Death Penalty Synthesis Essay with Documents

Words: 5068
Pages: 21

Directions: The following prompt is based on the accompanying ten sources.
This question requires you to integrate a variety of sources into a coherent, well-written essay. Refer to the sources to support your position; avoid mere paraphrase or summary. Your argument should be central; the sources should support this argument.
Remember to attribute both direct and indirect citations.

Introduction: The death penalty has been implemented since ancient times and punishes criminals. Some people wonder if it deters violent crime in the states it is legal, but does it have a noticeable effect on violent crimes in these places? Is it even moral, and should it be abolished altogether?

Assignment: Read the following sources (including
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People of color are far more likely to be executed than white people, especially if the victim is white * The death penalty is a waste of taxpayer funds and has no public safety benefit. The vast majority of law enforcement professionals surveyed agree that capital punishment does not deter violent crime; a survey of police chiefs nationwide found they rank the death penalty lowest among ways to reduce violent crime. They ranked increasing the number of police officers, reducing drug abuse, and creating a better economy with more jobs higher than the death penalty as the best ways to reduce violence. The FBI has found the states with the death penalty have the highest murder rates. * Innocent people are too often sentenced to death. Since 1973, over 140 people have been released from death rows in 26 states because of innocence. Nationally, at least one person is exonerated for every 10 that are executed.

Source C
Dieter, Richard. "The Death Penalty in Black and White: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides." Death Penalty Information Center. n.d. Web. 9 Mar 2013. <>.

The results of two new studies which underscore the continuing injustice of racism in the application of the death penalty are being released through this report. The