Myles California

Death Penalty

The death penalty is unfair, unconstitutional, and ineffective. This needs to change.

Dear Future President,

The United States is the only western country that continues to use the death penalty as punishment for crime. Why? This penalty is cruel and quite frequently not administered fairly. Further, the death penalty is a problem in many American states because it violates the Eighth Amendment. This issue needs your attention because only you have the power to eradicate the death penalty as a whole across the United States.

The death penalty is an unfair punishment, not just because it takes human life. According to, it says, “Death sentences are imposed in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. This is an immoral condition that makes rejecting the death penalty on moral grounds not only defensible but necessary for those who refuse to accept unequal or unjust administration of punishment.” I recall that our Constitution states “All men are created equal.” Well, are they? How is this true if the death penalty treats you better if you are wealthy than if you are innocent? How is this true of a system that has had to free 156 people since 1973 that were on death row for crimes they didn’t commit? These innocent men could have been executed. This system is unfair, and, unconstitutional.

Not only is the death penalty unfair, but it violates the Eighth Amendment. In the article, Court Reverses Judge Who Found Delays in State’s Death Penalty ‘Cruel and Unusual, on the website KQED Education, it said, “Carney agreed with Jones’ lawyers that the administration of California’s death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment.” The death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against the government imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or “cruel and unusual punishments”. Clearly, a system that subjects individuals to the psychological torture of sitting on death row, often for numerous years, knowing that death could come on any given day is a “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Finally, the death penalty does not do what it is intended to do. It fails to slow or discourage crime as effectively as a prison sentence. states, "There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment. States that have death penalty laws do not have lower crime rates or murder rates than states without such laws.” In other words, the death penalty is not an effective deterrent of crime.

I’m sure as a politician you must receive complaints on a daily, if not hourly basis, and probably none offer any kind of solution, they just leave it up to you to figure it out. However, with the evidence I’ve provided, I suggest two possible solutions. You can decide which you think is best for our nation. Option one: you can outlaw the death penalty as a whole, or option two: if you do not wish to take such a drastic action, you can work to ensure that the death penalty does not treat the wealthy and guilty better than it treats the poor and innocent. You could enforce this by passing a law or by sending people to make sure that each execution is served fairly.


Myles Jacobs


@danbrekke. "Court Reverses Judge Who Found Delays in State’s Death Penalty ‘Cruel and Unusual’." KQED News. N.p., 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.

"Death Penalty" ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.