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Capital Punishment Essay Research Paper Capital PunishmentToday

Capital Punishment Essay, Research Paper

Capital PunishmentToday’s system of capital punishment is fraught with Inequalities and injustices. The commonly offered arguments for the death penalty are filled with holes. “It was a deterrent, It removed killers, It was the ultimate punishment. Morally, it is a continuation of the cycle of violence and “…degrades all who are involved in its enforcement, as well as its victim.”(Stewart ) Perhaps the most frequent argument for capital punishment is that of deterrence. The prevailing thought is that imposition of the death penalty will act to dissuade other criminals from committing violent acts. Numerous studies have been created attempting to prove this belief; however, “all the evidence taken together makes it hard to be confident that capital punishment deters more than long prison terms do.”(Stewart) We could execute all three thousand people on death row, and most people would not feel any safer tomorrow.”(Bright). This creates a major problem when “…there continue to be many instances of innocent people being sentenced to death.”(Bright) In our legal system, there exist numerous ways in which justice might be poorly served for a recipient of the death sentence. Foremost is in the handling of his own defense counsel. In the event that a defendant is without counsel, a lawyer will be provided. “Attorney’s appointed to represent capital defendants frequently lack the qualities necessary to provide a competent defense and sometimes have exhibited such poor character that they have subsequently been disbarred.”(Bright). With payment caps or court determined sums there is not much incentive for a lawyer to spend a great deal of time representing a capital defendant. When you compare this to the prosecution, “…aided by the police, other law enforcement agencies, crime labs, state mental hospitals, various other scientific resources, prosecutors …experienced in successfully handling capital cases, …”(Tabak), the defense that the court appointed counsel can offer is puny. If, in fact, a defendant has a valid case to offer, what chance has he to offer it and have it properly recognized? Furthermore, why should he be punished for an injustice that was created by the court itself when it appointed the incapable lawyer? Even if a defendant has proper legal counsel, there is still the matter of impartiality of judges. “This makes for the biased trying of a defendant’s appeals, “…given the overwhelming pressure on elected state judges to heed, and perhaps even lead to, the popular cries for the death of criminal defendants.”(Stewart) Can society simply brush off mistaken execution as an incidental cost in the greater scheme of putting a criminal to death? “Revenge is an unworthy motive for our society to pursue.”(Tabak) At some point, man must stop the violence. Seeking temporary gratification is not a logical basis for whether the death penalty should be imposed. Can society really justify murdering someone else simply on the basis that they deserved it? In earlier times–where capital punishment was common, the value of life was less, and societies were more barbaric–capital punishment was probably quite acceptable. However, in today’s society, which is becoming ever more increasingly humanitarian, and individual rights and due process of justice are held in high accord, the death penalty is becoming an unrealistic form of punishment. Also, with the ever present possibility of mistaken execution, there will remain the question of innocence of those put to death. Finally, man is not a divine being. He does not have the right to inflict mortal punishment in the name of society’s welfare, when there are suitable substitutes. I ask society, “…why don’t we stop the killing?”(Steven) Society definitely needs to abolish the death penalty

Bright, Steven B., and Patrick J. Keenan. “Judges and the Politics of Death: Deciding Between the Bill of Rights and the Next Election in Capital Cases.”Stewart, David O. “www.cap-punishment.comTabak, Ronald J. “Report: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Lack of Due Process in Death Penalty Cases.” Human Rights .Winter (1995):