Death Penalty: Why It Should Be Abolished

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Death Penalty: Why it should be abolished

The death penalty serves no purpose in society today. Statistics show that the death penalty has no deterrent effect on crime. Allowing the government to enforce the death penalty gives them power to take human life, and creates a margin for social injustice. The death penalty should be abolished due to legal, social, and morality concerns.

Among other legal concerns, the death penalty is unconstitutional. The eighth amendment states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” The death penalty directly violates that. Another concept to consider is the idea that many death sentences are due to police and prosecutorial misconduct, as well as incompetent court-appointed attorneys. A shocking two out of three death convictions have been overturned due to the mentioned concern of legal incompetence. Almost all defendants in capital cases cannot afford their own attorney. Most all court-appointed attorneys are inexperienced in capital cases. Some jurisdictions award capital cases to the attorney making the lowest bid. In Georgia County, the low-bid public-contract attorney tried fourteen cases, entered a grand total of seven motions, and entered 262 guilty pleas for his court-assigned clients from 1993 to 1998. Other states randomly assign lawyers from a general list, a system that almost ensures that lawyers lacking appropriate qualifications will frequently be found. Aden Harrison Jr., a black man indicted for murder in Georgia, was assigned an eighty-three-year-old attorney who had been an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Last but certainly not least, the death penalty costs more, due to countless appeals, and puts innocent lives at risk. The death penalty is also hypocritical. While it may seem fair to kill someone who committed murder, that makes the government as guilty as the man or woman who committed murder. Two wrongs don’t make a right....
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