The On The Death Penalty Essay

1687 Words Dec 14th, 2016 7 Pages
The documentary film “13th” directed by Ava DuVernay is an interesting look at the prison system, how and why Black and Hispanic people make up the majority of the prison population and how the problems within the interconnected political, judicial, and prison system have grown and changed over time. It discusses topics such as the death penalty, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the dehumanization of prisons and about how labeling individuals and groups and criminals effects perception of these people or groups. The documentary touches on the death penalty at certain points in relation to other issues within the criminal justice system. The pressure for sentencing people under the death penalty was overwhelming for politicians. The documentary holds Michael Dukakis as an example of how being seen as “soft on crime” could hurt a politician. During the 1988 election, Dukakis, a Democrat, was winning in the polls until an ad campaign ran featuring Willie Horton. Horton was a convicted murderer who had committed armed robbery, assault, and rape while out on a “weekend pass” (a furlough) in Maryland while Dukakis was governor. This event and the fact that Dukakis was against the death penalty ultimately costed Dukakis the election. It is not really that surprising to me that this happened. If I were a voter during that time I would have been upset that a convicted murderer was let out for the weekend too. I’m also sure the ad campaign scared the general…

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