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Capital Punishment?

Capital Punishment also know as the death penalty or execution is an ancient practice that extends across the world. Here in the United States Capital punishment was a common law penalty practiced in early colonies. Fast-forwarding to today, many believe that the death penalty is “cruel and unusual punishment”,  which the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits. Others argue that the death penalty is morally wrong,  applied arbitrarily and inconsistently. In addition, many believe that it is disproportionately used against ethnic, racial minorities, and the poor, who can not afford the expenses of legal counsel.  In 2002, Ray Krone was exonerated from death row after spending 10 years in prison and 2 on death row. Ray Krone is the 100th person to be exonerated from death row in the United States since 1973, spending more than $100,000 in legal fees. However, not everyone is as fortunate.

This week’s U.S. execution of Troy Davis is making top news across the globe. A man who many believed was innocent was executed in the state of Georgia. This case has caught the attention of so many, from world figures to millions of protestors all over the world. So how do you feel? Do you all think we still need Capital punishment ?  From 1972-1976  the death penalty was suspended in the U.S. and since then, as of 2009,  1,167 people have been executed.  Cases like Ray Krone & Troy Davis raise many questions. How many innocent people are on death row? and Is the death penalty really needed  here in the United States?  The New York Times reported in 2009 that the State of California’s taxpayer pay nearly 114 million dollars a year on death row. Due to appeals, capital punishment is not always more cost-effective than imprisonment for life. So if it isn’t less expensive, arguable inhumane, and many are wrongfully convicted, why still practice Capital Punishment? According to Amnesty International,  in 2010, 23 countries carried out executions across the world; People’s Republic of China taking the No. 1 spot followed by Iran, North Korea, Yemen and the U.S.

One thing I can never support is injustice and when innocent men and women get executed it is a form of  injustice. Ray Krone said, “I would not trust the state to execute a person for committing a crime against another person, I know how the system works. I know what prison is like, I know what the judges are like, and I know what the prosecutors are like. It’s not about justice or fairness or equality. It’s absolutely wrong. Any chance I can, whether I start with one or two people or a whole auditorium filled with people, I’ll tell them what happened to me.  Because if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone.” Very poignant words from one of the few people free off death row. Troy Davis may be gone but he leaves behind a legacy of a cause that millions across the entire world are fighting for.

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