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Esasy on Anti Death Penalty

Death Penalty

Death by execution has existed as a punishment since the dawn of time. Yet although this has existed seemingly forever, the question of its morality has also existed for that same amount of time. Killers kill innocent people, there is no question about that, but does that give us the right to kill these killers? I do not think so.

Racism is often the driving force behind crime. Yet in a justice system that preaches equality, it too is led by racism. There is "a pattern of evidence indicating racial disparities in the charging, sentencing, and imposition of the death penalty" according to a 1990 U.S. Government report. An overwhelming majority of death row defendants since 1977 were executed for killing whites despite the fact that whites and blacks are victims of murder in approximately equal numbers. In Texas, for example, blacks found guilty of killing whites were found to be six times more likely to receive the death penalty that whites convicted of killing whites. Of the 3,061 inmates on death row 1,246 of them are black, making 40% of death row inmates black. Compare this to the fact that blacks make up 12% of the U.S. population. Furthermore, many black prisoners on death row were sentenced to death by all-white juries after prosecutors had deliberately excluded black people from the jury pool.

Racism alone is not the only problem with Capital Punishment. Many inmates on death row suffer from mental retardation. The 1984 ECOSOC safeguards state that the death penalty must not be carried out on persons who have become insane, while the ECOSOC resolution 1989/64 on the execution of the 1984 safeguards recommends that UN member states eliminate the death penalty for persons suffering from mental retardation or extremely limited competence. Amnesty International has documented the cases of more than 50 prisoners suffering from mental illness or mental retardation who have been executed in the U.S. in the past decade. Humanitarian standards maintain that mentally impaired people should not be held criminally responsible for their acts. The prohibition against executing insane recognizes that killing people who cannot comprehend the nature or purpose of their punishment is not a deterrent or retribution. Despite all this the mentally ill...

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