Time to Say Goodbye to Capital Punishment
On May 18, 2017, My aunt, Ebony Archie left her car running to go inside a Kroger grocery store. She went inside the store to get my 6-year-old little cousin, Kingston cupcakes for his graduation from the kindergarten ceremony that was the next day. Kingston was fast asleep on the back seat so she figured why need leave him there since it was a quick stop. While my aunt entered the store there were 3 teenage boys sitting in their car in the parking lot. The boys were sitting in the parking lot waiting to make a marijuana sell. One of the friends noticed that my aunt had left her car unlocked and also running and decided it was a great opportunity for him to steal the car. He got out of his friend’s car and walked over to my aunt’s car and sped off with my little cousin still inside. When my aunt returned outside within about 10 minutes, no sign of her car and no sign of Kingston. She ran crying hysterically to an on-duty officer and an amber alert was instantly released statewide. Within a few hours of searching my 6-year-old little cousin was found dead about 15 miles from the Kroger that Byron Mcbride stole my aunt’s car from. Byron shot my cousin multiple times and left the car abandon. He is now on trial facing Capital Punishment. Even though the person who took the life of my loved one could get their life taken away the same way, The United States should not participate in Capital Murder because it is unconstitutional, more expensive than a life sentence trail and does not provide equal protection.
According to the 8th amendment, “excessive bail shall not be required cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” What this amendment that is written in the constitution is stating is the government should not enforce pain and suffer onto others willingly. Indeed, that is just what the capital punishment does. It is unusual because when is it common for someone else to decide that someone else’s life is not worth living. That is not acceptable no matter what the situation is. The capital punishment is cruel because they ways they chose to take life is painful. The process of capital punishment had evolved over time. The first method used in execution was hanging. Which is using a sandbag the same weight as a prisoner ensuring a perfect drop to a quick death. After the hanging came electrocution. During this method of execution, the prisoner is strapped down to a chair and a jolt between 500 and volts that last for 30 seconds is given and is shocked to death. Lastly, this method which is popular today is lethal injection. Two needled are inserted into the veins in the arm. The inmate is then injected with a harmless saline, followed by sodium thiopental; which puts the inmate to sleep. Next flows pavulon bromide this paralyzes and stops the inmate’s breathing. Finally, the flow of potassium chloride stops the heartbeat. All of these methods of execution are pure pain. Everything stated in the 8th amendment is vividly broken when the United States continues to take part in capital punishment. It contradicts everything the US claims to be for.
Along with unconstitutional capital punishment is expensive. When comparing cases sought out to seek death penalty to cases that are not they are much more higher in cost. According to DPIC, an informational site about capital punishment, “cases without death penalty cost $740,000 whereas cases that seek the death penalty cost $1.26 million.” When you subtract both of those numbers you will be a difference of $540,000. Without a doubt that is an extremely good amount of money for the US to save. As a result of capital punishment being so expensive in order for “countries to manage this high cost by decreasing funding in highways, and police. In addition to increasing taxes.” Not only is the United States losing money but they are ceasing things from US citizens that can help them in their everyday life just to make sure capital punishment is funded. This is once again going against the United States morals of being “for the people”. Apart from this, in August of 2015 after a 3-year long trail, a James Holmes was spared from the death penalty he was facing. In this case alone the jury spent 3.5 million dollars hearing several weeks of evidence. If this case would have been pursued as a non-capital case it could have cost Colorado only $150,000. Think about how much money the US would save if they abolished capital punishment altogether.
On top of unconstitutional and expensive capital punishment is also unjust. When it comes to who is actually executed race and class are factors. The black and poor are more likely to be executed than the white and wealthy. According to the United States General Accounting office “82% of the studies reviewed, race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder.” When looking at the bar graph I noticed a very drastic difference in the number of blacks that were executed because they murdered a person who was white than a white person who murdered someone black. Connecting to my thought of the death penalty is unjust this proved my point. No matter what race was murdered if one murderer is going to receive the death penalty then so should the other race. When taking into consideration who should be found guilty ones social status looked upon. Scott Phillips, a sociology and criminology professor studied 504 cases. Phillips found that defendants who are defended by court-appointed lawyers were more likely to get the death penalty compared to those who hired a private lawyer to represent them. As once stated by Walter Berns to the Senate capital punishment “has traditionally been imposed in this country in a grossly discriminatory fashion.” and I 100% agree. Capital punishment is unjust. Not only is the government making the decision that a life is worth living wrong but doing it with prejudice intentions is even more wrong.
In conclusion, capital punishment should not only be abolished in 19 states but the other 31 states should bandwagon and make the United States an anti-capital murder country. The US is supposed to be a place of freedom,liberty, and justice so it should act as such and get rid of this horrific law. By the US saying goodbye to this law they are one step closer to actually “making America great again” and also gaining more money. If my family and I can put our personal feelings to the side and know that a life sentence is a civil and unbiased punishment then so can the people seeking to continue capital punishment in the United States.