Ever since the United States reinstated the death penalty after a Supreme Court ruling allowed for it as part of the justice system, over 1, people have been executed by the state or federal government.
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Courts in the U. There are 15 cases where there is strong evidence to suggest innocence out of this number, with the latest being Carlton Michael Gary, who was executed in by the state of Georgia. A police statement withheld from the defense indicated that the witness who identified Gary in court was actually asleep at the time and that she could not describe or identify her attacker.
DNA evidence left at the scene excluded him as well. Improper handling of evidence and a lack of presentation of other items were also part of the issue, along with a lack of federal review despite all of these concerns. The cost to prosecute the death penalty is much higher than other cases. When the state of Oklahoma examined the differences in cases where capital punishment was the desired outcome sought with a conviction rather than life in prison, the overall cost of pursuing the death penalty was 3.
There may not be any deterrence to crime with the death penalty in place. Life in prison without parole in a maximum-security detention facility is the better alternative.
History of the Death Penalty
When examining data between states with and without the death penalty, there are five specific conclusions to draw. In , there were 14, murders that took place in the United States, but there were only 35 executions that took place. It is used to control political messages. The United States uses the death penalty exclusively for the punishment of crimes as defined by legal code and precedent.
Analytical Essay: The Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty in the United States
It is a principle which is not consistent for other countries in the world. Some countries, including Sudan and Iran, use the death penalty as a political tool. It becomes a way to punish political opponents who might want to take their country in a different direction. There were a total of 2, death sentences recorded in 54 countries in , with about 20, people currently under sentence around the world at the end of the year.
Children are sometimes put to death through the use of capital punishment. There are at least 97 kids who were put to death by capital punishment laws in Iran since Scott Hain, Toronto Patterson, T.
Pros & Cons of the Death Penalty and Current Status by Country
Sean Sellers was executed when he was 29 for a crime that he committed when he was There is no going back after the execution takes place. When we carry out a death sentence, it is an irreversible sentence. Over people sent to death row in the United States have either been exonerated of the crime or released because there was direct evidence of their innocence. Even though a grand jury must indict someone and then the case and sentencing are both held before another jury in the U. Conservative estimates on the number of innocent people convicted in the United States suggest that at least 0.
If the death penalty were not in place, then there would be time to reverse an unjust conviction. The evidence obtained to justify the death penalty is sometimes tainted. There are specific guidelines in the United States today that limit how and when law enforcement can obtain evidence during questioning. This structure of protection is not always available around the world.
There are numerous people executed after being convicted during an unfair trial, often on the basis of evidence or confessions obtained through the use of torture. Some defendants were not given adequate legal representation. Some countries even use the death penalty as a mandatory punishment for specific offenses, which means the judge cannot consider the circumstances of the crime during the sentencing phase of a trial. It tends to be applied in a discriminatory way.
In nine of the death penalty states, there was not a single elected prosecutor who came from a minority group. Professor Katherine Beckett of the University of Washington found that jurors were 4. Family members of a victim are adversely impacted by the death penalty.
Criminals rarely think about the consequences of their actions and this is especially true with crimes of passion. By killing felons, the death penalty removes the burden of housing them within the penitentiary system. Prison overcrowding and overstretched resources are key issues in prisons in many countries. And if they were paroled, there is always the chance they could re-offend, which is completely eliminated with the death penalty.
The Death Penalty: Pro and Con
The concept of retribution, that the perpetrator is punished in a manner fitting to the crime, is also used to support the death penalty. There are many arguments against the death penalty that are both practical and ethical. It is very difficult to know the exact moral status of the death penalty, though many see it to be a degrading, barbaric, and amoral.
The opponents of the death penalty argue that it causes incredible suffering and pain for the sentenced and brutalizes society as a whole where it operates. Both of these factors could have negative effects on crime and criminality.
The vast majority of people would at least argue that human life is highly valuable and should be preserved, though the extent at which preservation should make-way for retribution is where things become very debatable. Misconduct in institutional systems can also lead to incorrect sentencing.
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