Capital Punishment Essay

Submitted By kellyg2511
Words: 585
Pages: 3

Capital Punishment Capital punishment, sometimes called the death penalty, has been around since before the time of Christ. We feel as a society that some crimes are so serious they cry out for the ultimate punishment of death. History demonstrates, the justice system has been especially unkind to the poor, minorities, mentally challenged, and convicted innocent victims. Since the reinstatement of the modern death penalty, 87 people have been freed from death row after being proven innocent with the use of modern technology and DNA evidence. This statistic shows an error rate of one innocent person for every seven people executed.
The poor in our country are not always provided adequate representation. Court defense attorneys with little experience are appointed to try many capital cases. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has this viewpoint: “Our society’s dysfunctions breed our criminals through poverty, fatherlessness, discrimination, injustice, lack of opportunity, and hopelessness. How much of the gang violence linked to the drug trade is occasioned by the addiction of the whole society to illegal drugs we use to escape reality? And many of our social pathologies make us more prone to crime and violence. We don’t fix those problems by executing people. The death penalty just aggravates the injustices we have not yet been able to overcome (Unknown).”
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said: “If statistics are any indication, the system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed (Unknown, Capital Punishment).” She was referring to the fact that, since 1973, ninety death row inmates have been freed after a review of evidence proving their innocence. In many cases evidence consisted of DNA. Death penalty cases incur more expense. Everything required for an ordinary trial is also needed for a death penalty case, and then some; there’s more pre-trial, experts, twice as many attorneys, and two trials (one for guilt and one for punishment). Then comes a series of appeals while the inmates are held in the high security of death row. “There seems to be a growing consciousness that there is something wrong about using violence to discourage violence, that it serves no good purpose. We would be better as a people if we were to end it altogether. Many families of victims, too, are hopeful of seeing an end to the death penalty, feeling that no punishment…