Valid Criticism of the Death Penalty

As of March 2005, 119 innocent people have been released from death rows across the country since 1973 (Northwestern University, DP Information Center). Researchers Radelet and Bedau found 23 cases where innocent people were executed since 1900 (In Spite of Innocence, Northeastern University Press, 1992). Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation, Inc.

It’s Carried Out Disportionately:¬†Thurgood Marshall said it was racist, unfair to poor and the mentally retarded, and often ends in the state sanctioned murder of innocents. Less than 1% of all murderers are condemned to death 2% of death row inmates are actually executed. ¬†Over 113 people on death row have been exonerated since 1973 68% of the death penalty convictions between 1973 – 1995 were reversed Today more than 75 death row inmates have spent 20 years on the Row.

Capital punishment is applied to a higher percentage of minorities than whites.

It is not cost effective: Capital murder trials threaten to bankrupt townships costing taxpayers: $2 million in legal fees to try a death penalty case, nearly 4 times higher than comparable murder trials. The automatic appeal process costs up to $700,000 in legal fees. $1.2 million in execution costs. 1973 -1998, Florida spent $57 million on 18 executions.

It is does not deter crime: The two states with the most executions in 2003, Texas 24, and Oklahoma 14, saw increases in their murder rates from 2002 to 2003. Both states had murder rates above the national average in 2003: Texas – 6.4, and Oklahoma – 5.9. The top 13 states in terms of murder rates were all death penalty states. The murder rate of the death penalty states increased from 2002, while the rate in non-death penalty states decreased.

The Death Penalty has been abolished in all other Western Countries and civilized societies, except the US: The European Union (EU) is opposed to the death penalty in all cases and is “deeply concerned about the increasing number of executions in the United States of America (USA), all the more since the great majority of executions since reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 have been carried out in the 1990s. Furthermore, in the US, young offenders who are under 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime may be sentenced to death and executed, in clear infringement of internationally recognized human rights norms.” Even Russia and Turkey have abolished the death penalty which is condemned by the European Union and the World Court, which claimed that the U.S. violated the rights of 51 Mexicans on death rows in eight states.

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