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Is Capital Punishment Necessary? Essay

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Is Capital Punishment Necessary?

 

In 1980 Clarence Brandly, a black high school janitor, and his white co-worker found the body of a white female student. As the police interrogated them, the officers told them, "One of you is going to hang for this." As he was looking at Brandly, the officer said, "Since you're the nigger, you're elected." Brandly was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. The evidence against him was weak and the police disregarded other leads. In 1986, a volunteer group devoted to freeing wrongly convicted prisoners came to Brandly's assistance. Meanwhile evidence surfaced that another man had committed the crime that Brandly was convicted for. He wasn't released until 1990 (http://www.aclu.org/library/case_against_death.html/#eight).

 

 

The death penalty is one of the most controversial topics in the world. The numbers of people who support the death penalty is diminishing for many reasons. The leading reason: discrimination. Punishment is only effective if it is constantly enforced, and capital punishment can't be enforced all the time. Third, people who commit crimes of personal violence may or may not premeditate the crime. Also, severe punishment can discourage crime, but is death better than life-long incarceration? Lastly, death is irreversible. Since 1990, in the United States, there has been an average of more than four cases each year in which an entirely innocent person was convicted of murder and sentenced to death (http://www.acle.org/library/case_against_death.html/#eight).

 

 

The American public support of the death penalty is declining. Actually, the United States is the only Western industrialized country where people are still being executed....


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...ecuted.

 

 

Is the death penalty really necessary? With the death penalty, there is a chance of executing an innocent person. The crime committed is not always thought out. Additionally, long-term imprisonment is enough to discourage some crime. Plus, there is no way to enforce the death penalty immediately and consistently. There is much discrimination in the court systems in the past and today. Also, the public support of the death penalty is decreasing. With all of these reasons it will make one wonder if the death penalty is needed in our society. Jesus rejected violence. His life and teachings invited people to a new style of living. Intimacy and trust, compassion and forgiveness, concern for justice and nonviolence were key aspects of this new life (http://americancatholic.org/newsletters/AFA/an1000.asp). Why can't we live like this instead?



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