Essay about Death Penalty

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Pages: 6

Death Penalty

The death penalty is a controversial topic in the United States today and has been for a number of years. The death penalty was overturned and then reinstated in the United States during the 1970's due to questions concerning its fairness. The death penalty began to be reinstated slowly, but the rate of executions has increased during the 1990's. There are a number of arguments for and against the death penalty. Many death penalty supporters feel that the death penalty reduces crime because it deters people from committing murder if they know that they will receive the death penalty if they are caught. Others in favor of the death penalty feel that even if it doesn't deter others from committing crimes, it will eliminate
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In addition, minorities are far more likely to receive the death penalty than whites. For example, 90% of the people that Federal prosecutors seek to execute are black. These statistics are blown even further out of proportion when one looks at the punishments that killers of whites receive versus killers of blacks. In Maryland, a person who kills a white person is 7 times as likely to receive the death penalty as the killer of a black person. Furthermore, 90% of people executed in The United States were convicted of killing whites, even though minorities account for over half of the homicide victims in The United States. According to the National Coalition For the Abolition of the Death Penalty, of the 486 people executed in the United States only 6 were whites convicted of killing blacks ("Executing"). These are all valid arguments that are against the death penalty, but on the other side of this issue there are also very valid arguments. Death penalty proponents feel that the death penalty is worthwhile despite its monetary costs because of the priceless lives that it saves. They also contend that the reason it costs so much is because death row inmates file so many appeals. One death penalty expert, Kent Scheidegger, states numerous examples of people spending up to 20 years on death row repeatedly filing