Death Penalty Essay

Submitted By priddyboy88
Words: 669
Pages: 3

The general and most common unease with capital punishment in more recent years comes from its tremendous cost as well as an increasing public awareness of the criminal justice systems potential to convict and execute innocent people. The system of capital punishment is collapsing under the weight of its own mistakes. Statistics show that our criminal justice system is failing in overall effectiveness and humanness. Inadequate attention is given to vital details that should never be overlooked in any execution. The capital punishment system is brutal, bias, and kills possibly innocent people. It is a system that is broken, terribly wasteful, and requires immediate reformation. Michael L. Radelet states “A central component of the death penalty abolitionists’ argument from the last 250 years has been the problem of erroneous convictions.”(199) Death cannot be undone. Innocent lives can be and have been destroyed permanently. Bruck’s understanding suggests that “The ordeal of Lenell Jeter should remind us that the system is quite capable of making the very worst mistake.”(329) Lenell Jeter was a black man accused of armed robbery who served one year before his release. Had someone been killed, he may have been sentenced to death. James L. Rosica’s article discusses the case of Michael Peter Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Laura Romines in 1996. Nearly seventeen years later, he is now being given a new trial. Justices agreed that his attorney did not seek counsel from experts concerning genetic and forensic evidence. The ineffective assistance in Fitzpatrick’s case compromised his trial and the entire judicial process. Innocent lives are not an acceptable casualty of enforcing laws. Today’s system has too many weaknesses to ever be void of making such a horrible error. If innocent people die due to disregard of those weaknesses, society as a whole has then stooped down to the same level as those who it tries to stop. Many cases concerning the death penalty indicate a system that is incredibly biased. Some examples include gender, racial, and statistical bias. Steven and Naomi Shatz’s article discusses a chivalric code of conduct adopted by America. They state that “women guilty of capital murder were less likely than men to be sentenced to death.”(49) Their findings also concluded that the punishment for killing a man rather than a woman, commonly, is less severe. Shatz also wrote an article with Terry Dalton discussing the cases of Furman vs. Georgia and McClesky vs. Kemp. The two cases strongly suggests that both statistical evidence