How Just and Unfair Is the Death Penalty Essay

2066 WordsSep 3, 20129 Pages
How Just and Unfair is the Death Penalty? PHI 103 Informal Logic Instructor: Heather Hensell July 22, 2012 How Just and Unfair is the Death Penalty? The death penalty is capital punishment usually resulting in death for a serious crime such as murder. For centuries the death penalty has been an on-going controversial issue. In fact, the state of Texas has a reputation known for enforcing the death penalty. However, in all of the years mankind knowing of such barbaric punishment, can one actually say that it is just and applied fairly? Despite the fact that the death penalty may seem like justice, the death penalty is a barbaric act that is not applied fairly and is unjust to mankind because there have been innocent people convicted of crimes that they did not commit. Certain factors such as race, location, and money play a large part on how unjust and fair the death penalty is applied. The death penalty is a barbaric action that is unjust and applied unfairly to mankind because although half of the homicide victims are people of color, more than 80 percent of the prisoners executed were convicted of killing whites. According to Williams (2004), “A 1998 study shows that blacks are the most likely to receive the death penalty, regardless of the victims race” (Williams, 2004). In fact, according to DPIC (2012) “Eighty-three percent of those on death row from Philadelphia are African-American” (DPIC, 2012). For example, the 1987 McCleskey v. Kemp, shows racial disparities in sentencing. “The most common disparity or "race effect" is that capital charging and sentencing decisions are applied more punitively in cases involving one or more white victims than they are in similar cases with no white victims. These disparities are generally viewed as evidence of "race of victim" discrimination in the system” (Baldus, et al, 2011). This evidence

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