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“Is capital punishment ethically acceptable?


Capital punishment is the sentence of death, used as severe
punishment for the most heinous of crimes. In 2008, the United Nations
called for a ban on the use of capital punishment. However 58 countries,
including the United States and China, still continue to actively exercise
the death penalty. As seen, the death penalty is shrouded in controversy
and has been the centre of prevailing debate since its implementation.
However, it is my stance that the death penalty, for numerous reasons, is
unethical.
A recent study conducted by the Columbia University Law School
found that two thirds of all capital trials contained serious errors, with over
80% of the defendants being acquitted of the death penalty when retried.
This poses a grave question: Is it ethically acceptable to take the risk of
imposing the death penalty on an innocent man? In fact, since 1973, 138
people have been released from death row after evidence of their
wrongful conviction surfaced. In this same time period, more than 1 000
people have been executed. These statistics not only illustrate the
unacceptable risk of executing the innocent, but also our erratic justice
system. One of the many examples of wrongful convictions is the Daniel
Wade Moore case. In 2002, Moore was found guilty of murder and sexual
assault of Karen Tipton. The judged overruled the jury’s original consensus
and sentenced him to death. However, 7 years later in 2009, he was
acquitted when 256 pages of withheld evidence were revealed. The
emotional pain that the friends and family of the innocent have to go
through in the time leading up to the execution is unbearable. Should
evidence of innocence emerged after the execution, there is no possible
way of compensating the wrongly convicted and his loved ones for this
miscarriage of justice. Such wrongful executions can be prevented by
abolishing the death penalty and turning to less barbaric methods to meet
society’s needs of punishment and protection. Thus, capital punishment is
not ethically acceptable as there exists a risk of erroneously executing an
innocent Man.

This inadequate legal representation makes who lives or dies based on luck. Not only does the low crime rate and general orderliness in Singapore bear testimony to this. everyone should be entitled to a fair and just trial where they have an equal chance.Another reason why capital punishment is unethical is the arbitrariness and discrimination that exists. with prosecutors more likely to seek a death sentence if the victim is white but less likely if the victim is African-American. Supporters of the death penalty often argue that by executing criminals convicted of heinous crimes. the 1973 Isaac Ehrlich study shows that for every inmate who was executed. Fair trials for death row defendants can hardly be achieved due to irrational factors such as the race of the defendant and the wealth he has. The discrimination against different races can be shown in the US. Singapore is a prominent example of using capital punishment as an effective crime deterrent. these court-appointed attorneys often lack the experience or skills necessary for capital trials. 7 lives were spared because other were deterred. death penalty supporters argue. particularly in curbing drug trafficking. the death penalty is unethical due to its poor implementation. Thus. However. A January 2003 study released by the University of Maryland concluded that race and geography are major factors in death penalty decisions. where arbitrary factors such as race. would-be offenders will think twice. where African-Americans account for one in three people executed since 1977. as poorly represented defendants are more likely to be given a death sentence. capital punishment is ethically justified as it can save innocent lives and deter crimes just by executing a twisted criminal. Most death row inmates could not afford their own attorney at trial and thus are provided with court-appointed attorneys. Another factor that demonstrates the arbitrariness of the death penalty is the affluence of the defendant. wealth and geographic location play a major role in deciding who deserves to die. Thus. Furthermore. This shocking racial biasness that still exists in our modern society further shows why the death penalty is ethically wrong. . Singapore authorities reported an overall decline in the number of drug abusers arrested between 1994 and 2000. Instead.

In conclusion.However. While it can’t be denied that capital punishment does have some boons such as deterring crimes and permanently incapacitating criminals. where the perpetrator is unlikely to think of possible consequences. Furthermore. Therefore. the biased implementation and risks it comes with far outweigh its benefits. Not only are the figures provided by Singapore authorities potentially biased. capital punishment cannot be considered ethical on the basis that it can deter crimes. who are thus unable to be deterred. the 1973 Isaac Ehrlich study have also been widely discredited. it is not ethically justifiable to use the death penalty under any circumstance due to reasons such as the unacceptable risks of executing the innocent and the poor way it is currently implemented. This argument also fails to take into account people with mental disabilities or defects. this argument lacks proper statistical evidence showing that the death penalty will actually deter potential wrongdoers. such heinous crimes are usually committed in a moment of intense emotions or under heavy substance abuse. (878 words) .