The transgression that the offender has done is viewed, but the other aspects have been associated with what the punishment will be. In court, unfortunately a lot of cases have been judged by different variables rather than just what the offender has done. Race, occupation, income and religion play a huge role into a lot cases, especially when determining the death penalty. The death penalty is sentenced unfairly, causing people to be put on death row due to who they are rather than what they've done. The death penalty is unfair due to the fact that one may be on death row due to income level, race and the retribution in the hearts of victim`s family.
The death penalty is given out to certain people, not necessarily being solely based on their crime. Income level is a major factor when it comes to the death penalty. The income level of one offender is looked at based upon if they are able to afford a good attorney. If they are unable to present a good attorney the state will adjourn one making it even harder to beat the case. Anti- death penalty activist Helen Prejean said, “After all the rhetoric that goes on in legislative assemblies, in the end, when the net is cast out, it is the poor who are selected to die in this country. And why do poor people get the death penalty? It has everything to do with the kind of defense they get. Money gets the offender good defense. Getting a defense team that will win a death penalty case will have to be anywhere from $8,000 to $50,000. People who are sentenced to death tend to be lower than the poverty line or close to it. Many of what goes into consideration is if the offender has a good attorney. A good attorney needs to be appointed due to the fact that one can not afford to have a less worthy defense team on a death penalty case. If it was a drunk driving scenario, then it would be much different.
Race can determine whether a criminal is sentenced to the death penalty or not.This next verification shows how the death sentence is unfair is because of the race of the criminal.Studies have shown jurors in Washington state are three times more likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case where the sentence should be the same. (Prof. K. Beckett, Univ. of Washington, 2014). This shows just how the color of a person`s skin can persuade the jurors. One may say the evidence and crime should be the only thing weighed in for a fair trial, but there are people saying otherwise".Another quote, from NAACP said, “The U.S. Department of Justice’s own figures reveal that between 2001 and 2006, 48 percent of defendants in federal cases in which the death penalty was sought were African Americans… the biggest argument against the death penalty is that it is handed out in a biased, racially disparate manner.13 percent of our population is African American, but 50 percent of African -American make prison`s population. The death penalty is biased and is evident through the statistics. African-Americans are at a way higher risk at receiving the death penalty than a white person. The statistics are very overwhelming going off the fact that an African-American is 3 times more likely to go to death row. The jurors are chosen because they are not biased to the case, but when given all the information, like the color of the victim and or suspect, things shift a lot. Thus proving the thesis that race is a key component to giving one the death penalty.
The last piece of information that may shift the decision of the death penalty is the retribution in the heart of the victim`s family. The anger in the family`s heart makes the decision of the death penalty be pushed even further. When the loved one of a family gets killed, it is one`s instinct to want to kill the offender. People may say that sending the offender to death row is giving closure or desistance to the family, but indeed that is a lie and is only being done to get revenge back. A professor for Humanities at St. Peter's College, Raymond A. Schroth, SJ once said To kill the person who has killed the loved one of a family is simply to continue the cycle of violence which ultimately destroys the avenger as well as the offender. That this execution somehow give 'closure' to a tragedy is a myth. Expressing one’s violence simply reinforces the desire to express it. Just as expressing anger simply makes us more angry. It does not drain away. It contaminates the otherwise good will which any human being needs to progress in love and understanding." ( Raymond A. Schroth, SJ) This is a cycle that must be stopped. Killing the offender is not the answer and definitely does not put heal the scar because the loved one will never come back. The anger of one, will then set off the next and will be a repeating cycle that will continue unless someone can see that is is palpable that the death sentence is just another way of violence that is justified by the court systems and by society. Also including that the testimony of the family can sway the jurors, due to the fact they may want them to feel as if they lost the loved one and to make the case sound very personal.
In conclusion, the death penalty plays a lot into the biased sides of things. Crime should be judged purely off of the evidence and how it played out, instead of the logistics of race,income and so forth. The statics are very overwhelming going off the fact that an African-American is 3 times more likely to go to death row. The atonement of losing a loved one is not by killing the offender, because it is just contradicting the entire situation and also continuing the cycle. Although the death penalty may only seem important to people on death row, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about families of the victims. People may think that the people on death row are chosen due to die due to their crime, but it also involves, race, income and the retribution in the family of the victim`s hearts.
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