Essay On Death Penalty In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Have you ever been wrongly accused of something? Stealing a cookie, or cheating. Well what if you were sent to death row for a murder that you didn’t commit. This happened to Walter McMillan and Tom Robinson in the books Just Mercy and To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. explore themes of innocent imprisonment, wrongful death sentences, and racial injustice in the court system.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson is wrongly convicted and killed, this happens in life fairly often too. “ African Americans were affected by a wide range of types of racial discrimination, from unconscious bias and institutional discrimination to explicit racism. The convictions that led
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This happened to Walter McMillan in Just Mercy. In Bryan Stevenson’s Ted Talk he says, “Death penalty in America is defined by error. For every nine people who have been executed, we've actually identified one innocent person who's been exonerated and released from death row. A kind of astonishing error rate -- one out of nine people innocent.”(TED, 2012). This quote show that the high rate of error isn’t worth putting people on death row, if you kill one innocent person out of every nine. If you kill 9 people everyday for a year, you would kill 365 out of 3285 death row convicts. Another study said that, “...a wrongful conviction rate of 1 percent would translate to 20,000 people punished for crimes they didn’t commit. On death row, 1 in 25 are likely innocent, according to a recent study.”(Huffington Post). This means that you have a 1 out of 20,000 chance to be wrongfully convicted, and a 1 in 25 chance to be wrongfully put on death row. This shows different numbers but they are equally scary. Along with wrongful death sentences and convictions, there is also racial injustice in the court systems of today and …show more content…
According to University of California Irvine, “Many studies in at least 15 states have shown that defendants who are charged with killing white victims, regardless of their own race, are more likely to be sentenced to death than those charged with killing black victims. Since 1976, 76% of executions in the United States were for murders of white victims.”(Race and Wrongful Conviction in the United States, 9). The juries have more empathy for white victims, in murder cases. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson is convicted of rape on no evidence, and killed, “"The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence to the effect that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place. ... The defendant is not guilty, but somebody in this court-room is."”(To Kill a Mockingbird, Page 207). This quote shows how completely biased the jury was, when they convicted Tom in only a few hours, and that’s because Mr. Cunningham held them back. In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson talks not only about racial equality but financial inequality also, “we have to reform a system of criminal justice that continues to treat people better if they are rich and guilty than if they are poor and innocent. A system that denies the poor the legal help they need, that makes wealth and status more important than culpability, must be changed.” (Just Mercy). Based on

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