Capital Punishment: a Social Injustice or a Necessary Deffense

Topics: Death Penalty, Murder, Crime Pages: 4 (1432 words) Published: December 18, 2011
Does killing ever justify murder? Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the act of killing criminals for heinous acts that they’ve committed, generally homicide. I believe that capital punishment is a social injustice because it is unconstitutional and unethical. Those against capital punishment question the surety of the offender’s guilt, economic costs, and the supposedly unbiased judges. There are two sides to every coin though, and there are many reasons to support capital punishment as well. Those who agree with capital punishment argue that it dissuades others from attempting similar crimes and is a fair retribution for lives lost. Of all the varied topics included when discussing capital punishment, one of the most frightening to think about is the possibility that the wrong man may have died.

Is it possible that an innocent person could be killed mistakenly? No recorded instances of such have happened, but does that mean that it couldn’t? A study from 2000 shows that two out of three of the men on death row the year before were freed due to a judicial error. Even more surprising, 7% of the men on death row were proven completely innocent. If their innocence was found any later, many of them could have been punished unfairly. The judicial system is as foolproof for mistakes as it can be, but it is most definitely not perfect. Fingerprints and witnesses can prove past reasonable doubt in ordinary cases, but fingerprints can be replicated and witnesses lie. To be sentenced to death, or to be determined guilty in general, you have to be proved guilty with no reasonable chance of innocence, but some cases show that there may not really be any way to be 100% sure. Whether or not the defendant is guilty can only be absolutely proven if a confession or video is provided. The outcome of the trial may simply be based on the quality of the lawyers fighting for either side, and human lives can’t be risked on such unstable grounds.

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