Essay Capital Punishment

Submitted By sabbob15
Words: 889
Pages: 4

Stacey Boyd
Mrs. Blain
English 2, 7th Hour
Justice or Murder?
December 18, 2012

Damon A. Thibodeaux spent fifteen years of his life on death row. After being asked a leading question, he confessed to having raped and murdered his fourteen year old cousin. He was falsely convicted and charged with the death penalty. With the help of lawyer Connick Junior, Damon’s case was reopened. After DNA testing, Damon was proved innocent (After fifteen years 1). Many innocent people wait years on death row much like Damon, but only some of them are proven innocent after it is already too late. Innocent lives have been lost due to capital punishment, which was first and foremost an exercise of state power that legitimated government authority and controlled crime; overall whose right is it to choose who lives and who dies? The death penalty was started to help control crime, protect the commercial interests of particular groups and individuals, and exercised state power that justified government authority. For example, executions were meant to be seen and the criminals were regarded as sinners and considered inhumane (David). The first known infliction of the death penalty in America was in the Jamestown colony in 1608 (West’s encyclopedia). Therefore America started with the death penalty. Furthermore, whether the defendant is charged an offense carrying the death penalty or a lesser offence all depends on the prosecutors’ choice (Black 45). Similarly, leading questions have been used against many people and have often led innocent humans to confess to something they never did (Black 42). In this case many innocent people such as Damon have been issued a death sentence without deserving it. Finally the decision of the defendant’s sentence depends on if the death of the deceased was committed deliberately or by accident (Black 58). This could be the turning point of a person’s life. They could live freely, be imprisoned or even put on death row. Many lives have been affected by capital punishment in different ways, and not all have deserved what they got. For example, Damon A Thibodeox spent fifteen years on death row for a crime he never committed (After fifteen years 1). In addition he is not the only victim of capital punishment, many innocent people have been lost and killed (Black 75). Some never had the chance to be proven innocent. Furthermore, killers whose victims were white were eleven times more likely to be sentenced to death than if their victims were black (West’s encyclopedia 4). More importantly, the lawyer himself is considered responsible for the conviction and possible execution (Black 44). A life depends on whether or not the lawyer asks the right questions. Finally, lethal injection is used unless the defendant requests an electric chair (National survey 2). This is a decision nobody should have to make, especially not when it’s an innocent citizen. The innocent lives that have already been lost can never be replaced. Capital punishment has been near abolishment multiple times in the past. For example, twelve states are against capital punishment (West’s encyclopedia). In addition, death by execution has been challenged many times due to the inconsistency with the evolving standard decency (West’s encyclopedia). So if it’s not right, why do we do it? Furthermore, execution cost the states 38% more than the costs of keeping people inaccurate or imprisoned for life (Black 75). More importantly, the Eighth Amendment prohibits the government from inflicting “cruel and unusual punishment” (West’s