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Perhaps one of the most controversial issues this nation or world will ever face is the function and purpose of the capital punishment system known as the death penalty. Since the beginning of the instatement of the death penalty there has been wide spread controversy over its use as well as its practice. This topic has caused lots of commotion between groups that are pro death penalty and those that opposed to the use of the capital punishment. Individuals that are opposed to the system of capital punishment will say that the system has flaws and that alone should be enough to end the use of the death penalty. Persons that are pro death penalty will argue that carrying out an execution not only eliminates the chance of that person committing another crime but it provides a type of closure for the victims family. There are many factors that come in to play when the death penalty is used as a type of punishment. Do we execute a juvenile, or what about persons who are mentally ill, or is race a determining factor. Studies have shown that African American males are executed at a much higher rate than any other race. Is this because African Americans commit most of the crime or could this be a sign of a defect in the system of capital punishment. What about the costs, there is conflicting data that determinate which procedure is more expensive; life time imprisonment or capital punishment. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. ( Article 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights). No system is perfect but when someone is found innocent through an appeal it shows us that the system indeed works ( The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 11). Although the death penalty dates back to 1608 it was not until 1930 that statistics were collected on a regular basis. It was actually Britain who was the main influence towards America instituting the use of the death penalty. The first recorded execution in the new colonies was Captain George Kendall in Virginia in 1608 for the crime of stealing (http://teacher.deathpenaltyinfo.msu.edu/). Laws about the death penalty varied from colony to colony. Little is known about the system of capital punishment in the colonial times due to the inadequate information kept at the time as well as lost documents. In the early part of the nineteenth century, many states lowered the number of executions they performed and built state penitentiaries to hold criminals. In 1834, Pennsylvania became the first state to stop public executions and move them into correctional facilities. In 1846, Michigan was the first state to put an end to the death penalty for all crimes except treason. (http://teacher.deathpenaltyinfo.msu.edu/). Later, Rhode Island and Wisconsin would get rid of the death penalty for all crimes. By the end of the century Venezuela, Portugal, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Brazil and Ecuador would also end the use of the capital punishment (http://www.amnestyusa.org/abolish). Although some U.S. states began abolishing the death penalty, most states continued to use the death penalty. During the Civil War, disagreement to the death penalty faded, because more attention was given to the anti-slavery movement and other war activities. After the war new ways of carrying out executions surfaced. The electric chair was instituted at the end of the century. New York built the first electric chair in 1888, and in 1890 executed William Kemmler. Soon after, other states implemented this way of execution (http://teacher.deathpenaltyinfo.msu.edu/). From 1907 to 1917 six states completely banned the death penalty and three limited it to hardly ever committed crimes like treason and first degree murder of a law enforcement official. However, this change was brief. The United States had just entered World War I. As a result, five of the six states that banned the death penalty reinstated it by 1920 (Bedau, Pg.21). Cyanide gas was introduced in 1924 , as Nevada looked for a more humane way of executing the prisoners. Gee Jon was the first person executed by lethal gas. The state tried to pump cyanide gas into Jon's cell while he slept, but this proved impossible, and the gas chamber was built. (Bohm, 2003) In the 1950s, public emotion began to turn away from capital punishment. Many allied nations either abolished or limited the death penalty, and in the U.S., the number of executions dropped dramatically. Whereas there were 1,289 executions in the 1940s, there were 715 in the 1950s, and the number fell even further, to only 191, from 1960 to 1976. In 1966, support for capital punishment reached an all-time low. A Gallup poll showed support for the death penalty at only 42%. (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/, 2003 ) In the 1960s challenges were made to the legality of the death penalty. Before the 1960s the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution were interpreted as allowing the death penalty. Yet, in the early 1960s, it was suggested that the death penalty was a "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. (http://teacher.deathpenaltyinfo.msu.edu.) By a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court ruled that Georgia's death penalty laws could result in illogical sentencing. The Court ruled that the system of punishment under those laws was "cruel and unusual" and violated the Eighth Amendment. On June 29, 1972, the Supreme Court erased forty death penalty laws, in so doing commuting the sentences of 629 death row inmates and suspending the death penalty because existing laws were no longer valid. (Furman v. Georgia). Justices Brennan and Marshall stated that the death penalty itself was unconstitutional, but the overall ruling in Furman v. Georgia was that the specific death penalty laws were unconstitutional. So all states had to do was rewrite their death penalty laws to eliminate the problems that were pointed out in Furman v. Georgia. Florida was the first state to rewrite its laws only five months after Furman. Not long after 34 other states rewrote their death penalty laws. The ten-year suspension on executions ended on January 17, 1977, with the execution of Gary Gilmore by firing squad in the state of Utah. Oklahoma became the first state in 1977 to adopt lethal injection as a means of execution. Some might find it outrageous that in the United States a juvenile can be sentenced to death for a crime that they committed when they were as young as 16. People who are against the death penalty say that there is no way a child can have the mental capacity of an adult to understand that the crime they commit may result in getting the death penalty. Therefore an adult punishment for a crime committed by a juvenile is not acceptable. Supporters of the death penalty will say that if you do an adult crime you should be ready to do the adult time. There is an almost universal exclusion on executing persons who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. Yet in the United States Twenty-two of the thirty-eight states who have the death penalty will execute a juvenile who was sixteen at the age of the crime they committed. The U. S. Constitution prohibits execution for crimes committed at age 15 and younger (Thompson v. Oklahoma, 1988) but permits execution for crimes at ages 16 or older (Stanford v. Kentucky, 1989). However, the Court now appears nearly ready to rule all executions for crimes committed at age 17 or younger unconstitutional (In re Stanford, 2002). Every nation in the world has established an international agreement barring the execution of juvenile offenders. The United States is the only nation refusing to discard laws permitting juveniles to be sentenced to death. (The United Nations Convention Article 37(a)) provides that "Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age." The United States is the only country in the world that has not yet ratified this international agreement, in large part because of our desire to remain free to retain the death penalty for juvenile offenders. ( http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov, 2003). "I don't think we should be proud of the fact that the United States is the world leader in the execution of child offenders." (U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, November 11, 1999) The argument that the United States is the only country left in the world that still executes people who committed a crime when they were a juvenile can be disproved. Since 2000, four countries in the world are known to have executed juveniles: Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Pakistan, and the United States (www.amnestyusa.org/abolish). Lessening this list, Pakistan recently abolished the death penalty for juveniles and the Democratic Republic of Congo has launched a suspension on juvenile capital punishment. Some believe that the use of the death penalty is a deterrence towards future criminals. Others say that the purpose of the death penalty is not to deter future criminals but to punish the ones who have broken the law. Supporters of the death penalty argue that the death penalty reduces crime by scaring people who might commit crimes. Studies have shown that states that actively use the death penalty have not had a drop in murder rate and furthermore states who use the death penalty do not have lower crime rates than states who do not use the system of capital punishment. You can not compare states crime rates because most states with the death penalty are states that always had high crime rates. ( The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 9.) National crime statistics on crime rate show that murder rate went down in the years that there were many executions carried out and there was a large increase during the time when the use of capital punishment was suspended. In a 1995 national survey police chiefs listed capital punishment as the leas effective deterrent of crime due to the fact that most crimes happen in the heat of passion while the person is under the influence of some type of drug or alcohol and they are not thinking of the consequences of their actions. ( The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 9.) "I have inquired for most of my adult life about studies that might show that the death penalty is a deterrent. And I have not seen any research that would substantiate that point." (Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, January 2000) Technology like DNA decrease the chance on of someone who is innocent being found guilty and sentenced to death for a crime that they did not commit. With the use of technology over 100 people were exonerated from death row since 1973 where they had been sentenced to their death for a crime they were innocent of (www.amnestyusa.org/abolish). At least 25 people have been executed where they were later found innocent. Despite the courts efforts to fashion a death penalty scheme that is just, fair, and reliable, the system is not working. Innocent people are being sent to their deathIt is no answer to say that we are doing the best we can. If this is the best our state can do we have no business sending people to their deaths. (Justice Moses Harrison II of the Illinois State Supreme Court). Many factors can lead to wrongful convictions things like; Inadequate legal representation, police and prosecutorial misconduct, Perjured testimony and mistaken eyewitness testimony, racial prejudice, tainted jailhouse "snitch" testimony, suppression of mitigating evidence and misinterpretation of evidence, and community pressure (www.amnestyusa.org/abolish). Recently The Supreme Court sided with a black Texas death row inmate who claimed prosecutors stacked the jury with whites and said he was not allowed to present evidence of the alleged bias. The high court ruled 8-1 that Thomas Miller-El should have been given an opportunity to present his evidence during his federal appeals. The court's action does not mean Miller-El will ultimately win his case but it does in fact show that there was some type of flaw in the system (www.amnestyusa.org/abolish). Supporters of the capital punishment system reason that to make a person spend the rest of his or her entire life in prison with out the possibility of release is inhumane. Why should people who have committed a cruel act be treated kindly. They also reason that as the search for the most humane way of executing someone goes on lethal injection has proven to be the most humane. According to Amnestyusa.org, an organization aimed at abolishing the death penalty, many executions have gone wrong. In 1983 the execution of John Evans lasted 14 minuets. He had to be given three jolts of electricity to stop his heart. At the end of the procedure sparks of fire and smoke was saw coming out of Evans head. In 1997 an inmate suffered 18 violent convolutions during a 10 minuet lethal injection procedure. The execution of those with mental illness is clearly prohibited by international law. Almost every country in the world prohibits the execution of people with mental illness. The UN Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those Facing the Death Penalty "nor shall the death sentence be carried outon persons who have become insane." (the UN Economic and Social Council Resolution of May 25, 1984). Yet as recently as January 21, 2000, Larry Keith Robison, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was executed by the state of Texas. On June 22, 2000, Thomas Provenzano, who suffered from severe delusional episodes and believed he was Jesus Christ, was executed by the state of Florida. On August 16, 2000, John Satterwhite, who suffered from both mental illness and mental retardation, was executed by the state of Texas. Others with mental illness who have been executed in the U.S. in violation of international law include: Pernell Ford- Alabama, Bert Hunter- Missouri, and Juan Soria -Texas. (The Death Penalty Pg.35) In Atkins v. Virginia, 2002), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the United States Constitution prohibits the death penalty for mentally retarded offenders, based upon reasoning closely related to juvenile offenders. Between 1930 and 1996 one half of all people executed were black. (Capital Punishment Pg.12) a study conducted in Philadelphia showed that blacks were four times more likely to get the death penalty than any other racial or ethnic group. Less than 50 percent of all of all murders involve white victims but 82 percent of all prisoners who were executed since 1976 were convicted of killing a white person. Even under the most sophisticated death penalty statutes, race continues to play a major role in determining who shall live and who shall die ( U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun). Murderers are put to death, not based on the race or economic status of the victim or the murderer, but based on death penalty laws (http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DP.html#A.Innocence p.9) "racial discrimination pervades the U.S. death penalty at every stage of the process. There is only one way to eradicate ethnic bias, and the echoes of racism, from death penalty procedures in the United States-and this is by eradicating the death penalty itself." (Killing with Prejudice: Race and the Death Penalty in the USA, Amnesty International, May 1999) The death penalty has been and will always be a very controversial issue. The taking of ones life is never right either it be by a person or by the government. Everyone is entitled to life as well as a second chance. The use of the death penalty by the U.S. government shifts the blood from one hand to the other. The system of capital punishment has showed its flaws over and over again. For every seven people who are executed there is one person that is found innocent after they had been proven guilty some even freed minuets before they were secluded to be executed. (The Death Penalty for Teens Pg.33). We can not overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life (http://www.). Mistakes do happen within any system but once a person is executed it is too late to apologize.
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The histoy of capital punishment in the United States essay
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The Histoy Of Capital Punishment In The United States Essay

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              Perhaps one of the most controversial issues this nation or world will ever face is the function and purpose of the capital punishment system known as the death penalty. Since the beginning of the instatement of the death penalty there has been wide spread controversy over its use as well as its practice. This topic has caused lots of commotion between groups that are pro death penalty and those that opposed to the use of the capital punishment. Individuals that are opposed to the system of capital punishment will say that the system has flaws and that alone should be enough to end the use of the death penalty. Persons that are pro death penalty will argue that carrying out an execution not only eliminates the chance of that person committing another crime but it provides a type of closure for the victims family. There are many factors that come in to play when the death penalty is used as a type of punishment. Do we execute a juvenile, or what about persons who are mentally ill, or is race a determining factor. Studies have shown that African American males are executed at a much higher rate than any other race. Is this because African Americans commit most of the crime or could this be a sign of a defect in the system of capital punishment. What about the costs, there is conflicting data that determinate which procedure is more expensive; life time imprisonment or capital punishment. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. ( Article 3 Universal Declaration of Human Rights). No system is perfect but when someone is found innocent through an appeal it shows us that the system indeed works ( The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 11).
             
             
              Although the death penalty dates back to 1608 it was not until 1930 that statistics were collected on a regular basis. It was actually Britain who was the main influence towards America instituting the use of the death penalty. The first recorded execution in the new colonies was Captain George Kendall in Virginia in 1608 for the crime of stealing (http: //teacher. deathpenaltyinfo. msu. edu/). Laws about the death penalty varied from colony to colony. Little is known about the system of capital punishment in the colonial times due to the inadequate information kept at the time as well as lost documents.
             
              In the early part of the nineteenth century, many states lowered the number of executions they performed and built state penitentiaries to hold criminals. In 1834, Pennsylvania became the first state to stop public executions and move them into correctional facilities. In 1846, Michigan was the first state to put an end to the death penalty for all crimes except treason. (http: //teacher. deathpenaltyinfo. msu. edu/). Later, Rhode Island and Wisconsin would get rid of the death penalty for all crimes. By the end of the century Venezuela, Portugal, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Brazil and Ecuador would also end the use of the capital punishment (http: //www. amnestyusa. org/abolish).
             
              Although some U. S. states began abolishing the death penalty, most states continued to use the death penalty. During the Civil War, disagreement to the death penalty faded, because more attention was given to the anti-slavery movement and other war activities. After the war new ways of carrying out executions surfaced. The electric chair was instituted at the end of the century. New York built the first electric chair in 1888, and in 1890 executed William Kemmler. Soon after, other states implemented this way of execution (http: //teacher. deathpenaltyinfo. msu. edu/).
             
              From 1907 to 1917 six states completely banned the death penalty and three limited it to hardly ever committed crimes like treason and first degree murder of a law enforcement official. However, this change was brief. The United States had just entered World War I. As a result, five of the six states that banned the death penalty reinstated it by 1920 (Bedau, Pg. 21). Cyanide gas was introduced in 1924 , as Nevada looked for a more humane way of executing the prisoners. Gee Jon was the first person executed by lethal gas. The state tried to pump cyanide gas into Jon's cell while he slept, but this proved impossible, and the gas chamber was built. (Bohm, 2003)
             
              In the 1950s, public emotion began to turn away from capital punishment. Many allied nations either abolished or limited the death penalty, and in the U. S. , the number of executions dropped dramatically. Whereas there were 1,289 executions in the 1940s, there were 715 in the 1950s, and the number fell even further, to only 191, from 1960 to 1976. In 1966, support for capital punishment reached an all-time low. A Gallup poll showed support for the death penalty at only 42%. (http: //www. ojp. usdoj. gov/bjs/, 2003 )
             
              In the 1960s challenges were made to the legality of the death penalty. Before the 1960s the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution were interpreted as allowing the death penalty. Yet, in the early 1960s, it was suggested that the death penalty was a "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. (http: //teacher. deathpenaltyinfo. msu. edu. )
             
              By a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court ruled that Georgia's death penalty laws could result in illogical sentencing. The Court ruled that the system of punishment under those laws was "cruel and unusual" and violated the Eighth Amendment. On June 29, 1972, the Supreme Court erased forty death penalty laws, in so doing commuting the sentences of 629 death row inmates and suspending the death penalty because existing laws were no longer valid. (Furman v. Georgia).
             
              Justices Brennan and Marshall stated that the death penalty itself was unconstitutional, but the overall ruling in Furman v. Georgia was that the specific death penalty laws were unconstitutional. So all states had to do was rewrite their death penalty laws to eliminate the problems that were pointed out in Furman v. Georgia. Florida was the first state to rewrite its laws only five months after Furman. Not long after 34 other states rewrote their death penalty laws. The ten-year suspension on executions ended on January 17, 1977, with the execution of Gary Gilmore by firing squad in the state of Utah. Oklahoma became the first state in 1977 to adopt lethal injection as a means of execution.
             
              Some might find it outrageous that in the United States a juvenile can be sentenced to death for a crime that they committed when they were as young as 16. People who are against the death penalty say that there is no way a child can have the mental capacity of an adult to understand that the crime they commit may result in getting the death penalty. Therefore an adult punishment for a crime committed by a juvenile is not acceptable. Supporters of the death penalty will say that if you do an adult crime you should be ready to do the adult time.
             
              There is an almost universal exclusion on executing persons who were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime. Yet in the United States Twenty-two of the thirty-eight states who have the death penalty will execute a juvenile who was sixteen at the age of the crime they committed. The U. S. Constitution prohibits execution for crimes committed at age 15 and younger (Thompson v. Oklahoma, 1988) but permits execution for crimes at ages 16 or older (Stanford v. Kentucky, 1989). However, the Court now appears nearly ready to rule all executions for crimes committed at age 17 or younger unconstitutional (In re Stanford, 2002). Every nation in the world has established an international agreement barring the execution of juvenile offenders. The United States is the only nation refusing to discard laws permitting juveniles to be sentenced to death. (The United Nations Convention Article 37(a)) provides that "Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age. " The United States is the only country in the world that has not yet ratified this international agreement, in large part because of our desire to remain free to retain the death penalty for juvenile offenders. ( http: //www. ojp. usdoj. gov, 2003). "I don't think we should be proud of the fact that the United States is the world leader in the execution of child offenders. " (U. S. Senator Russ Feingold, November 11, 1999)
             
              The argument that the United States is the only country left in the world that still executes people who committed a crime when they were a juvenile can be disproved. Since 2000, four countries in the world are known to have executed juveniles: Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Pakistan, and the United States (www. amnestyusa. org/abolish). Lessening this list, Pakistan recently abolished the death penalty for juveniles and the Democratic Republic of Congo has launched a suspension on juvenile capital punishment.
             
              Some believe that the use of the death penalty is a deterrence towards future criminals. Others say that the purpose of the death penalty is not to deter future criminals but to punish the ones who have broken the law. Supporters of the death penalty argue that the death penalty reduces crime by scaring people who might commit crimes. Studies have shown that states that actively use the death penalty have not had a drop in murder rate and furthermore states who use the death penalty do not have lower crime rates than states who do not use the system of capital punishment. You can not compare states crime rates because most states with the death penalty are states that always had high crime rates. ( The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 9. ) National crime statistics on crime rate show that murder rate went down in the years that there were many executions carried out and there was a large increase during the time when the use of capital punishment was suspended. In a 1995 national survey police chiefs listed capital punishment as the leas effective deterrent of crime due to the fact that most crimes happen in the heat of passion while the person is under the influence of some type of drug or alcohol and they are not thinking of the consequences of their actions. ( The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 9. ) "I have inquired for most of my adult life about studies that might show that the death penalty is a deterrent. And I have not seen any research that would substantiate that point. " (Former U. S. Attorney General Janet Reno, January 2000)
             
              Technology like DNA decrease the chance on of someone who is innocent being found guilty and sentenced to death for a crime that they did not commit. With the use of technology over 100 people were exonerated from death row since 1973 where they had been sentenced to their death for a crime they were innocent of (www. amnestyusa. org/abolish). At least 25 people have been executed where they were later found innocent. Despite the courts efforts to fashion a death penalty scheme that is just, fair, and reliable, the system is not working. Innocent people are being sent to their deathIt is no answer to say that we are doing the best we can. If this is the best our state can do we have no business sending people to their deaths. (Justice Moses Harrison II of the Illinois State Supreme Court). Many factors can lead to wrongful convictions things like; Inadequate legal representation, police and prosecutorial misconduct, Perjured testimony and mistaken eyewitness testimony, racial prejudice, tainted jailhouse "snitch" testimony, suppression of mitigating evidence and misinterpretation of evidence, and community pressure (www. amnestyusa. org/abolish). Recently The Supreme Court sided with a black Texas death row inmate who claimed prosecutors stacked the jury with whites and said he was not allowed to present evidence of the alleged bias. The high court ruled 8-1 that Thomas Miller-El should have been given an opportunity to present his evidence during his federal appeals. The court's action does not mean Miller-El will ultimately win his case but it does in fact show that there was some type of flaw in the system (www. amnestyusa. org/abolish).
             
              Supporters of the capital punishment system reason that to make a person spend the rest of his or her entire life in prison with out the possibility of release is inhumane. Why should people who have committed a cruel act be treated kindly. They also reason that as the search for the most humane way of executing someone goes on lethal injection has proven to be the most humane. According to Amnestyusa. org, an organization aimed at abolishing the death penalty, many executions have gone wrong. In 1983 the execution of John Evans lasted 14 minuets. He had to be given three jolts of electricity to stop his heart. At the end of the procedure sparks of fire and smoke was saw coming out of Evans head. In 1997 an inmate suffered 18 violent convolutions during a 10 minuet lethal injection procedure.
             
              The execution of those with mental illness is clearly prohibited by international law. Almost every country in the world prohibits the execution of people with mental illness. The UN Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those Facing the Death Penalty "nor shall the death sentence be carried outon persons who have become insane. " (the UN Economic and Social Council Resolution of May 25, 1984). Yet as recently as January 21, 2000, Larry Keith Robison, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was executed by the state of Texas. On June 22, 2000, Thomas Provenzano, who suffered from severe delusional episodes and believed he was Jesus Christ, was executed by the state of Florida. On August 16, 2000, John Satterwhite, who suffered from both mental illness and mental retardation, was executed by the state of Texas. Others with mental illness who have been executed in the U. S. in violation of international law include: Pernell Ford- Alabama, Bert Hunter- Missouri, and Juan Soria -Texas. (The Death Penalty Pg. 35) In Atkins v. Virginia, 2002), the United States Supreme Court ruled that the United States Constitution prohibits the death penalty for mentally retarded offenders, based upon reasoning closely related to juvenile offenders.
             
              Between 1930 and 1996 one half of all people executed were black. (Capital Punishment Pg. 12) a study conducted in Philadelphia showed that blacks were four times more likely to get the death penalty than any other racial or ethnic group. Less than 50 percent of all of all murders involve white victims but 82 percent of all prisoners who were executed since 1976 were convicted of killing a white person. Even under the most sophisticated death penalty statutes, race continues to play a major role in determining who shall live and who shall die ( U. S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun). Murderers are put to death, not based on the race or economic status of the victim or the murderer, but based on death penalty laws (http: //www. prodeathpenalty. com/DP. html#A. Innocence p. 9) "racial discrimination pervades the U. S. death penalty at every stage of the process. There is only one way to eradicate ethnic bias, and the echoes of racism, from death penalty procedures in the United States-and this is by eradicating the death penalty itself. " (Killing with Prejudice: Race and the Death Penalty in the USA, Amnesty International, May 1999)
             
              The death penalty has been and will always be a very controversial issue. The taking of ones life is never right either it be by a person or by the government. Everyone is entitled to life as well as a second chance. The use of the death penalty by the U. S. government shifts the blood from one hand to the other. The system of capital punishment has showed its flaws over and over again. For every seven people who are executed there is one person that is found innocent after they had been proven guilty some even freed minuets before they were secluded to be executed. (The Death Penalty for Teens Pg. 33). We can not overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life (http: //www. ). Mistakes do happen within any system but once a person is executed it is too late to apologize.
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