Problems with Capital Punishment Essay

Submitted By ktalbert0820
Words: 724
Pages: 3

Capital punishment is defined by the following; “execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense”. Capital punishment is also more widely known as the death penalty. In the times of ancient Greece, capital punishment was widely used as a punishment for a variety of crimes, but as time passed, many other countries started changing what punishments warranted the use of the death penalty. Later, during the mid-1960’s, over twenty five different countries completely stopped using the death penalty all together. In the United States, only three-fourths of the county uses the death penalty and although that may be a large fraction of the country, the numbers of those actually executed are fairly low. Take for instance, in 2012, only forty-two people were executed, one thousand and twenty people since 1976. When compared to the people sentenced to life in prison without parole, the alternative to the death penalty, the numbers of those executed are overshadowed. Because of how low the numbers are and how the death penalty brings up so many problems, such as being morally and constitutionally wrong, expensive, and not actually deterring the crime rate as expected, why should the death penalty be kept around? First off, one needs to know how morally wrong the death penalty, especially on terms of racial discrimination. When looking at the statistics of those executed by the death penalty, it is clear that racial discrimination is present. This was noticed by the supreme court in the care Mcclesky v Kemp, where a study outlined how the race of the victim and the offender was important when deciding the offenders fate of getting death penalty or not. Take for instance how if the offender was black and the victim was white, the offender was more likely to be executed. This reflects the racial bias of society, but law is supposed to be unbiased, is it not? Next comes the question of constitutionality of the death penalty. The question is whether the death penalty violates citizens’ right against cruel and unusual punishment. Compared to the methods used when the death punishment first came into existence, the methods used today are more humane through the use of lethal injection. This drug concoction is usually given without any pain to the offender, but there have been cases where the drug would not be effective, leaving the offender in large amounts of pain, but unable to move, leaving the drug to cause a slow painful death. This problem along with the use of the electric chair, which is also painful for the offender, over turns the supporters’ argument of how the death penalty is humane and does not cause pain to the offender. Lastly, the death penalty is much more expensive than just having the offender spend life without parole in prison. This is something that