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Death Penalty - Against

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There are many reasons to both support and oppose the death penalty. Many people can feel very strongly about whether or not they approve of this method of punishment. I feel that the death penalty is wrong, and I believe that there is much support to back this up. I believe that the death penalty is wrong because it is not an effective deterrent, racially and economically bias, unreliable, expensive, and morally wrong of society.

One argument from death penalty supporters is that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to prevent other people from committing murders. It is the belief that people will think out the consequences of their actions before murdering, and consider the death penalty not a reasonable consequence and thus not commit the crime. This, however, is intrinsically flawed. Most murderers or potential murderers do not usually take into account life in prison or the death penalty. There are many reasons for people to not consider the death penalty before committing the crime. The person would not consider it if they did not believe they would be caught, if it was done in a moment of anger, or if they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs which will cause them to act impulsively. In fact, some criminologists, such as William Bowers of Northeastern University, believe that the death penalty actually hurts society and increases the chances of murder. There is lack of evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent. Some countries in Europe and Canada that do not have the death penalty have lower murder rates than the US, the same holds true for US states that do not have the death penalty.

There are many variables that go into deciding if a person will or will not get the death penalty. I feel that there are too many bias and variables to say that the penalty is dealt out fairly. The people who are up for capital punishment and cannot afford their own attorney are assigned one by the state, which may be of much lower effectiveness than one could afford with much financial backing. According to the Michigan State webpage: "Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 158 black defendants have been executed for the murder of a white victim, while only 11 white defendants have been executed for the murder of a black victim". This is a clear indication that the penalty is racially bias.

The taking of a person's life is unreliable and once a mistake is made, nothing can be done to make up for it, because you have taken the person's life. Current statistics show that for every 7 people executed one has been released from death row. One in seven does not sound like never good consistency to me, and how many of the 6 still executed could still be innocent? I feel that the death of innocents cannot be justified by the death penalty. A recent study at Columbia University found that two thirds of capital cases had serious errors in them, two thirds does not sound like a very consistent number that I would be comfortable using in deciding



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