Wilford Berry Capital Punishment Case Study

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Capital punishment has been in effect for many years with the hopes that people will witness and learn from the mistakes of others and in turn deter crime. In the case of Wilford Berry, also known as The Volunteer, capital punishment was enforced after an incident that took place on November 30th, 1989. Wilford Berry shot and killed Charles Mitroff, a man who employed Berry at his bakery in Cleveland, Ohio. During the robbery, Anthony Lozar, Berry’s accomplice, shot Mitroff in the chest. While Mitroff begged for his life, Berry delivered the second fatal shot through Mitroff’s head. Lozar was given life in prison after stating where the body was buried, and that Berry planned the killing, obtained the weapons, and shot the deadly bullet. During the trial, Wilford Berry repeatedly chose to waive his right to appeal the death penalty and was executed by lethal injection in Lucasville on February 19th, 1999. The debate surrounding capital punishment in this case was seen from a partisan and politicized lense, but Berry’s case was further complicated based on the fact that he had questionable mental health problems that had been eminent for years. Therefore, it is unclear to me whether or not the death penalty was correctly implemented in the case of Wilford Berry due to conflicting reports about his mental status and that Berry had requested to die. I will be analyzing how liberals and conservatives take a …show more content…
Berry was abandoned by his schizophrenic father at the age of four. His emotional instability was further worsened when he was raped at the age of seven by his babysitter and again at the age of 19 in a Texas prison while he served time for car theft. Berry had attempted suicide multiple times in his life, beginning as early as the age of nine. The combination of these traumatic events was used by death penalty critics as a reason to explain Berry’s involvement in the case of Charles

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