English Block 5
18 March 13
Toward a safer America
There are over 5.3 million felons in the United States of America. Of those 5.3 million felons 1,062 have been convicted of murder in the past year. Many of them will receive a 25-life sentencing but others will receive the death penalty. Many Americans believe the United States should have the death penalty but on the other hand many others do not. The United States should not have the death penalty because, there could be innocent people wrongly convicted, we are the only country that only uses lethal injection, and lastly, it is not as cruel as it should be.
The law may bring some people to justice, but there are many instances in history where the wrong person is sent to jail. For the unlucky ones, they might have already been executed before the court overturns their decision. Others have spent years in prison but were eventually released. Many things could lead to a person being wrongfully convicted. Still, for those released, freedom has become more important than revenge. Like in the case of Collin Campbell Ross. “Ross was involved in one of the most famous cases in history, the Gun Alley Murder. Twelve-year-old Alma Tirtschke was sent to collect a package from her uncle. Her naked, dead body was found the next day in Gun Alley. Despite several witnesses testifying to Ross’s innocence, Ross was convicted of murder due to poor forensic research. Strands of hair were found in Ross’s home in his bed. While the scientist believed that the hair on the bed and Alma’s were the same, by his own admission, he stated the diameter of the hairs were different. Testimonies of others stated that Ross was at his saloon at the time of the murder. Unfortunately, public opinion was strongly in favor of Ross’s guilt and they wanted him dead. Upon his execution, an anonymous letter was sent to Ross’s lawyers, this letter is believed to be from the true killer. In 1998, Dr. Bentley Atchison found that the DNA on Ross’s bed did not match Alma’s. In 2008 Ross was finally pardoned for Alma’s murder” (Raw Justice). Ross was one of the unfortunate people who lost their life due to poor technology and carless eyewitness accounts. Many people have been wrongly convicted in America just like Cameron Todd Willingham. “In 2004 a fire burnt down Willingham’s house, killing his three daughters in the process. After the tragic loss of his children, Willingham was then arrested on suspicion of arson and the murder of his daughters. The motive: he was tired of taking care of his girls. Evidence including char marks in the form of puddles, multiple ignition points, the speed and heat of the flame as well as 20 other indications pointed to arson for the police. In trial, scientists argued against all the points and other witnesses and acquaintances of Willingham believed that, despite his prior run-ins with the law, he would never purposely kill his children. Willingham was found guilty and was executed in 2004. In 2009 the case was reopened, however, the Governor of Texas mysteriously reappointed four of the nine members of the Forensic Science Commission. Still, court changed the conviction to unsustainable in 2009” (Raw Justice). This is the main reason why there should be no death penalty because you never know who is innocent.
The form of execution nowadays is lethal injection. Lethal injection is the practice of injecting a person with a fatal dose of drugs barbiturate, paralytic, and potassium solution for the express purpose of causing the immediate death of the subject. The main application for this procedure is capital punishment, but the term may also be applied in a broad sense to euthanasia and suicide. It kills the person by first putting the person to sleep, and then stopping the breathing and heart. They use this because it is the “humane thing to do”. If you think back on what the criminal had to do to get executed why would it matter how humane they are