A Violation Of Life Essay Research Paper

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A Violation Of Life Essay, Research Paper A Violation of Life In 1990, Jesse Tafero was executed in Florida. In 1976, Both he and his wife Sophia were convicted of killing a state police officer and sentenced to die. In 1981, his wife s penalty was reduced by an appeal to life imprisonment, and 11 years later a federal court vacated her conviction. The evidence for their convictions had been based mainly on a perjured testimony by an ex-convict. Had Tafero been alive in 1992, he no doubt would have been released along with his wife Sophia. This example of an innocent man being executed raises the question, Is the death penalty just? Although it is very compelling, the death penalty is not just because it violates our right to life, the innocent have been executed, it tends to

be sentenced randomly, it has failed to accomplish its stated objectives, it cost more than its alternatives, and it is wrong both morally and ethically. The death penalty, plain and simply, is a violation of the right to life. It is the ultimate form of cruel, inhumane, or degrading punishment contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, proclaims each person’s right to protection from deprivation of life, and it states that no one shall be subjected to cruel or degrading punishment. The premeditated and cold-blooded killing of prisoners in state custody violates these rights. Because of this, over half the world’s countries have abolished in law or practice this barbaric act, leaving the United States among

countries of extreme injustice such as Iran and China. On top of this, we are the execution capital of the world! Now isn’t that something to be proud of? We currently have over 3000 people on death row, a fact that makes me a little less proud. Emotionally, the death penalty is very compelling. When we see the worst one individual can do to another, there is an insatiable urge to retaliate in kind. If my sister were raped and murdered, a part of me would want to see her assailant dead. But that would not bring her back. And it would not constitute justice. At least 23 wrongly convicted people have been executed in the US since 1900. There have been at least 349 people wrongly convicted of crimes punishable by death since 1900. The most extensive safeguards against miscarriages

of justice cannot produce an infallible legal system because human beings are fallible. False testimony, mistaken identification, misinterpretation of evidence, and community prejudices and pressures can wrongfully imprison and sometimes kill the innocent. No one save a monster would justify the execution of the innocent. We cannot close ourselves from the fact that innocent men have lost their lives because of false convictions made by our legal systems. Extensive evidence shows that death sentencing continues to be random in the U.S. Offenders who commit similar crimes under similar circumstances have received widely differing sentences. Race, social and economical status, and pure chance are often deciding factors in sentencing persons to death. There is a pattern of evidence

indicating racial disparities in the charging, sentencing, and imposition of the death penalty according to a 1990 U.S. government report. An overwhelming majority of death row defendants since 1977 were executed for killing whites despite the fact that whites and blacks are victims of murder in approximately equal numbers. In Texas, for example, blacks found guilty of killing whites were found to be almost six times more likely to receive the death penalty than whites convicted of killing whites. Racism has no place in our society, especially when a person’s life is on the line. Capital punishment has undoubtedly failed to accomplish its stated objectives. Proponents of capital punishment reason that: 1. the death penalty has an effect that deters people from committing