Capital punishment is an archaic component of our nation?s justice system that must be abolished, immediately and unconditionally. It is contradictory to fundamental democratic principles, and is a threat to equality. Furthermore, it is not proven to be an effective deterrent to crime, and in fact is fueled by feelings of hatred and anger. Finally, the death penalty is completely immoral, as it only serves to continue a cycle of brutality and vengeance.
The philosophy of the democratic system that the United States? government is based upon offers several arguments against this penalty. Although the Constitution guarantees equal justice under the law for all citizens, this is obviously not the case in all too many cases, including trials for capital crimes. Because defendants in these trials are often impoverished, they cannot afford competent (and expensive) legal counsel that the plaintiff and wealthier defendants can. Therefore, they must turn to a court-appointed attorney. These are often rookie lawyers fresh out of law school with little experience and, quite frequently, little competence. In addition to this, tragically, some of these attorneys are startlingly apathetic.
This economic inequality also contributes to racial inequality. It is a fact that African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities have a significantly lower per capita income than Caucasians. Therefore, they suffer the affects of an inadequate trial even more frequently than their white counterparts. Aside from their economic handicap, they are often subject to the racist views still held by many Americans. Unfortunately, many jurors still deliver a guilty verdict based on the color of the defendant?s skin more than on the evidence against him or her. Also, some judges may be more likely to pronounce a sentence of death to a minority where they would simply deliver a prison sentence to an
Racial disparity in capital cases is supported by many studies and statistics. For...