Consider if you will, one of our Ten Commandments which states, “Thou shalt not kill." Is the death penalty not violating this commandment? In our society, it is definitely necessary to punish criminals so they will learn the lesson and not commit the crimes again. However, capital punishment is too extreme. There are people who believe it is fair to kill someone that had killed others and people who think it goes against society’s moral beliefs to take a life. The death penalty should be abolished because the mentally ill or innocent could be put to death, it violates the eighth amendment, the death penalty is biased based on the person’s race and economic standing, and costs more money than it would take for a life sentence.
There are many cases in which a mentally ill person was sentenced to death. In the nonfiction piece, In Cold Blood, this mistake is made. Capote shows us this when he explains that the Kansas' M'Naghten Rule only lets a psychologist testify whether the criminal could tell right from wrong at the scene of the time. He then explains that if the psychologist had been allowed to explain, he would have said “‘Perry Smith [the main character] shows definite signs of severe mental illness’ ‘his present personality structure is very nearly that of a paranoid schizophrenic person (p.297-298, Capote).’” Therefore, the court did not allow the psychologist to give an explanation and just used their selective hearing skills to make a judgment.
There are also cases in which innocent people are sentenced to death. If the court were to misjudge a person as guilty and have the person killed, there would be no way for it to fix its mistake. There was a case in Texas in which a man had accidentally caught his house on fire, killing three of his daughters. He proclaimed his innocence until the day of his execution, and “several noted arson experts who re-examined the fire investigation say it relied on outmoded concepts and did not support a finding of...
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