Death Penalty Is It Really Necessary?

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Katherine Reider
English 200

Death Penalty, Is it Really Necessary?

Suppose one of your family members or a loved one is convicted of murder and sentenced to the death penalty. He is innocent but there is nothing you can do. The death penalty has been an accepted punishment for murder and other serious crimes for years. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.com), 54 percent of Americans favor the death penalty. However, it should be abolished because we are unable to prevent accidental execution of innocent people , executions are carried out at staggering costs to taxpayers, and not all defendants can afford good counsel.

There is no guarantee that every person facing a capital charge has access to an experienced attorney. A poor defendant is much more likely to be convicted and given a death sentence. According to supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, "I have yet to see a death case among the dozens coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial. People that are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty." Since most defendants can't afford a lawyer, they must rely on the state to provide them with representation. Few states provide adequate funds to compensate lawyers for their work or to investigate cases properly. As a result, capital defendants are frequently represented by inexperienced, often over worked, and in many cases incompetent lawyers. The poor defense often leads to the death penalty to a defendant that could be innocent. Capital cases are very difficult to defend due to the complex nature of the process, few States provide sufficient funding for training and educating capital trial lawyers.

The risk of executing innocent people is morally wrong. Once an inmate is executed nothing can be done to make amends if a mistake has been made. We are unable to prevent accidental execution of innocent people. According to the...
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