Capitol Punishment
The feeling of the condemned man was indescribable, as he was minutes away from
being executed by an unjust decision. The verdict of his case was guilty on the
grounds of circumstantial evidence. When in all reality, he was guilty because
he was black, poor and socially unacceptable. His case never stood a chance, it
was over before it started. The judge and jury sentence the man to die in the
electric chair. The condemned man sat in the chair sweating profusely, waiting
for a someone to wake him from this nightmare. A certain death awaited this
young man's future. He could not believe that a country like ours upheld a
system of such unfairness. Then as he was executed, he shouted his last plea,

"I am innocent, please wait..." How can this innocent man be put to death in
a system based on fairness, and a theory of innocent until proven guilty. There
have been circumstances such as this, that were said to be true. This is one
example why capital punishment should be abolished in our country. Or should it?

Is capital punishment fair, and based on equality? Does it cost less than other
alternatives? Is it considered cruel and unusual punishment? And does the
presence of the death penalty deter crime? These are questions that need to be
answered to determine whether capital punishment should be abolished or
maintained in our society. To start, capital punishment is a racist and unfair
solution for the criminals in our system. It discriminates toward individuals on
the basis of their race, wealth or social standing in society. It is not right
to kill nineteen men a year out of hundreds and hundreds of convicted murderers.

These men are not being killed because they committed murder. They are being
killed because they are poor, black, ugly or all of these things. As capital
punishment becomes less and less likely to be applied, it becomes more likely to
be used in discrimination against those who have no money to afford a good
lawyer, those who are poor and powerless, personally ugly and socially
unacceptable. Since 1930, 89 percent of those executed in the United States for
rape have been black, as were 76 percent of those executed for robbery, 85.5
percent of those executed for assault by life-term prisoner, 48.9 percent of
those executed for murder, 100 percent of those executed for burglary. All
together, 53.5 percent of those we have put to death in this Nation since 1930
have been black (Bedau). Study after study turns up the same results, one can
conclude that there is a pattern of discrimination. One study shows that
prosecutors seek the death penalty most often when the victim is white.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty twice as often when the victim was white as
when the victim was a member of a racial minority. "In cases of white victims,

27 percent sought the death penalty, where only 19 percent in cases of minority
victims (Bedau)." In most states where the death penalty is instated, it is
done so to deter crime. I think the feeling toward capital punishment boils down
to two things. It is a kind of feeling most of us have that death really scares
us, and a harsh penalty, you have to say deters more than life imprisonment. But
if you took the death penalty away, most of us would be just as scared by a life
imprisonment. Secondly, most of us who are thinking about this subject are well
adjusted, normal, non-murderers. We do not commit murder, not because of the
existence of the death penalty, but because we are morally developed, life
respecting citizens. The people that do commit murders are of a different sort,
their minds do not work like the rest of us. Whether you call them insane,
phycopaths or whatever, no amount of punishment could have an effect on them.

Now that is not to say it is impossible that, in some few cases, the death
penalty did deter a capital crime. These cases, if they exist, must be very few,
since they do not show up in the comparative statistical studies. The states
with the highest homicide rates are states still seeking to put people to death.

While the states with the lowest homicide rates have abolished capital
punishment. "On a national average, the states that have abolished state death
penalty had a homicide rate of 4.6 per 100,000 population, compared to a 7.7
rate in other states (Bedau)." It is wrong for our government to kill in