Death Penalty Paper

The death penalty is something that many people do not have a clear decision on. Many people support the death penalty, while others wish for the death penalty to be abolished, yet there are some that support the death penalty, but only in certain cases. My personal opinion is that a person commits murder and is sentenced to death there should be no waiting. I believe 24 hours from the time the person is sentenced to death, the state should follow through with their punishment and execute. There are people in the world that support the death penalty and often say that the death penalty is a deterrent for future criminals who are thinking and plotting out their heinous crimes or murder as we sit in our living rooms right now.

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Capital Punishment does not act as a deterrent force. Crime rates do not decrease in states where capital punishment is used. This statement can be neither proven nor disproven. How do you measure the amount of people who have been deterred from crime? Do you take a poll? Is there a survey conducted where people voluntarily admit they would have murdered had they known they would not be executed if they were caught? No. You can’t prove that it deters crime. So, even if it does, there is not enough evidence to support this theory.

Do you agree with this statement? For me, when I think of a criminal they are not thinking of consequences of their actions, they are not thinking of whom they are going to hurt, they are only thinking of getting what they want. They think in the “Now”, they simply just do not care. If they had any sort of emotion or remorse before the crime is committed then our prisons wouldn’t be so over populated as they are today. Amnesty International, which opposes the death penalty, reports that scientific studies have not produced any conclusive evidence showing that capital punishment, is a deterrent for future crimes to be committed. I believe the only deterrent for a murderer not to commit a horrific crime again would be execution.

Executing a dangerous criminal ensures that he will not kill again. There have been several notable cases where men were paroled, or escaped from prison after being convicted of murder and killed again. The death penalty protects our community by eradicating a harmful criminal from society. A few good examples are Randy Greenwalt, Arthur Shawcrossm, Kenneth McDuff, and Daniel Camargo Barbosa. Various people who are opposed to the death penalty say that Capital Punishment condemns the innocent to die. According Amendment V in the United States Bill of Rights, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital crime, or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment of an indictment of “grand jury”.

While it is true that a few innocent people have “slipped through the cracks” of the justice system and been convicted and executed unfairly, it  is extremely rare. Usually, attorney’s find new evidence to support a criminal’s innocence by the time all appeals have been exhausted. Perhaps the most important factor in determining whether a defendant will receive the death penalty is the quality of the representation he or she is provided. Almost all defendants in capital cases cannot afford their own attorneys. In many cases, the appointed attorneys are overworked, underpaid, or lacking the trial experience required for death penalty cases. There have even been instances in which lawyers appointed to a death penalty case were so inexperienced that they were completely unprepared for the sentencing phase of the trial. Other appointed attorneys have slept through parts of the trial, or arrived at the court under the influence of alcohol. FACTS ABOUT ATTORNEYS AND THE DEATH PENALTY:

•Almost all defendants who face capital charges cannot afford an attorney and rely on the state to appoint one for them. However, often times appointed attorneys are overworked, underpaid, lack critical resources, and are either incompetent or inexperienced. As a result when death sentences are set aside by the federal courts, it is often because among other reasons the trial attorney was so incompetent that the accused’s constitutional right to effective counsel was violated.

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•In 2009, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions conducted an official visit to the United States to examine the administration of the death penalty in Alabama and Texas. Alabama has the highest per capita rate of executions in the United States, while Texas has the largest total number of executions and one of the largest death row populations after California and Florida. The Special Rapporteur expressed concern about deficiencies in the administration of the death penalty in Alabama and Texas, including “the lack of adequate counsel for indigent defendants.” He called for the two states “to establish well-funded, state-wide public defender services” and recommended that “oversight of these should be independent of the executive and judicial branches.”

The state of Alabama has no statewide public defender system even though its death row occupants are overwhelmingly poor with 95% indigent. •An examination of 461 capital cases by The Dallas Morning News found that nearly one in four condemned inmates has been represented at trial or on appeal by court-appointed attorneys who have been disciplined for professional misconduct at some point in their careers. •An investigation by the Texas Defender Service found that, “Death row inmates today face a one-in-three chance of being executed without having the case properly investigated by a competent attorney and without having any claims of innocence or unfairness presented or heard.”

•In North Carolina, at least 16 death row inmates, including 3 who were executed, were represented by lawyers who have been disbarred or disciplined for unethical or criminal conduct. With all this being said regarding lawyers and the accused what do you think? Do you think if the accused had an expensive attorney that they would not be facing the death penalty and get life in prison instead? I guess that this is a question that we all would love to have the answer to. As they say money makes the world go round. Think of all the costs that are involved with the death penalty. Tax payers pay to house, cloth, food, and the medical bills alone for this one inmate will cost us millions. All the millions of dollars that are spent on this one life can be used to better our communities, or schools, educate our children, who are our future.

We should stop wasting money on rehabilitation for these inmates, and put the money into what is important, our children, the future of The US. I fully support the death penalty, it makes me so upset to think back to the Cheshire, CT murders, the amount of money spent on two men who were caught at the scene of the crime, confessed to murdering an innocent woman and her kids, and beating her husband almost to death. They should have been executed the day after they committed that horrific crime. Instead, the government wasted and is still wasting millions of dollars on two criminals who do not deserve to see the light of day. Something needs to change in our government. I believe Connecticut should be more like Texas. A state that enforces Capital Punishment to the fullest.

Enough is enough! Criminals should not be running our lives and getting away with murder, literally! In conclusion, after reading all the facts stated above, how do you feel about the death penalty? Do you think we should be paying for these criminals to live in prison with a meal, a bed to sleep in, medical attention, and clothes on their backs? In my opinion the answer would be, no. Then again, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The punishment should fit the crime, and I am all for an “eye for an eye”, “a tooth for a tooth”, what about you?

Works Cited:

Bureau of Justice Statistics. 16 Feb. 2006. The U.S. Department of Justice. 29 Nov. 2006. Texas Department of Criminal Justice U.S. Death Penalty Facts Amnesty International USA, Death Penalty Information

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