The Value of a Human Life
The death penalty has been a major controversial issue in politics for quite some time. Politicians debate if the death penalty should be allowed for criminals committing unforgivable crimes, or if it should be abolished completely. Despite the horrendous things some criminals do, they are all still human beings and should never be killed by one another for any reason. The death penalty should be illegal in the U.S. because it is against our human rights and is unconstitutional.
The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that still allows the use of the death penalty. On the side against the penalty—a position which I hold myself—there are many quality arguments supporting why the rest of the U.S. should also hold this view. The first of them being that the death penalty is racist. Studies have shown that African Americans are especially likely to be put on death row. In relation to the amount of African Americans that reside in the U.S., the number is even more shocking. “African Americans are 12 percent of the U.S. population, but 42 percent of prisoners on death row” (5 Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty). Statistics show that the majority of the time African Americans are punished for their crimes, but of over 18,000 death penalties, only 42 of them were for a white person killing a black person (5 Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty). It is unfair for the U.S.’s judicial system to sentence people to harsher punishments simply because of their race.
Another shocking detail about the people who are put on death row is that the majority of them are poor. If people accused of capital crimes are unable to get good lawyers to defend themselves, there is a much slimmer chance that they will be successful going into trial. This creates much more of a chance that the poor will not receive a fair trial (which is a right specifically given to citizens by the Constitution) (Bedau). Eugene V. Debs, who ran for the...