Against capital punishment

Topics: Death Penalty, Murder, Human rights Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: February 23, 2014


Did all these people deserve to die?
How many innocents were killed because of the death penalty? Everyone thinks human life is valuable. Some of those against capital punishment believe that human life is so valuable that even the worst murderers should not be deprived of the value of their lives. They believe that the value of the offender's life cannot be destroyed by the offender's bad conduct - even if they have killed someone.

Execution of the innocent
The most common and most cogent argument against capital punishment is that sooner or later, innocent people will get killed, because of mistakes or flaws in the justice system. Witnesses, (where they are part of the process), prosecutors and jurors can all make mistakes. When this is coupled with flaws in the system it is inevitable that innocent people will be convicted of crimes. Where capital punishment is used such mistakes cannot be put right. The death penalty legitimizes an irreversible act of violence by the state and will inevitably claim innocent victims. As long as human justice remains fallible, the risk of executing the innocent can never be eliminated Amnesty International

There is ample evidence that such mistakes are possible: in the USA, 130 people sentenced to death have been found innocent since 1973 and released from death row. Source: Amnesty Things were made worse in the USA when the Supreme Court refused to hold explicitly that the execution of a defendant in the face of significant evidence of innocence would be unconstitutional [Herrera v. Collins, 560 U.S. 390 (1993)]. However many US lawyers believe that in practice the court would not permit an execution in a case demonstrating persuasive evidence of "actual innocence". The continuous threat of execution makes the ordeal of those wrongly convicted particularly horrible.

Retribution is wrong
Many people believe that retribution is morally flawed and problematic in concept and practice. Vengeance...
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