The U.S. death penalty is too flawed to be fair


Human life. Debatably the most valuable, priceless thing in this world. So what makes one’s life more or less valuable than others? Money? Fame? Popularity? Power maybe? 

People like to say (in this country at least) that “all men are created equal”. Going by this logic no individual or individuals should have the power to judge whether a person lives or dies. If everyone is equal in terms of life, logically no person can make that call against you. 

So this begs the question, Why does the death penalty exist? The death penalty (especially how it is  being used now) is a total contradiction  to basic human morals, ideals, and is in every way a flawed system, as well as the justice system in general . 

Firstly, it is  an irreversible sentence once executed. As we all know, once you end someone’s life, that person can never be brought back no matter what you do. This leaves no room for any further development or additional evidence to be added to the case that could have possibly changed the sentence or outcome of the case. 

A Texas man, Cameron Todd Willingham, was executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three daughters. Following his execution, further evidence revealed that Willingham did not set the fire that caused their deaths. Unfortunately this information came too late. To wrongfully convict someone of something is one thing, but to sentence them to death is a completely different thing. 

No matter how much evidence is gathered, there is no way of being 100 percent sure that someone is guilty of a crime, so an irreversible sentence should not exist. On top of that, no act committed by someone should warrant death, even if they have taken someone else’s life. Taking more life is not going to bring the person back nor solve the problem, it will only bring forth more killing.

(Insert Infographic Here)

  Another way this sentence is flawed is because of the unjust and unbalanced use of it towards the black community and people of color. More than 50 percent of the 51 people on federal death row today are people of color, including 22 Black men. Some of those Black men were convicted by all-White juries. 

According to Martin Luther King III in his Washington Post article published in February, “In several cases, the federal government’s decision to prosecute a case instead of leaving it to state authorities had the effect of “bleaching” the jury pool — drawing jurors from a large federal judicial district instead of from the more racially diverse city in which the crime occurred.” 

If you look past the dressing of  the situation, you will see that the death penalty is just a sugar-coated  version of executions held back in the day while racism wasn’t looked down upon in today’s  society and yet another way to disenfranchise black people. The death penalty is a threat  to people of color and the black community and if left unchecked, could become a bigger threat  than it already is.

Lastly, this sentence is a blatant contradiction to this country’s ideals and philosophies. It is clearly stated in the U.S Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the United States, that “all men are created equal”. If this is truly the case then no “man” should have the authority to rule over whether a person lives or dies as if they are trying to play God. 

Another thing is that this nation is said to hold “Christian values”, then tries to justify killing by calling it “Justice”. It clearly states in the 10 commandments “Thou shalt not kill”. Just because you slap a label on it and make it legal doesn’t rule it out as killing. 

There is no “Humane” way to take someone’s life. At the end of the day, once you look past all the sugar coating, it’s still the end of someone’s life at the hands of another.