The Death Penalty Research Paper

2149 words 9 pages
Andrew Cruz
Ms. Rachel Williams
Reading
28 April 2011
Research Paper on the Death Penalty The death penalty is a capital punishment that is put into effect for major crimes. The death penalty is a very controversial topic in the United States and throughout the world. There was a time period were the death penalty was banned for about four years in 1972-1976. Many feel that the death penalty is justice because it is retribution toward criminals who have committed heinous crimes. However the death penalty is inhumane and should be abolished in the United States. The death penalty has been around since the beginning of civilization. “Capital Punishment has been practiced in most known societies over the course of humans history”
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The death penalty costs one-hundred thirty-seven million dollars annually. Writer John Van De Kamp says, “With California facing its most severe financial crisis in recent memory—with draconian cuts about to be imposed from Sacramento that will affect every resident of the state—it would be crazy not to consider the fact that it [The Death Penalty] will add as much as $1 billion over the next five years simply to keep the death penalty on the books.” Therefore the government needs to rid of the death penalty in order to put taxpayer’s money to better use.
One of the biggest problems with the death penalty is that it is racially imbalanced. Juries assign the death penalty more often to minorities than to Whites. “Capital punishment opponents argue that racial bias on the behalf of prosecutors, judges, and juries results in disproportionately high numbers of convicts and death penalties for African-American defendants” (“Issues”). The defendant who is a person of color is much more likely to get the death penalty if the victim is white. “[A]s of 2002, 12 people have been executed where the defendant was white and the murder victim was black, compared with a 178 black defendants executed for murders with white victims” (Bedau). There are still these uneven numbers in death row to this day. There has been evidence in murder cases that juries have been racist and have sentenced some people to

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