Abolishment execution will end up happening. Considering all the

Abolishment
of the death penalty in America

            Every
year, many prisoners on death row have to choose their last meal before they
face death. It is a very serious decision for inmates to make because it is the
last thing they got to savor and enjoy since they are moments away from
execution. Prisoners on death row, pay with their lives for the crimes they
have committed. Instead of granting life sentences to prisoners, federal courts
punish prisoners by executing them. It is a long and difficult decision for
states to make, but based on the unjust manner cases are presented regarding
prisoners of color, there is a large number of innocent prisoners put to death
row. This form of punishment is cruel and unusual. It is cruel because it is a
barbaric punishment that has no place in the 21st century. It is
also unusual since America is the only 1st world nation that still
uses the death penalty. The death penalty is also given to racial minorities
the most.

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            The
issue of racial bias is greatly present in capital punishment cases. The issue
of putting someone with a mental disability on death row is always a
possibility.  Although, the Supreme Court
has ruled executions of the mentally ill illegal, there stands a chance that
the execution will end up happening. 
Considering all the possibilities of racial injustice and mental health
stigma, the death penalty should not be used as form of punishment in the U.S

In the Criminal Justice System, the death penalty does not
respect the 8th amendment. “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive
fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”, states ignore
this part of the document and continue to take the lives of many prisoners
every year. The rise of botched executions throughout the decade is another
reason on why executions are a form of cruel and unusual punishment. “The United States is one of 57
nations—China, Pakistan, Iran, India and Saudi Arabia among them—that have not
abolished or otherwise declined to make use of capital punishment.” (Clarke,
2017), This statement written by Kevin Clarke, puts into perspective that
having capital punishment is not a characteristic of a successful developed
nation since it still holds on to a barbaric and ancient tradition that has no
place in this new century.

Innocent men have been put on death row as a result of having an unfair
trial. According to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, since
1973 over 156 inmates have been found innocent and were released from death
row. America failed these 156 innocent men, they serve as a reminder that there
are flaws within the system that executes many people every year. “As long as the
death penalty remains a legal punishment, wrongful convictions and executions
will be something with which we all — with the tragic exception of those
executed — must live.” (Blume, 2016).

 Many Prisoners are put on death
row despite the doubts some people have about their culpability. “The US experience indicates
that no matter what the legal resources invested and no matter how robust the
legal system, the death penalty is always a highly charged political reality
marked by unavoidable, macabre aspects which pervert the legal system and
undermine the legitimacy of state power over the individual.” (Brennan, 2015). While some
states have abolished the death penalty, many continue to execute prisoners in
large numbers. Due to the large number of prisoners put on death row, there are
now cases that have emerged that prove a man’s innocence and their wrongful
conviction.  The rising number of exonerated
men proves that death penalty cases are not handled serious enough by state
courts. “Absent effective and properly funded counsel and judges who apply the
Atkins properly, these people remain at risk of being wrongfully convicted and
executed” (Blume, 2016).  People mostly
at risk of being wrongfully convicted have so far mostly been people of color
and the mentally ill.

 

The death penalty has long been applied to minorities more than white
Americans. The bias that exists within death penalty is crystal clear based on
the fact that more African Americans are put in death row.  The racism in death penalty cases stems from
both the race of the victim and the race of the perpetrator. Although the
Supreme Court pushed for fair executions that would not target minorities in
Gregg vs Georgia, more people of color are being put on death row this year
alone. According to ACLU, “People of color have accounted for a disproportionate 43 % of total
executions since 1976 and 55 % of those currently awaiting execution”. It is
clear that minorities are not offered equal justice and representation in the
American criminal justice system especially in death row trials. Race has
played a big factor in the death penalty, and it should be abolished for this
very reason.

Most Americans
agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Atkins vs Virginia that stated,
individuals with mental disabilities should not be executed. Mentally ill
individuals that are not capable to understand right from wrong are not
sentenced to death, but cases of some being executed exist. Many mental health
organizations have found that some prisoners on death row suffer a form of
mental disability. There is a record of dozens of prisoners suffering from
mental illness being executed. “At least 12 of the 20-people executed and 11 of those sentenced to
death in 2016 showed evidence of serious mental health problems.” (Clarke,
2017).  Many states have passed
legislation that prevents mentally disabled criminals to receive the death
penalty and receive a fair punishment. All states should follow and pass
similar legislation because it is very important to ensure human rights to
those mentally incapable of knowing right from wrong. As Cushing wrote, “My opposition is not rooted in what an execution does to a condemned
prisoner but in what a system that embraces the ritual killing by government
employees of an incapacitated prisoner does to me—to us, as individuals and as
a society.” (Cushing, 2015) States should analyze every inmate before granting
them the death penalty, because they can sentence a mentally ill man or woman
to death.

Despites the reasons of the death penalty being cruel and unfair,
supporters of the death penalty still believe it is justifiable for enforcing
justice. Some claim that executing a murderer will deter other individuals from
committing the same crime. This has been proven a false accusation, since there
is still crime happening every day in the U.S. 
Supporters of the death penalty in no way believe it is a form of cruel
and unusual punishment and promote it because it is and end to a problem. However,
it proves that is used carelessly by some states who wish to bring down the
hammer of justice in an uncivil way.

Other supporters of the death penalty argue that criminals who commit
murder on an innocent civilian must pay with their life. There is overwhelming
amount of evidence shows the death penalty does not serve justice properly
because of all the factors that are not taken into account during a death
penalty trial. Representation of the accused is also important to consider
because most individuals that are granted the death penalty are poor and did
not have the opportunity to have great defense representation and could possibly
put an innocent man on death row.

It is a tragedy that innocent and mentally ill
individuals have been executed in the last decade, therefore there should be a
nationwide abolishment of the death penalty. It has no true benefits, and
continues to demonstrate that it is a flaw in the justice system.  It is crucial for the U.S to finally abolish
the death penalty because it is a form of cruel and unusual punishment that
specially targets minorities.