Who Needs the Death Penalty Anyway

English 102 11:00 a.m.

Revision 2 Paper 2

There is no way any person could tell me that the death penalty is a form of justice. There are to many flaws with the death penalty, such as racism and innocence to call it justifiable. I also feel as humans we have no right to take a human life. In my eyes the death penalty does absolutely nothing for society, and it never will. All the death penalty does is hurt people in society.

One way the death penalty hurts society is racism. The death penalty is supposed to be reserved for the worst of the worst. In reality the way I see it the death penalty is reserved for racial minorities such as myself. Consider the fact that 55 percent of death row inmates are people of color, 43 percent are African American (Hawkins 2002).

If the death penalty is not racist then why didnít Charles Manson or Ted Kaczynski get the death penalty. Those two committed some sick crimes yet they are still alive. I have a petty good idea as to why they didnít get the death penalty, itís because they are both white males. If that a person with color committed the same crimes as Charles Manson I bet my life they would have gotten the death penalty.

As I said before: the death penalty does nothing but hurt society. It does not even deter crime. The deterrence theory suggests that most criminals would think twice before committing murder if they knew their own lives were at stake. That theory does seem logical, but I donít think itís that simple.


In my opinion the deterrence theory is unsound. When a person kills another person they are not thinking of the consequences they might face. Murders probably think ďif Iím convicted, Iím going to get the chair anyway, so I mine as

well take some more people with me.Ē Besides, no criminal commits a crime if he believes he will be caught.

There are also those out there who believe that the death penalty is a deterrent. Such as Assemblyman Tedisco, who stated, ď I suggest to you that it is irrefutably a deterrent....Ē ďAnd for all those individuals who have been given the death penalty and are no longer in existence, you cannot stand up and tell me they will murder again.Ē ďThey will not only never murder again, they will never steal your car or rape your wife or your daughterĒ ( Galiher 312). Of course individuals who received the death penalty will never murder again because theyíre dead, but that doesnít stop those who are still alive.

Another way the death penalty hurts society is cost. The cost of a capital trial alone is more than double the cost of life imprisonment. Being a taxpayer I sometimes wonder if Iím helping in paying to have someone killed. If that is true then we all are contributing to the death of a human being, thatís a scary thought. Anyway, Florida has one of the nationís largest death rows, and has estimated that the true cost of each execution is approximately $3.2 million, which is six times the cost of life imprisonment (Isenberg 133). Is it just me or is that just a little too much money. Money is just a small problem compared to innocence people being put to death.


While doing all this death penalty research I often wondered if there were really innocent people on death row? What I did find was that at least twenty-three people have been executed who did not commit the crime they were accused of (Hawkins 2002). Part of the problem there is when an innocent person is executed that person canít be brought

back, and the real killer is still on the streets ready to kill someone else. In my opinion sentencing an innocent person to death is one of the most fatal mistakes that the criminal justice system can make.

It is obvious that the death penalty does nothing for society but hurt it. Personally I think the death penalty should be abolished. I myself have noticed due to recent events in the past year that there seems to be a greater