Capital Punishment or Permanent Punishment

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With, every person does not see eye too eye on literally everything. A debacle that has been expressed year after year between the states, federal government, and even other countries have battled back and forth over this issue. What is the issue you are asking? Capital punishment or otherwise known as the death penalty. Here the last decade it went from being socially acceptable to now being unethical and there is a huge wave that almost covers the globe. My point is that the death penalty needs to be abolished throughout all 50 states of America based on there is a high likely that innocent people are killed due to not clear evidence and a fast rush to hurry and just execute the victim and will save the United States’ citizens and the government thousands of dollars by getting rid of the death penalty.

There has been a pretty lengthy history about how the death penalty. The death penalty first started around the Salem Witch Trials, which was during 1693. This was of no sort an organized group. The reason the death penalty became part of reality was due to the fact that the townspeople of Salem were so heavily against witchcraft that they couldn’t find a reasonable way to deter the people from joining the ranks of witches, so the easiest solution was to burn them at the stake. The thing is, even as terrible as it was, it worked, even though witchcraft isn’t a real thing. What’s next? Sending people off to death for not throwing away their trash at the movies? “In the eighteenth century the American colonies averaged about a dozen crimes for which death could be asked. This was very few when compared with England, the common law of which they had taken over, where more than two hundred crimes carried the death penalty.” (Filler 124). Thanks to work being scarce throughout the region crime rate was kept at a low. Due to the conditions at the county jails not being able to sustain inmates properly, the best way to contain criminals was by either death, mutilation, and fines. These were the conditions up until William Penn’s “Great Act” which brought up the light on concerns of the prison conditions and broke precedents by ordering death for premeditated murders only.

Flash forward over a hundred years to the 1840s where juries were more likely to acquit, and the governors were more prone to override any conviction they wanted too. Also, the 1840s were full of debate effort during the pre-Civil war era. It was almost a hand in hand jog between the anti-slavery movement and the anti-capital punishment issue. Rocking into 1844 antigallow societies were popping up in New York and Massachusetts with multiple sponsors. One man that was a huge chunk to the operation was Reverend Charles Spear. Spear was a founder and author of Essays on the Punishment of Death and in 1845 The Hangman and then became The Prisoner’s Friend. (Filler 129)

As you have seen from some of the history the antideath penalty has bee picking up steam, until 1917 it hit a wall. Colorado, Utah, and Vermont had measures that were killed. Massachusetts lost a bill. Twelve states were made their way into the abolitionist column and there were twelve states that had made it a mandatory execution for convicted murderers. Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, and Nebraska at this time were considering pushing for a mandatory execution for convicted murders. With the twelve states considering, abolitionists were getting scared that the states that were already antideath penalty could come back and mandate execution. “Nevertheless, 1917 was destined to be catastrophic for the abolitionist cause. Under the nervous tensions created by American entrance to World War 1, four of the abolitionist states returned to capital punishment. Promising movements in other states were repulsed.” (Filler 134.)

There is a city in Texas that hosts most of Texas’s worse criminals in the entire state. If sentenced to death row, the criminals are moved to the Huntsville Unit. This place has been home to 540 executions since Texas readopted the death penalty in 1976. Due to the 540 executions, Huntsville unit is infamous for their death row. One of the major oppositions to the death penalty is the exoneration rate of innocent people. Thanks to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, since 1973, 157 have been taken off of and released from death row due to innocence and also late evidence which proved innocence. Due to this fact, it shows that there isn’t a for sure method to link people to the crime. Even with DNA evidence it can raise the question that there isn’t a perfect way of determining if a person has committed the crime, unless directly witnessed by the police of course. “This presents a problem in that ever since the reestablishment of the death penalty, it is possible that one of the 1446 people that have been executed was innocent of the misdeed. With 2905 inmates currently on death row, that leaves many possible innocents.” (Brunson para. 2. With Brunson’s research, it shows how there is a distinct line of what is clear sight evidence and what isn’t. People have been getting executed innocent while pleading innocent. The rampart actions of the court can be thrown into gear that will coerce the decision of appeals to be automatically ignored. It is so hard for a person on death row to actually be returned off of death row. They have always said in court that the innocent isn’t guilty until proven? Well it might as well be the innocent aren’t proven innocent until death.

In other countries and nations, capital punishment is giving out for much lesser serious offenses. “Largely through this vehicle, reform moves since 2007 have institutionalized greater leniency in death penalty decision making in lower courts and consequently a striking drop in death penalty sentencing nationwide. These reform moves are not directly at the hand of the Communist Party policy but largely through the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing, which is subject to party policy but has itself initiated and worked strategically to institutionalize the courts’ more lenient use of the death penalty.” (Trevaskes 483). Thanks to Susan Trevaskes, ever since 2007, the Chinese government has heavily restricted the death penalty. The Chinese would give the death penalty to anyone who would oppose the Communist Party of China which is extreme. Going back to relate the United States and the Chinese by death penalty, if the US is open on taking the chance of malpractice and executing innocent people, it is just showing to the world that we invite and accept China’s way of committing capital punishment. Saudi Arabia and also Iraq will execute you just for leaving Islam.

Throughout my United States History class, we learned that the use of capital punishment was lined up with the goal to deter crime. In 2014, the FBI Uniform Crime Report actually debunks that notion. “In that same year, the South had a 6.7 percent murder rate per 100,000 people and 1178 executions as of February, 2017; which is above 80 percent of the executions. In comparison, the Northeast had a 4.2 murder rate per 100,000 and as of this month, only four people have been executed.” (Brunsman para. 3). Coming from these statistics, the death penalty is doing the complete opposite of deterring crime. The South were pumping out death penalty cases while the North wasn’t and had a lesser murder rate percentage and also a very low execution rate. The faulty system of capital punishment in the United States isn’t a deterrent at all. The sense of making people so scared to not commit crime by executing criminals is failing the beliefs of what it was intended too. One way to actually deter crime is to tackle poverty among the people and stop these killings. Another big way to crack down on getting rid of the death penalty is the costliness of a single capital punishment case.

The death penalty doesn’t do anything except weaken or economy and send it sinking even farther after each year. The state of Kansas has publicly released their information about their state’s death penalty. “According to the Kansas Judicial Council, the defense costs for death penalty trials in Kansas has an average of approximately $400,000 whereas a case where the prosecutor does not seek the death penalty reduces by one fourth. To hit closer to home, the Dallas Morning News reports that the average cost of a death penalty case in Texas is about $2.3 million, which is three times the cost of imprisoning a man in the highest security level for forty years.” (Brunson para. 4). From this report of the two states, these prices are so high just for a single person. If anything, this money could be going to actually fix our criminal justice system instead of just pouring money out of a loose hose trying to water grass. The American people enjoy seeing people locked up for some of the worst crimes you can imagine. An example of the capital punishment flaw by bringing up the Aurora Colorado movie theater shooting.

On July 20, 2012, Colorado became home to one of the United States most deadly shootings at a movie premier of The Dark Knight Rises. Twelve people were killed and more than 70 were injured. “Holmes was charged with two counts of Murder in the First Degree for each of the twelve deceased victims and two counts of Attempt to Commit Murder in the First Degree for each of the seventy injured victims who survived.” (Judge Samour Jr.+ para. 1). From the sounds of this this looks like this man would be executed. On April 1, 2013, the District Attorney’s Office was highly seeking the death penalty for this case. Two months later, Holmes pleaded not guilty to insanity charges. The case went to trial almost three years after the crime had been committed. “A little less than three months later, on July 16, the jury found the defendant guilty of all the charges, although the guilty verdicts on six counts of Attempt to Commit Murder in the First Degree involving three victims in auditorium eight, an auditorium the defendant never accessed, were for the lesser included offense of Attempt to Commit Murder in the Second Degree.” (Judge Samour Jr.+ para. 3). Holmes was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus over three thousand years in prison. This was a bold move by the state of Colorado. Executing this man would not give him the feeling of the innocent lives that were taken at that midnight release of unsuspecting fans going to see their favorite movie series. He would not feel the weight of the twelve souls beating down on him and the seventy plus that are alive wanting a chance to let them unleash hell. This case alone, without actually executing him, cost Colorado over $4.5 million. The price could have been nearly doubled if they passed his death sentence. That is already too much taxpayer dollars. Even though this case did cost the United States money, it was more cost-efficient to stash him up with life in prison without parole than killing him.

The death penalty should be abolished. This debate should have already been six feet under before this paper would have ever been thought of. This is tanking the American Economy. With twenty-one trillion dollars in national debt, the promises of the death penalty deterring criminals and even providing a safe American nation has been a hoax. Innocent people have been so close on avoiding wrongful execution. We truly may never find out how many were actually wrongfully executed. If this nation truly wants to beat out China’s strong GDP and unify the nation, whether it be President Trump or a couple Presidents down the road, the death penalty should be abolished and never dug back up.  

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