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Filipino debate

Anti-Death penalty

"I cannot support a system which, in its administration, has proven so fraught with error and has come so close to the
ultimate nightmare, the state's taking of innocent life... Until I can be sure that everyone sentenced to death in Illinois
is truly guilty, until I can be sure with moral certainty that no innocent man or woman is facing a lethal injection, no
one will meet that fate."

--Governor George Ryan of Illinois, January 2000, in declaring a moratorium on executions in his state, after the 13th
Illinois death row inmate had been released from prison due to wrongful conviction. In the same time period, 12
others had been executed. (photo © AFP)

Even the guilty have a right to life.

The death penalty is an expression of the absolute power of the state; abolition of that penalty is a much- needed limit
on government power

There are strong religious reasons for many to oppose the death penalty.

Executions cost more than life in prison.


$2 million per person vs. $500,000 (4x as much!). Free counsel for defense, for appeals, maximum security on a
separate death row wing.

The death penalty involves medical doctors, who are sworn to preserve life, in the act of killing. .

Promotes killing as a Ok problem

The arbitrary application of the death penalty can never be ruled out
The death penalty is often used in a disproportional manner against the poor, minorities and members of racial,
ethnic, political and religious groups.

Factors leading to wrongful convictions include:

 Inadequate legal representation


 Police and prosecutorial misconduct
 Perjured testimony and mistaken eyewitness testimony
 Racial prejudice
 Jailhouse "snitch" testimony
 Suppression and/or misinterpretation of mitigating evidence
 Community/political pressure to solve a case

The Impact of the Death Penalty


The Death Penalty Kills the Innocent:
Since 1973, 138 death-row prisoners have been released because they were innocent. In addition, at least ten
people have been executed since 1976 even though they were probably innocent [2] Wrongful convictions often
result from false confessions, which are frequent among people with mental retardation, mistaken eyewitnesses, jail
house snitches, junk science and prosecutorial abuse.

The Death Penalty is Racially Biased and Punishes the Poor:


Defendants who kill white people are far more likely to get the death penalty than those who kill black people. Most
defendants are poor and are forced to depend on incompetent or token representation. Some lawyers have slept or
appeared drunk during trials
.
The Death Penalty is Unfair:
The death penalty has never been applied fairly across race, class, and gender lines. Who is sentenced to die often
depends on the attitudes of prosecutors, where one is tried, the prejudices of judges and juries, and the abilities and
commitment of defense attorneys.

The Death Penalty Cost More than Life in Prison:


Prosecuting a death penalty case is extremely expensive for a state and drains money that could be used for
education and social programs. Capital punishment costs more than sentencing a prisoner to life without parole. The
most comprehensive death penalty study in the country found that the death penalty cost North Carolina $2.16 million
more per execution over the costs of sentencing murderers to life imprisonment. The majority of these costs occur at
the trial level. In its review of death penalty expenses, the State of Kansas concluded that capital cases are 70
percent more expensive than comparable non-death penalty cases, including the costs of incarceration.

The Death Penalty is Not a Deterrent to Crime:


Since 1977 over 80 percent of all executions have occurred in the South, the region with the highest murder rate. The
Northeast, the region with the lowest murder rate, has accounted for less than 1 percent of the executions. Although
the issue of deterrence has been studied extensively, there is no credible evidence that capital punishment deters
murder or makes us any safer.