The death penalty. Many sit inside mice infested cells across America, hoping for a grant of their appeal which would overturn their death sentence - some are guilty, some are innocent - living out their lives in the day to day torture administered by the slow, methodical hands of the uncompromising clock.
Crime is argueably the biggest challenge that we face in society today. We humans have progressed in many ways over the past millennia; so how is it that we have not formulated a solution for the sealing of those cracks which bleed the justice from our judicial system?
Much focus is placed on punishment as opposed to making certain that the right person is being punished. If out of all the people sitting on death row, one is innocent of the crime for which he's been condemned, and the truth happens to surface before death is administered, one might be inclined to say that the person is lucky. What does one say when it happens to another innocent person who fails at proving his innocence on appeal?
Without considering the number of non-death penalty cases where convictions have been overturned due to actual innocence or trial error, taking into account death penalty convictions alone (rember that one?), what will it take for us to begin to hold the judicial system accountable for those it victimizes? Should we wait until it happens to you? I cannot fathom the logic of supporting a death penalty that is the sowing of a system which we know to be flawed!
Knowing the facts, one cannot but wonder the number of innocent men and women our courts have have murdered; whose cry of innocence were muted by praise of the gallows; overlooked by bloodied eyes... Lawsuits do not rectify this problem -- afterall, dead is dead.
Today's atmosphere makes me feel as though humanity has collapsed beneath its own weight, crushing the morale in being human. In its wake, but a wisp of humanity remains. This barbaric impulse of "off with their heads(!)" mentality is the reasoning of an uncivilized simpleton with the emotional maturity of Homo Habilis. There is no getting past the possibility of someone becoming the victim of a wrongful conviction. No system is perfect, right? At least being wrongfully convicted, then sentenced to a term other than death leaves one with a fighting chance, whereas a condemned person may be allowed no more than five years to LIVE following sentencing, greatly reducing one's chances at proving one's innocence. For these reasons the death penalty should be abolished. Give the innocent a fighting chance unless, of course, the innocent is you.
Trayvon C. Filbert
San Luis Obispo, CA
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