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Death Penalty - A Risk Not Worth Taking

            Human rights are strongly supported in America. Yet, the government is still depriving people of their rights in many ways. One way people are being deprived of their rights is the use of the death penalty. The death penalty is often used to kill people who have committed murder. But it is not right to stoop down to the murderer's level by killing them. Killing people is wrong, no matter how you look at it. The death penalty can be viewed as cruel and unusual punishment, which is a violation of the Eighth Amendment. For example, some executions have gone wrong and it has taken a long time for death to occur after the lethal injection. In some cases, people have been killed and found not guilty after they were dead. The death penalty is not a surefire way to punish criminals. .
             Another reason to oppose the death penalty is that there is always the chance that the defendant is wrongly convicted and put to death. Jury members may avoid the death penalty for this very reason. In addition, jury members could be biased in many ways, e.g. racist or sexist, and someone could be wrongly convicted. For example, African Americans are overrepresented on death row. African Americans make up 13% of the population and around 50% of those on death row (Ruggiero). According to the Capital Defense Litigation Group, African American defendants are more likely to be sentenced to death if the victim is white and are often found guilty by all white juries (Ruggiero). While supporters of the death penalty claim that there is no risk of wrongful execution, in fact, there have been people who have been wrongly convicted and killed. If eliminating the death penalty saves the life of just one innocent person, then it is the only moral option. In some cases, witnesses have recanted their statements and claim that they were pressured to make them. In some cases, there was inconclusive forensic evidence and doubtful identifications (Ruggiero).

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