What Is The Dangers Of The Death Penalty

Out of all developed countries in the western world, the United States is the only one that still executes its citizens. From 2007 to 2012 America executed 220 people, making it the fifth largest executioner behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq (Amnesty International). Why is the “land of the free” still upholding a harmful practice that other civilized countries have sworn off for decades? The death penalty in America should be abolished because the cost is impractical, it’s too random to be a deterrent for crime, and it endangers marginalized and innocent people’s lives. The state should not give people the right to legally murder others, especially when it costs as much as it does.
Forcing the state to try criminals with the death
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Between 1608 and 2002, more than half of all people executed were African American. The three most common occupations of an executed person were slave, laborer, and farm hand (Espy). It’s alarming to know that a nation that was founded on the subjugation of an entire race still continues to unfairly discriminate and kill people of that race in present times.
Proponents of the death penalty claim that capital punishment can be used as a deterrent to crime. They claim that if the threat of the death penalty increases, the homicide rate will decrease. However this argument is fundamentally flawed because there is no reliable evidence the death penalty does anything to discourage people from committing crime. In 2009, 88 percent of criminologists said they did not believe that the death penalty was an effective deterrent (Radelet).
Contrasting what proponents claim, research has found that states with the death penalty have actually had higher murder rates. During the last twenty years, the homicide rates in states with the death penalty have been 50-100 percent higher than abolition states (Bonner). Also the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report states that regions with the death penalty are also the most dangerous for police officers. Police officers are killed most frequently in the southern region where 80 percent of all executions have taken
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Capital punishment cannot be an effective deterrent when it’s enforced haphazardly across the country. The Death Penalty Information Center has found that execution is irregularly sentenced upon defendants, depending on the county of jurisdiction. An expansive report showed that just two percent of counties in America accounted for 52 percent of executions and 56 percent of death row inmates. Most of these counties have infamous records of corruption and misconduct. For example Maricopa County in Arizona had four times the number of pending death penalty cases than Los Angeles due to the aggressive actions of the district attorney who was disbarred for misconduct. Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania had the third largest number of inmates on death row and paid its public defenders the lowest salary in the state. These counties should not have the right to sentence such large numbers of people to death at the expense of state and federal

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