Hannah Roberts Iowa

Killing Our Own People

Why the death penalty should be illegal.

Dear Future President,

Jesse Tafero was executed by electric chair, in 1990, for the killing of two police officers. Later, a man named Walter Rhodes came forward and said he was the one responsible. This isn’t just a one in a million case; according to newsweek.com, one person in every 25 sentenced to death is innocent. The death penalty should be illegal across the United States for a number of reasons, mainly because the death penalty is unconstitutional and people get wrongfully convicted all the time.

The death penalty should be illegal because it’s unconstitutional. According to aclu.org,“Furman v. Georgia (1972): The Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional, as cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and finding that the administration of the ultimate punishment was arbitrary and capricious”. The death penalty can also be considered as capital punishment, which is illegal.

The death penalty should be illegal because people get wrongfully convicted all the time. If someone were to be put to death and later found not guilty, it would be an awful situation. Research News states that about 10,000 people in the United States per year get wrongfully convicted. Therefore, should people have the right to sentence others to death if they don’t know 100% whether they did it or not? One person in every 25 sentenced to death is actually innocent. In my opinion, there’s no way of knowing 100% unless the judge eye-witnessed it. Some people may argue that it’s fair because of the eye for an eye statement. I find this claim wrong because we live in a time that instances such as cutting someone’s hand off for stealing are no longer proper punishments. Times have changed and so has the United States.

In conclusion, the death penalty should be illegal because no one wants to put someone to death wrongfully and it’s cruel and unusual punishment. Together, the people of the United States need to take a stand against cruel and unusual punishment such as the death penalty. This is not right under any circumstances and should be eliminated altogether.


Hannah Roberts

Works Cited

"10 Infamous Cases of Wrongful Execution - Criminal Justice Degrees Guide." Criminal Justice Degrees Guide. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

@ACLU. "Death Penalty 101." American Civil Liberties Union. Web. 20 Oct. 2016.

Levy, Pema. "One in 25 Sentenced to Death in the U.S. Is Innocent." Newsweek. 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.

Wilcum, Greg. Web. 20 Oct. 2016.