Since the founding of the United States, murder or any heinous crime has been punishable by one thing: death. Around 3,350 people are currently on "death row." Almost everyone is impoverished, a considerable number are mentally ill, more than 40% are African American, and Native Americans, Latinos, and Asians make up a disproportionate amount. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, “Death sentences may only be imposed for crimes in which a victim is killed, but state legislatures can determine what specific circumstances make a murder eligible for a death sentence.” New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Virginia have all abolished the death penalty in recent years, replacing it with a life sentence without the possibility of release.
History of the Death Penalty
The Death Penalty was originally created in the Eighteen Century B.C. In the United States, it was accepted and used for the first time in 1608 in the Jamestown colony of Virginia. Captain George Kendell was the first victim of this form of punishment. He was executed for being a spy for Spain. The Divine, Moral, and Martial Laws, adopted by Virginia Governor Sir Thomas Dale in 1612, provided for the death penalty for even minor acts including stealing grapes, murdering poultry, and trading with Indians.
Is the Death Penalty Effective?
Many ask this question and ponder about the exact benefits that this punishment offers society. Eighty-eight percent of criminologists believe the death penalty is ineffective as a deterrence.
The executing may function as a criminal deterrent, stopping other criminals from committing such acts out of fear, however, this can not be the case. Executing has been applied so arbitrarily and has no consistency to where innocent people have paid the worth for crimes uncommitted by them. If there's a government punishment involving the lives of groups of people, it's to be right 100 percent of the time because one innocent life lost isn't worth the national effort of death. The worst part about the Death Penalty is that there is no turning back once the execution has occurred. It is an irreversible punishment when we carry out a death sentence. Over 160 people who were sentenced to death in the United States have been exonerated or released due to direct evidence of their innocence. If the death penalty did not exist, there would be more time to overturn an erroneous conviction. All in all, the death penalty should be abolished because of its many flaws.