses." In the same time in Louisiana district where Cousin was convicted and sentenced to death, a review of more than 400 homicide cases revealed troubling disparities in application of the death penalty related to race. " At present, roughly half of more than 3500 people on death row are people of color." Declared an analyst.

Discrimination against the poor also exists in execution. There are double standards for rich and poor. Almost all people on death row could not afford to hire a qualified attorney. Chessman, who did not have any money, was convicted of multiple counts of rape and kidnapping, drew the death penalty. In contrast, O.J. Simpson, had a costly team of juror consultants and attorneys, drew not guilty verdict. A rich defendant may usually post bail, retain attorneys of choice, and hire investigators. On the other hand, the indigent defendant, unable to hire an attorney, lacking power, receives inexperienced and incompetent lawyers by the choice of the court. In Griffin v. Illinois, the late Justice Hugo L. Black wrote, "There can be no equal justice when the kind of trial a man gets depends on how much money he has in his pocket." In the 300 year history of the death penalty in the U.S., there were only six cases in which those executed were individuals of affluence. It is those who are poor and underprivileged whom the state is determined to kill. Throughout these days, the gap between rich and poor never seems to decrease especially in capital punishment.

There are many innocent lives on death row. David Jones stated.



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