Capital Punishment And The Death Penalty Essays

1354 Words Mar 20th, 2016 null Page
The most fearful aspect of capital punishment is the possibility of the state or government executing the wrong person. As a previous advocate for the death penalty, the argument of innocent people on death row was hard to swallow. I continuously believed in our capital punishment system and had little doubts that people on death row were innocent. However, with a little research, it became blatantly obvious that was not the case. For instance, 135 people on death row have been exonerated and released from prison since Furman v. Georgia (Hance et al., 2013). To some, this number may seem little considering that Furman v. Georgia was decided in 1972. But, we must keep in consideration that these people would have been wrongfully executed if it were not for the development of DNA evidence (Warden, 2013). As Hance (2013) points out, “the inescapable conclusion is that the number of wrongful convictions greatly exceeds the number of exonerations.” Let us take for an example the case of Jesse Tafero, a man executed in Florida in May 1990. Two years after his execution, his co-defendant, Sonia Jacobs, who was convicted and sentenced to death on exactly the same evidence as Tafero was released after a U.S. Court of Appeals determined her conviction was based on prosecutorial suppression of evidence and perjury from a prosecutor’s witness, who is thought to be the real killer (Bedau & Radelet, 1998). Now, if Tafero was not executed, the same evidence that lead to Jacobs’…

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