The Death Penalty: Furman V. Georgia

1280 Words 5 Pages
Capital punishment or the death penalty, has been used in the United States since the country’s founding in 1776. Back then, executions were performed publically throughout towns, and have been controversial from the beginning. I find the death penalty to be an extremely arbitrary and primitive act that should not be practiced anymore. We are at an advanced time in society and the U.S. is the only english speaking country to still practice this cruel and unusual act.

The 8th Amendment of The Constitution states that cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted upon any person. To kill someone, especially as a punishment for killing another human does not make any sense. Killing someone as a punishment is very random, the
…show more content…
Georgia was the first in the United States to abolish the death penalty. This case dealt with three separate cases as a whole. All three cases dealt with African American males committing various crimes in the state of Georgia. The first male William Henry Furman was 26, had not completed the 6th grade, and was diagnosed as moderately mentally deficient, suffering from psychotic episodes. The next male, Lucious Jackson, was 21 and had escaped from imprisonment, then committed multiple crimes including raping a white female. Jackson was said to be tainted from the way he was brought up. The final male in the case, Elmer Branch was an ex-convict who raped an elderly white women and committed felony theft . Branch was found to have an IQ far below average. Each of these males were African American and had in some way harmed a white person. All three of the men were deemed to have slight to moderate mental deficiencies which inhibited them from acting “appropriately”. The court ruled against the proposed killing of all three men deeming it unconstitutional by the 14th and 8th Amendments as cruel and unusual …show more content…
It has, however been proven that one out of three executions held are of an African American, a race that only constitutes 13% of the U.S. population. A study from 1983 led by a professor from Iowa found the African Americans were twice as likely to be put to death than white people. A decision to kill someone which is tainted by racial opinion seems to cruel and unusual punishment and in violation of the 8th Amendment. Race is something that a person has absolutely no control over and to give a whole group of people the upper hand in whether or not they can live, based on their race, is absolutely ludicrous and violates the 14th Amendment granting Americans equal protection of the laws.

Supporters of capital punishment have stated that the death penalty is humane as it delivers a quick and painless way to rid the world of criminals. Why, would we want to provide someone who has a committed a horrendous crime and “quick and painless” way out of dealing with the consequences of what that have done? If the death penalty is meant to punish and make someone think about the way they have acted why let them off so

Related Documents