The U.S. Policy Concerning Death Penalty and the U.S. Attorney General. Part II

Death penalty opponents argue that the death penalty is not only a cruel punishment, but is also ineffective and unfair.

Since the dearth penalty was made legal by the Supreme Court in 1976, on approval of the U.S. Attorney General, murder rates across the country have risen dramatically. The fact that murder rates have gone up, not down, shows that capital punishment is not a deterrent and doesn’t help to prevent violent crimes. Moreover, the number of capital crimes in the countries with ban for death penalty has cut down.

Furthermore, estimates show that it is far more expensive to execute a criminal ($2,000,000 on average) than it is to imprison someone for life ($20,000 per year). So, the idea about a deterrent influence of the death penalty on crime is a myth.

Discussing the idea of “fair punishment”, the opponents of the death penalty say that judges and the juries are human and can make mistakes. A perfect example of this is found in the case of Kirk Bloodsworth, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a 9-year-old girl in 1985. He had an alibi, but the jury didn’t believe him. Bloodsworth was ordered to die by lethal injection. The attorney of Bloodsworth gained making tests that showed that the convicted was not the killer. He was freed after 9 years of death row. Without persistence of his attorney Bloodsworth would have been put to death being innocent. 

We also may observe factor of racial discrimination. The death penalty is obviously applied more often to black people than to white. The black people are usually sentenced to death for killing a white man, while the white criminals rarely sit on death row for capital crimes. This racial discrimination has led the American Bar Association (the ABA) to demand a temporary end to capital punishment.

Death penalty opponents also say that killing is a killing, and capital punishment is simply state-sanctioned murder. By approving of the death penalty both the judge and executioner become murders themselves.

Recent surveys have shown that there is wide-spread support for the death penalty. Politicians have been working to increase the number of death row prisoners who are executed, and to shorten the appeal process to a maximum of two years.

However, despite general support, when it comes to looking into the eyes of an individual and saying that he or she deserves to die, many people are hesitant. Juries have difficulty sentencing a convicted murderer to death. Believing in an abstract idea is one thing; using it to kill the man sitting in front of you is another. If more people think over these facts, the figures of statistics would change drastically. But still everyone has the right to have his or her own opinion on this problem.