Death Penalty Arguments

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The death penalty has been a controversial topic with polarizing opinions on the topic. Supporters of the death penalty insist that it is right and can be an effective method of controlling crime. Those against the death penalty argue that not only is it morally flawed, but that it is not cost effective and fails to deter crime. Unfortunately for those who support the death penalty, there is all too often a large misunderstanding about how capital punishment actually works in the United States.
Generally speaking, it is assumed that the United States executes a system in which the worst criminals are executed in an even handed and equal manner. The idea that supporters assume with this is that the death penalty is utilized on the most horrible
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When the death penalty has been used, it is against killers of Caucasians and never against Caucasian killers of African Americans. This is a disturbing trend as it clearly indicates a racial bias within the execution of the death penalty and the larger criminal justice system as a whole. African Americans make up twelve percent of the United States’ population, but represent forty-two percent of inmates on death row (Marcus 2007). A study conducted in Maryland echoed these concerns and found that the death penalty is sought more often when the victim is white that when the victim is black, defendants who kill white victims are at a greater risk of getting the death penalty, prosecutors are less likely to withdraw the decision to even seek the death penalty when the victim is white, the most likely racial combination for a death penalty case is when a black defendant is accused of killing a white victim and every one of the state’s death row inmates were convicted of killing white people (Marcus 2007). However, there is not consistency in the utilization of the death penalty. When the death penalty is implanted, there seems to a connection to the location in which the prosecution is taking place in addition the racial characteristics of the defendant and the …show more content…
A study conducted in Virginia revealed that prosecuting attorneys are far more likely to seek the death penalty when the crime is committed in a rural versus urban jurisdiction (Marcus 2007). The racial bias found in capital punishment dates back to the slave era. Sociologists theorize that this bias is connected to the amount of lynchings. They found that the number of death sentences for criminals was higher in states with a history of lynchings and was even stronger when looking at only the death sentences for black defendants (Messner, Baller, Zevenbergen 2005). The theory behind this is that the death penalty became a legal replacement for the lynchings that occurred in the past. Race is not the only problem that plagues the utilization of the death

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