Haisley R. Maryland

Abolish the Death penalty

Why the death penalty should be abolished.

Dear Future President,

The death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Ever since then the death penalty has been something the country debated about. “As of May 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty” according to the October 2016 article, "Methods of Execution Used in Capital Punishment and States That Have Abolished the Death Penalty.” In infoplease 16 Oct. 2016. The death penalty was created as a punishment for people found guilty of homicide. This form of punishment is costly, racist, and does not deter crime and that is why it should be abolished in all 50 states. Instead, people found guilty of homicide should be sentenced to life in prison.

One of the major problems with the death penalty is its cost. Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Paula M. Mitchell, published in 44 loyola of Los Angeles Law review s41, special issue (2011), found that California alone has spent $4 Billion on capital punishment since the re-institution in 1976. As we all know, the money being spent is only going to keep going up. If the death penalty got abolished the money states were using could be used for more important things like education, improving each state’s roads, or many other needs. Under the leadership of the president the states could be saving a large amount of money.

Although many people may not think that the death penalty is racist, it is. The death penalty is racist towards minorities. In an article written by Senator Russ Feingold in 2003, “ 77 percent of homicide victims resulting in execution have been white, even though African-Americans make up half of all homicide victims. African- American defendants also receive the death penalty at 3 times the rate than white defendants when the case involves a white victim” according to "Abolishing the Death Penalty." By Caden C. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2016. The information provided proves that there is racial bias in the death penalty.

The death penalty’s purpose was to deter crime. One would think that if that was the main purpose the government would do a study to prove that, but according to Procon.org “ There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment.” Along with not doing its main purpose, people put on death aren't always guilty.  “156 people found innocent on death row since 1973” according to www.ncadp.org.

Although not all people on death row realize their mistakes, some do. Some of them try to get their life together the best way they can. They look at different religions and other practices to become a better person. Again, some people on death row are innocent, but are never found innocent before their life is ended which causes the states to be killing innocent people. Is that something we need in this country? If they were to be sentenced to life in prison it would cheaper for the states. 

If we were to pause, to think about what the death penalty is all about and to think about if it is actually deterring crime, we would find that it's not. Just by reading the information above one can tell that it's not deterring crime. Yes, personally I do think that the death penalty is wrong, but that is only part of the reason I wrote about this topic. I might not know anyone on death row or what they are going through, but I have read some stories and those stories make me sad. I know I have said it before, but it's true not everyone on death row is bad. Some of them wish that they didn't make some of the decisions they made. Some of the people on death row were young when they made the mistakes they made and now they are more mature and regret the things that they did.

So I'm asking, you, the future president of this great nation, will you consider the facts presented above? Think about all the money being wasted and and how racist it is. You being the leader of this nation has the power to influence everyone's opinions. What is your opinion? Will you abolish the death penalty or will you keep it and let innocent people die, and states waste large amounts of money? 

Your fellow American,

Haisley R.