Mark Costanzo's Failure To Receive The Death Penalty

Decent Essays
The death penalty has been given to criminals who have done the most horrendous crimes in order to show a message that murderers will be punished to the full extent. However, this thinking is flawed and murder cannot be discouraged with more murder. Although the death penalty is supposed to deter crime, studies have revealed its opposite and unexpected effect. Several factors skew the justice system, in which minorities have a higher chance of receiving the death penalty. The death penalty is largely ineffective because it puts minorities at a disadvantage, fails to deter crime, and is expensive. The minorities are at a major disadvantage when it comes to the death penalty since they are more likely to be executed than whites. Mark Costanzo, …show more content…
The justice system views African Americans less favorably than whites, which is why more African Americans have been executed for the same crime. To make matters worse, innocents may be committed for a nonexistent crime, which makes the situation even worse for minorities. In fact, John Whitehead, an attorney and president of Rutherford Institute, "In a Columbia University study on 5,760 capital cases, the report found an overall rate of error of 68 percent. In other words, courts found serious reversible errors in nearly 7 out of 10 capital cases" (Whitehead). The problem with the death penalty is that once it is carried out, reversing it is impossible and minorities are often the victims. A notable case was when Clarence Brandley, an African American, was sentenced to death for a committing a crime that he did not commit. Bradley was the head janitor at a high school where a white female student was found strangled. When the police arrived, an officer allegedly said, “One of you is gonna hang for this. Since you 're the nigger, you 're elected” (Hawkins). Fortunately for Brandley, he was pardoned when the FBI revealed trial …show more content…
Since capital punishment is a serious and irreversible sentence, trials are usually arduous and costly. Surprisingly despite its high cost, the number of death sentences has dropped and according to Richard C. Dieter, executive director of Death Penalty Information Center, a non profit organization, “the death sentences have declined 60% since 2000 and executions have declined almost as much. Yet maintaining a system with 3,300 people on death row and supporting new prosecutions for death sentences that likely will never be carried out is becoming increasingly expensive and harder to justify” (Dieter). Fewer executions are being carried out and prisoners are kept at bay in death row at the taxpayers’ expense. In fact, a legislative commission in California determined that it costs the state an extra $90,000 for each death row inmate per year compared to the costs of the same inmate sentenced for life (Dieter). Coupled with a stagnant economy, capital punishment is simply too expensive and too much of a burden for taxpayers to deal with. Precious funding could have been diverted to education and reform programs, which would actually help and rehabilitate criminals. Capital punishment is simply too expensive and bears little benefits in modern society. Precious funding could have gone to other necessary programs instead of executing prisoners with no

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