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The Death Penalty

             I, personally, do not agree with the death penalty. I don't necessarily feel that it is cruel and unusual punishment, however I do believe that the death penalty has a tendency to be racially biased. Furthermore, there is no evidence proving that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments, such as life imprisonment. For these reasons and more, I believe that the death penalty is an irrational form of punishment.
             I do not agree with the death penalty, for one, because in several cases, innocent people were condemned to death, and sometimes executed. Studies have shown that since 1973, approximately 92 people had been falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to death. These people were released from death row after considerable evidence established their innocence, however, between 1900 and 1986, at least 23 people had been wrongly executed. (http://www.ncpa.org/pi/crime/pd051000c.html) These unjust executions are the result of errors in eyewitnesses or the lack of DNA evidence present at the scene of a murder. Another reason why the death penalty, in my opinion, is irrational, is because it is racially biased. The death penalty does not recognize the worst offenders, however, it does separate out single arbitrary groups, such as the color or race of the defendant. Studies suggest that for every white executed for killing a black person, 14 black people were executed for murdering a white person. (http://www.skepticism.net/articles/2001/000019.html) Also, in most cases, a black person is 4 times as likely to get the death penalty as a white person is. Finally, it has been shown that, on average, the cost of killing one person using the death penalty is six times greater than that of the incarceration of that person for life without parole. It is estimated that the cost of capital punishment can range from $1 million to $3 million, however, life in prison costs, on average, about $500,000.

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