The Death Penalty
9 Oct 2002
Good morning fellow classmates. One of the most controversial issues today is that of the death penalty. The penalty of death is the most severe punishment allowed by United States law. It is also the least sentenced.
In the past twenty-five years seven-hundred and fifty people have been sentenced to the death penalty in the United States. Of those one-hundred and two people have been found innocent after sentencing, five cases have been found where people were executed despite reasonable doubt of their innocence, and more than fifty people have been proven to be innocent since being executed. That's a seventy-nine percent accuracy rate. A seventy-nine percent accuracy rate is unacceptable.
Despite the fact that each year, about five people convicted of capital crimes are actually innocent, some people argue that it has to be assumed that once a person is tried and convicted they are guilty. But then the problem of executions becomes evident. I found fifty-three cases of botched executions. The details of which are far to disturbing to describe in great detail but do involve a great amount of physical and emotional pain for not only the sentenced, but the onlookers as well.
I had the burden of listening to the execution of one Ivon Ray Stanley, a man whose execution was not immediately effective. He had to be electrocuted a second time and whose leg was consequently set on fire from the heat. This man was sentenced to death, not torture. How is it in our civilized world we are still resorting to the execution of human beings?
The death penalty is considered to be capital punishment. How can we kill people who have murdered people in order to show that it is wrong? A seventy-nine percent accuracy rate. We kill people. In the past twenty-five years seven-hundred and fifty people have been killed. And we aren't sure who was guilty and who was not. How many more innocent people have to die before this imprudent and barbaric punishment is abolished forever?
This was a speech written for english class.