The Importance Of Capital Punishment In The United States

1264 Words 6 Pages
Capital punishment is defined as the legal authorization of killing someone as a form of punishment for committing a crime. In the United States, the death penalty is almost always exclusively used for the crime of murder. In 1972, in Furman v. Georgia, ' the United States Supreme Court invalidated every death penalty statute in the United States. Currently, there are 31 states who still use the death penalty and 19 who have abolished it. On August 2, 2016, Delaware become the latest of states to overturn their death penalty policy.

Many Americans argue that capital punishment is a bad public policy, and that it is unconstitutional. In 1968, only 38 percent of all Americans supported the death penalty (Hickey, 2013). As of 2013, there
…show more content…
American prisons are extremely overpopulated, thus executing the worst kind of criminals will be beneficial to the prison system. Various workers in the criminal justice field also believe that capital punishment costs less than life imprisonment. The death penalty ensures that fewer taxpayers’ money is spent for the maintenance of individuals that have acted against society in the most violent way (Kasten, 1996). Capital punishment is the only way that victims and their families can get the justice that they …show more content…
When it comes to being sentenced to death there is essentially no coming back. Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck founded the Innocence Project, in 1992. They focus on exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing. Many death row inmates were convicted of their crimes when DNA testing was almost non-existent, which lead to many Americans being convicted of crimes that they did not commit. A research study implemented by Samuel Gross, Chen Hu, Barbra O’Brien, and Edward Kennedy (2014) found that almost four percent of U.S. capital punishment sentences are wrongful convictions, almost double the number of people set free, meaning around 120 of the roughly 3,000 inmates on death row in America are not guilty. The case of Cameron Todd Willingham is an example of wrongful execution. Willingham was executed in 2004 for murdering his three daughters by intentionally setting fire to their family home in Corsicana, Texas. Arson investigators claimed that the fire was deliberately set with the help of a liquid accelerant due to specific burn patterns, laboratory tests and points of origin. Wilmington maintained his innocence for years and filed countless appeals but unfortunately in 2004, he was executed at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. In 2009, the Texas Forensic Science Commission panel reevaluated the case and determined that state and local arson investigators used

Related Documents

Related Topics