Jackson A. Iowa

The Death Penalty

The death penalty in America needs to change or be eliminated in order to make America better.

Dear Future President,

The United States is the only country in North and South America that still uses the death penalty. The death penalty in America has many things wrong with it. Race effects the death penalty and it goes against our constitution. Even though there haven't been many criminals that have charged with the death penalty in the United States, there is still a problem.

The death penalty goes against the Constitution because it limits people of equal rights. William J. Brennan stated that “death is an unusually severe punishment” and that “it treats members of the human race as non-human.” Our country claims that all people living in this country will be guaranteed equal rights, but using the death penalty denies that person of that. The death penalty also goes against the part of the Constitution that says no human shall receive unusually severe punishment.

The death penalty is not necessarily “racist,” but it has been shown that a person of color has a higher chance of receiving the death penalty rather than a white American. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said that “Despite the fact that African Americans make up only 13% of the United States population, 50% of the people on death row are African American.” Our country has been trying to work away from the racial gap for over 50 years and the death penalty is not helping our situation.

Some people say that the death penalty helps stop crime. They think that just because someone has the punishment of death they won't want to commit the crime. Crimes that are punishable by the death penalty are very severe crimes that do not just happen randomly. These crimes would have to be planned out in order to be successful. So the person that is committing this crime will not care if they are killed. Using the death penalty is going against our constitution, so we need to work together to solve the problem.

So, Mr. or Mrs. President, are you going to let the death penalty continue to divide our country racially and go against our very own Constitution? We need to get rid of the death penalty because of how it affects our country. Keeping something in our country that goes against our constitution and increases tension between black and white Americans doesn't seem wise to me. Getting rid of the death penalty can only benefit our country. Getting rid of the death penalty will help lower racial tension and it will make the United States more constitutional.


Jackson A.