Capital Punishment Should Be Abolished Essay Example



Capital punishment, the notion of applying death upon criminals who commit severe crimes, has been tainting American democracy for centuries. This cruel method of punishment has existed in the American colonies since the 1600s (“Early History”). The constitution of the United States enables capital punishment, although never requires its use. Numerous citizens have been put to death unjustly through unethical and unprincipled morals. Capital punishment must be abolished in the United States because it is harmful to innocent lives, expensive, and unfair.

Without a doubt, it is extremely important to discuss capital punishment as it deals with the mortality of many criminals. The United States is the single first world country still enforcing the death penalty. The implementation of the death penalty has sparked countless controversies within populations, with entire organizations for or against the morality of capital punishment. Most common forms of execution include lethal injection and hanging, although, in other parts of the world, the use of a firing squad and electrocution are all acceptable (“Methods of Execution”). No matter, none of these approaches are humane and justifiable due to various flaws that corrupt the death penalty process.

Primarily, the long, time-consuming process of administering capital punishment can be quite money-draining. In fact, “Capital cases are 70 percent more expensive than comparable non-death penalty cases, including the costs of incarceration” (“Death Penalty 101”). Recurring expenses occur due to the time-consuming process of placing an individual on death row with the attendance of numerous judges, juries, and phases. Consequently, the unnecessary use of taxpayer money can greatly diminish the budget used for other crucial services such as law enforcement and the court system. These costs present a strong conflict to the efficacy of delivering capital punishment.

In addition, capital punishment demonstrates prejudice and unjust by carrying out the death punishment to the mentally ill. The executions of the mentally ill pose a severe threat to the ethics of due process. Experts of mental health asses that “at least 20% of people on death row today have a serious mental illness” (“Death Penalty”). Typically, these seriously mentally ill criminals are less able to provide proper witnesses and are mounted with enormous pressure. Furthermore, information from the Death Penalty Information Center states, “At least 10% of the people currently sentenced to death nationwide are military veterans, many of whom suffer from documented trauma disorders” (“Death Penalty”). The death penalty for many of these military veterans must be halted, largely because several of these men and women possess disorders influencing their offense. The deaths of the mentally ill who are not able to provide proper defense must be punished fairly.

Lastly, due to the flaws of the death penalty process, countless innocents are at risk of being consigned to death row. Ernie Chambers, a Nebraska state senator, states, “Over 150 people in the last few years have been taken off death row because they were innocent” (“Top 10”). The flaws in the death penalty prosecutions allow innocents to be falsely stated as criminals and be killed in the name of justice. With these high numbers of innocents put on death row, there is no doubt that innocents have already been killed. Clemente Aguirre, a wrongfully convicted civilian was sentenced to death due to false forensic evidence linking him to two murders (“Exonerees”). Easily accessible DNA can be used to tamper crime scenes and wrongfully convict many more innocents. In fact, many more exonerees were victims of spurious accusations and witnesses leading to being placed on death row. Innocent civilians can be surely killed through the unfair use of capital punishment.

On the other hand, many critics state that the death penalty is a just punishment and is necessary. These individuals state that “the majority of studies that track effects over many years and across states or counties find a deterrent effect” (“Top 10”). Although in contrast, capital punishment is shown to be ineffective, costly, unfair, and has not been proved otherwise. To risk the deaths of innocent lives in pursuit of equal punishment should be considered illegal and must be reformed. Moreover, for a criminal who has committed heinous crimes, a quick death is much less equitable than a life filled with regret in prison. 

The death penalty is hazardous to American equality. This punishment is filled with flaws and undeniable errs. For instance, the expensive process of convicting a criminal to the death penalty can needlessly drain capital and limit the use of funds in other necessary areas. In another case, an innocent individual may be lethally injected for a crime he or she has not committed. Many defenseless mentally-ill criminals put on death row have been on trial without proper witnesses. Blunders such as this help display the flaws filled throughout capital punishment. All in all, it is imperative to rectify capital punishment due to the excessive funds utilized, the large number of innocents jeopardized, and the vulnerable mentally-ill prosecuted.

Works cited

“Death Penalty 101.” American Civil Liberties Union, www.aclu.org/other/death-penalty-101. 

“Death Penalty.” Equal Justice Initiative, 12 Jan. 2021, eji.org/issues/death-penalty/.  

“Early History of the Death Penalty.” Death Penalty Information Center, deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-and-research/history-of-the-death-penalty/early-history-of-the-death-penalty. 

“Exonerees.” Witnesstoinnocence, www.witnesstoinnocence.org/exonerees.  

“Methods of Execution.” Death Penalty Information Center, deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions/methods-of-execution. 

“Top 10 Pro & Con Arguments - Death Penalty - ProCon.org.” Death Penalty, 18 Feb. 2020, deathpenalty.procon.org/top-10-pro-con-arguments/.