English 9 Honors
6 June 2014
Death Penalty: A Risk We Should Not Take
The death penalty has been part of America since its founding days. People have the argument on whether or not the death penalty is humane and effective. I say that it is not humane or effective. The death penalty opens the door to many new risks, like executing an innocent person. The death penalty is not beneficial for any state, if anything, it only causes more problems.
Executing innocents is one of the main reasons the death penalty should be removed. Over 100 people on death row have been acquitted, due to innocence (Evans 1). If they had not been cleared of their crimes they would have been executed. The government needs to take responsibility for these men and women and truly show that they are sorry for having unjustly convicted. Their lives have been ruined, and nearly ended. These men were not even given compensation for their wrongful imprisonment. At the very least these prisoners should have gotten a more professional jury to review their case, just as all death penalty cases should. The court appointed attorneys should also be more professional, not just a “court-appointed attorney that was granted $5,000 to defend me”(Evans 1). This is someone’s life at stake, so if the effort from the courts is not held to the highest standard, the death penalty should be removed altogether.
Another reason the death penalty should be removed is because it is predominantly a male punishment, which is not fair. The sentencing process is much different for men and women. If a man and a woman both commit a crime, the women will get less jail time, simply because she is a woman. This makes the death penalty more likely to be given to a male, which is not right. “Nationally, there were 61 condemned women at the start of this year, compared to more than 3200 men”(Williams 1). These number really show just how many more men have been executed for their crimes, simply because as a man they get a harsher sentence. Our country has a fear of condemning women to death, which should be acceptable, but if women can avoid the death penalty men need to be able to as well, “Twelve women have been put to death in the time that 1,214 men have been put to death”(Williams 1). To make us true equals, as everyone wants, we must remove the death penalty.
The largest controversy about the death penalty is whether it is humane or not. The simple answer to this question is no, it is not. In Ohio it took a man “25 minutes to die”(Barber 1). This was because the drugs they used on him were experimental and had never been used in an execution. This is not acceptable; it is a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The victim’s families probably wanted something like this to happen, to see him suffer, as many people would like to, but it is simply illegal. It is a medical fact that this man…