Death Penalty Mush Be Abolish in the United States
The death penalty must be abolished in the United States. Outline I. Death penalty must be abolished world A. Death penalty is the sentence of death for a person convicted of a capital offence, is currently used in 58 countries around the world, and is also legal sentence in 33 states. (Harrison, Tamony P2) B. Abolished to end the observance or effect. (www. merriam-webster. com) C. Preview 1. Background information of death penalty 2. Arguments between death penalty and human rights 3. Death penalty mistakes 4. Government financial burden of death penalty. 5. All I Can See proof
II. Background information of death penalty A. History of death penalty B. Current debates on death penalty III. Arguments between death penalty and human rights A. The human rights organization opposes death penalty because of the inhumanity of this punishment 1. Human rights omissions 2. Moral issue B. The death penalty deprives criminal’s human of rights. The death penalty is against religion’s principle of Buddhism. IV. The mistakes of the death penalty Death penalty cause innocent people after the execution. B. Unfairness of death penalty. 1. Race bias in the death penalty . Gender discrimination in the death penalty V. Government financial burden on the death penalty A. The death penalty costs are larger Government pays for the bill of execution of death penalty VI. All I can see part Brown land is a dead land; it referred to the influence of death penalty. VII. Death penalty must be forbidden in the world The death penalty must be abolished in the United States. “The death penalty, the sentence of death for a person convicted of a capital offence, is currently used in 58 countries around the world, and is also legal sentence in 33 states. Harrison, Tamony. P. 2) One hundred and thirty nine countries in the world have abolished the death penalty under their systems of law. Clearly, the majority of the world already understands that the death penalty must be abolished. This paper will prove the necessity of abolishing the death penalty. For the purpose of this paper, death penalty is defined in accordance with Harrison and Tamony. Abolish is defined as the end to the observance or effect of something (www. merriam-webster. com).
Three main arguments will be put forward: the fact that the death penalty violates human rights, un-reversible errors have been and can be made in assigning the death penalty, and finally that it is a financial burden on the governments who still adhere to it. A literary proof based on the novel All I Can See will also be put forth to strengthen the case against the death penalty. In the seventeenth century, the death penalty was the major punishment to sentence criminals who committed capital crimes. In seventeen century, England government was authorized to hang criminals in public as a major punishment.
However, the truth is the death penalty was not only used for the person who broke the law, it was also used to eliminate political opponents. In Europe, before the modern prison system completed, the death penalty was used to sentence general criminals. During the time of Henry VIII, over 72,000 people are estimated to have been executed. During the year 1820 in Britain, about 160 crimes were punished by death, including crimes such as shoplifting, petty theft, stealing cattle, or cutting down trees in public place. ( Bedau.
Hugo Adam, 3) Since World War II, the world set off a wave of abolishing the death penalty. According to information published by Amnesty International, 97 countries had abolished capital punishment altogether, 8 had done so for all offences except under special circumstances, and 36 had not used it for at least 10 years or were under a moratorium. The other 57 retained the death penalty in active use. (Amnesty International, 10 June 2008. ) However, death penalty was always not use in heinous crimes. (See Table 1, Bedau.
Hugo Adam, 7) Table 1: Capital crime in the united states, by execution and number of jurisdiction, 1965 Type of offense| number of jurisdiction| Executions carried out between 1930 and 1965| Capitally punishable homicide| 44| Yes| Murder| 40| Yes| Other homicide| 20| Yes| kidnapping| 34| Yes| Treason| 21| No| Rape| 19| Yes| Carnal knowledge| 15| No| Armed robbery| 10| Yes| Perjury in a capital case| 10| No| Bombing| 7| No| Assault by a life-term prisoner| 5| Yes| Burglary| 4| Yes| Arson| 4| No| Train wrecking| 2| No| Train robbery| 2| No| Espionage| 2| Yes| Bank robbery | 2| Yes|
Sabotage| 1| Yes| Desertion in wartime| 1| Yes| Other| 14| No| *source: Bedau 1982:9 From the table, it is clear that some non-homicide crimes still can be sentence to dead, such as assault by a life-term prisoner or bank robbery. On the contrary, other dangerous crimes are not to be used in the death penalty field, such as bombing and arson. In 1972, at the time of Supreme Court’s Furman, the majority of public tends to agree with the death penalty. The major reason for support of the death penalty was the serious violent offenders need to be executed in the interest of public safety.
However, according to a Gallup poll, supporter for the death penalty dropped from 76 to 53, public started to against the death penalty. Since then, the world has the trend toward of abolishing the death penalty. The right to life is the most basic right for human beings. “The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights1 (ICCPR) prohibits the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment to deprived criminal liberty, which is referred to the death penalty. (Mukherjee Amrita, 2) In the past, hanging was the common method of capital punishment.
Other methods including, crucifixion, drowning, beating and burning. Now, even lethal injection is the capital punishment, but prisoners may have experienced torturous pain during their executions. In the United States, New Jersey is the only states that allows public to watch the whole process. In the thirty-six states, “the same three-drug sequence for lethal injections: sodium thiopental to render the condemned inmate unconscious; pancuronium bromide to paralyze the condemned inmate’s voluntary muscles; and potassium chloride to rapidly induce cardiac arrest and cause death. (Fellner, J and Tofte, 23) However, according to Hyman Rights Watch research, this three-sequence puts prisoners at a high risk situation if the drugs does not affect. Yet to change the drugs sequence, government still chooses the old method by follow the policy. Moreover, inmates placed and unusual circumstances (death penalty diminishes the humanity of everyone it touches. ) and death row inmates will cause criminal’s mental illness and mental disabilities. Similarly, the European Convention on Human (ECHR) also claims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or other inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. (Mukherjee Amrita, 5) Moreover, unusual circumstances and mental pressure may lead to innocent people committed made-up crime. Moreover, the state of Michigan was the one of the earliest governments in the world to abolish the death penalty in 1846. But still, there is a hot debate about if law says kill people is a crime, but government still using the death penalty to sentence criminals, it is also seen as a broken law behavior. The death penalty is a serious moral error. The two points approach to the death penalty morality are consequentialist and deontological.
The consequentialist theory believes that the death penalty accord with the human moral principles because it prevent potential murder. Sometimes, the government uses “aggregate welfare” as an excuse to using the death penalty. The welfare is using death penalty to deter potential criminals in order to achieve the purpose for reducing crime. At the same time, no one can guarantee that government follows the “aggregate welfare” rule to using capital punishment. “The government authorizes its agents to inflict capital punishment, but does not authorize private parties to murder; indeed it forbids murder. ” (Sunstein, Cass R. and Adrian Vermeule. 13) This is an obvious moral contradiction between what government allows itself to do and what is disallows its citizens to do. The public regards the government action as a moral standard, the decision government made influences public opinion. On the other hand, the deontologist’s supporters believe that any killing is against moral principle. Life-life tradeoff is the key of the moral issue. This method is best way “to the extent that a refusal to impose capital punishment yields a significant increase in the number of deaths of innocent people” instead of risk-risk tradeoff. Sunstein, Cass R. , and Adrian Vermeule. 6) Authorize private parties to murder; indeed it forbids murder. A survey from Gallup about Values and Beliefs in American moral views of social issues shows that in 2012, only 58 people saying the death penalty is morally acceptable, and this number down from 65% compare with 2011. The dramatic drop shows that along with the society development, more and more people are tends to against death penalty. Another important survey exposes in 2010, this survey is about public opinion of whether put murders in the death penalty or stay in the prison for life.
Less than half (49%) chose the death penalty, while 46% chose life without parole. (gallup. com) not everybody agrees abolished the death penalty, but from the statics, most citizens support to abolish the capital punishment. “For some such consequentialists, killings are, under ordinary, circumstances, a violation of rights, and this point is highly relevant to any judgment, about killings. ” (Sunstein, Cass R. , and Adrian Vermeule. 15) The death penalty is a cruel punishment that should be abolish to accord with public opinion. The death penalty is against the moral principle of Buddhism.
Considering that Buddhist take most of proportion of the world’s population, especially in Asian nations. ( Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. 2) Compare to western religion, such as Christianity, the Buddhism focus on life meaning. The “Four Noble Truths” are the essential principle in Buddhism, first is” all life is characterized by suffering”; second, “ignorance, attachment, and anger cause human suffering”; third, the cause of suffering can be terminated; and the forth one is “suffering can be overcome through the “Noble Eightfold Path. These four rules is the basis of Buddhism morality, which decide what is good or bad. (Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. 4-6). For the death penalty, the death row is obvious unacceptable for the Buddhist. Even death penalty been use to punish criminals, but before the execution, the longtime death row will cause criminals mental illness. In Buddhism principle, all the creatures are have life, and needs to be respect, the memory and imagination makes people different from animals. (Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. ) The Buddhist follows up the rules of do not killing while the government sentence prisoners to death. Buddhism monks avoid to use violence, but in death penalty, even drowning, hanging was exist in the past, but the death row and metal torture still counts as violence. “Buddhist doctrines hold nonviolence and compassion for all life in high regard(Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. 13) Because the death penalty disrespect life value, abolishing is necessary. Since the justice system is not mistake-free, so an error will leads to an innocent person being executed.
Based on Michael J Berwanger article, “Death Is Different: Actual Innocence and Categorical Exclusion Claims under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act,” there are two types of innocence: “one claiming actual innocence of the underlying offense, and the other claiming innocence of the penalty. (Berwanger Michael J Page 3) However, both types of innocent people can be sentenced in death. A study from Columbia University, release by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Professor James Liebman says that “thousands of capital sentences that had been reviewed by courts in 34 states from 1973 to 1995. There is a clear sign to show that justice system still have many mistakes. No one can guarantee the absolute justice. Moreover, Liebman also mentions that “”An astonishing 82 percent of death row inmates did not deserve to receive the death penalty,”” At last, he concludes that “‘One in twenty death row inmates are later found not guilty. ’” (ACLU. org) From the statics, it is clear there is no way to revise the death penalty mistake. Also, a survey from American Civil Liberties Union shows that until February 2004, 113 inmates had been found innocent and released from death row. ACLU. org) More than half of these have been released in the last 10 years. That means one person has been exonerated for every eight people executed. Yet for others who do not have a chance to release from death row are being executed. There have been over 1,000 people executed since 1976 also innocent. Hence, there is a list from a project of the University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law about known exonerations in the United States ? to support that the death penalty must be abolished.
The death penalty is racist and gender bias According to an article “Racial Discrimination in the Administration of the Death Penalty: The Experience of the United States Armed Forces (1984-2005),” the race bias in the death penalty directly impeded justice. As we know, racial discrimination is a historical issue since the 19th century, which year is the blooming period of slave trade. Hundreds of years later, the discrimination between different races still exists. A report released by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 2001 mentions that the death penalty possible use as a primary punishment for crime murder a white victim.
The report proves that the race influences the judicial fairness; the race cannot determine the crime. Furthermore, a survey from The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says “Of the 18 prisoners currently on federal death row, 16 are either African-American, Hipic or Asian. ” The color of one’s skin determined the severity of the punishment. Ironically, 84% of victims in death penalty cases are white, although only 50% of murder victims are white. (ACLU. org) It is ridiculous and unacceptable that the color of a defendant has great influence on decision who receiving the death penalty.
Besides that, the death penalty is also associated with gender discrimination. The female victim cases more likely leads defendant to sentence death than the male victim cases. (Marian Williams R, Demuth Stephen and Holcomb Jefferson E. 3) Although the society advocates gender equality, the current justice system clearly violates this principle. Moreover, another debate between female and male is “female homicide victims may be perceived as engaging in less disreputable or contributing conduct associated with their own victimization compared with male victims. ” Marian Williams R, Demuth Stephen and Holcomb Jefferson E. ) Race and gender play significant roles in today’s judicial system instead of laws; it is inevitable that the country abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is a financial burden on the government. Before the defendant is sentenced to death, there are many appears and re-trails. Generally, even the little mistake will raise the outcome. In the article “Minority Practice, Majority’s Burden: The Death Penalty Today”, there is a static to shows that death cases may spend more money than expected, and the figure could be as high as 78%. (Liebman, James S. ; Clarke, Peter.
Page 51 ) Moreover, the death penalty costs a significant more amount of money than keeping criminals life in prison without parole. A research from California says that “California taxpayers pay at least $117 million each year at the post-conviction level seeking execution of people currently on death row, or $175,000 per inmate per year. ” (Minsker Natasha 3) These statics shows how expensive to execute criminals instead of keep them in prison for life. On the other hand, the costs of general prison is $59 million a year, it is much cheap compare with the costs of death penalty.
In addition to that, “everyone involved in a death penalty case must be specially ‘qualified’ as capable and experienced, including the defense attorney, the judge and the jury. ” (Minsker Natasha. 7) Which means the government must spend a large amount of money to hire qualified person to inspect every death penalty cases. In fact, a research from federal system reveals that “prosecution costs were 67 percent higher than defense costs in death penalty cases. The same study found that defense costs in death penalty cases were four times higher than in non-death penalty cases. ” (Minsker Natasha. ) The government should use the higher cost of the death penalty money on other programs of public safety. In the novel All I Can See, there are some literary proof to support that death penalty must be abolished. In brown land, the brown butterfly was sparkly sentenced to death but he was innocence, and the brown land was a death row. When the beautiful fragile butterfly came, and told the brown butterfly the scenery of green land, actually she offers hope, which like reprieve to the brown butterfly, but he refuse to took it because he thought the chance that can be removed from death row is very small. Don’t be silly, flowers can’t be red, all the flowers are blue. I have seen some of my land is green too, but positively flowers can only be blue. ” (Bloom. 10) Similarly, the beautiful butterfly’s strong shadow can be seen as convicted crime, so the fish ask her to come down that she can get a reprieve. “A shadow…and that is not good at all…You must know, little one, it is not good to break the flow, and especially not by creating strong shadow. ” (Bloom. 26) from those two scenarios, it is clear that the capital punishment will threaten innocent people to accept plea bargaining to avoid death.
Moreover, the world of green land is flourishing because there is no death penalty, so the beautiful fragile butterfly has the rainbow color bespeckled wings, and the bee also live in the green land. In the contrast, the brown land is a dead land, just the brown butterfly live there and he does not want to leave this land under death penalty pressure. “Yes, I am from this land, but no, I have not traveled beyond my land, and here I see only me. ” The death penalty caused great mental damages to criminals, and leads decay of the society. From the material shown, it is obvious that the death penalty must be abolished.
The inhuman execution method is a cruel torture that deprives criminals of their basic human rights. There is no way to reverse existing injustices which have led directly to the death of innocent people, and such mistakes prove that the death penalty must be abolished. Moreover, race bias and gender discrimination still exists today. Furthermore, keeping inmates on death row costs a larger amount of money in government finance, so abolishing the death penalty is the most efficient way to help government to unload this financial burden.
In addition to that, from analyzing the book All I Can See, we can clearly see that the pressure the death penalty caused innocent people death by analysis the journey of butterfly cross the ocean. In order to preserve the people’s human rights and maintain the stability of the country, the death penalty must be abolished. Abolishing the death penalty is the only way to ensure justice and control criminal costs. Citation 1. Bedau. Hugo Adam. “The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies. ” Oxford University Press 1997. google book search. June 24 2012.
June 24, 2012 <http:/books. google. com> 2. Mukherjee, Amrita. “The Death Penalty as Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment. ” Criminal justice. Journal of Criminal Law, Dec2004, Vol. 68 Issue 6, p507-519, 13p. The ICCPR as a ‘Living Instrument’: June 24, 2012 <http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=2c86e0ad-589a-4af8-9a4f-2c36005768ce%40sessionmgr112&vid=1&hid=113&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja&AN=15073123 > 3. Fellner, J, and Tofte, S. “So long as they die: Lethal injections in the United States. ” 2006, 65p.
Criminal justice. June 24, 2012 <http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=b718459c-f05c -428e-b284-15f3a0ce6fd7%40sessionmgr115&vid=1&hid=127&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja&AN=CJA0400020001469s > 4. Sunstein, Cass R, and Adrian Vermeule. “Is capital punishment morally required? ” Acts, omissions, and life-life tradeoffs. ” Stanford Law Review Dec. 2005: 703+. Criminal Justice Collection. Web. 10 July 2012 <http://go. galegroup. com. rlib. pace. edu. Orhttp://www. law. uchicago. edu/files/files/239. crs-av. apital-punishment. pdf > 5. Alarid, Leanne Fiftal, and Wang Hsiao-Ming. “Mercy and Punishment: Buddhism and the Death Penalty. ” Social Justice 28. 1 (2001): 231. Criminal Justice Collection. Web. 10 July 2012. < http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=b1ef5f32-9e10-4cae-b8a9-ab941ce370e8%40sessionmgr112&vid=1&hid=125&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja&AN=5376332 > 6. Berwanger, Michael J. “Death Is Different: Actual Innocence and Categorical Exclusion Claims Under The Antiterrorism And Effective Death Penalty Act. New England Journal On Criminal ; Civil Confinement 38. 2 (2012): 307-337. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Web. 10 July 2012. ( http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=606d7b0d-5e02-4b278512310e443c2da9%40sessionmgr115;vid=1;hid=127;bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja;AN=77479856) *http://www. law. umich. edu/special/exoneration/Pages/browse. aspx 7. Newell Richard, et al. “Racial Discrimination in The Administration Of The Death Penalty: The Experience Of The United States Armed Forces (1984-2005). “Journal Of Criminal Law ; Criminology 101. (2011): 1227-1335. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Web. 10 July 2012. ( http://web. ebscohost. com. rlib. pace. edu/ehost/detail? sid=80aef264-f53f-4c62-8534-fd4b54d079f8%40sessionmgr112;vid=1;hid=127;bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=cja;AN=73365192) 8. Marian Williams R, Demuth Stephen and Holcomb Jefferson E. “Understanding the Influence of Victim Gender in Death Penalty Cases: The Importance of Victim Race, Sex-Related Victimization, and Jury Decision Making. ” Criminology 45. 4 (2007): 865-891. Criminal Justice Abstracts. Web. 10 July 2012.