Time to end death penalty
On March 5, Nathaniel Woods, an Alabama inmate convicted in the murders of three police officers, was executed. Many rallied support for him, as there was substantial evidence indicating his innocence. This controversial case calls back to the ongoing problems with instituting the death penalty in the United States. Thus, I would like to tell the public why the death penalty should be abolished.
One thing everyone can agree on regarding the death penalty is the finality of its nature. This alone highlights a big moral issue: There is no opportunity for rehabilitation. Creating a justice system in which criminals have the option to either rot in jail or attempt to contribute to society has more potential positive outcomes than a system with the death penalty.
Take the example of Stanley Williams, founder of the Crips gang. While convicted, he changed his way of life and, from prison, educated children on the dangers of gangs.
He, however, was still put to death in 2005. Just think of how many more people Williams could have helped had he not been executed.
Supporters of the death penalty argue that regardless of what criminals do after their conviction, they must still be punished for their past actions. This is a valid argument, but it fails to take into account that most people consider what causes the most good for the most people to be the right thing. Additionally, this argument is based on the idea of retributivism, an idea that is greatly flawed once put into practice.
Making mistakes is one of our fundamental characteristics. Thus, why does it make sense for the institutions we have created to be perfect? The flaws in our humanity prevent us from appropriately applying one of retributivism’s main pillars: Only the guilty deserve to be punished.
There has been a number of cases in which people were wrongfully convicted, more so in cases involving defendants of color due to our country’s racist roots. People involved in trials can make mistakes and have racial biases, leading to innocent people being wrongfully killed.
The acceptance of one innocent life lost makes the institution immoral; thus, the death penalty is not morally permissible and should be abolished. — Alberto Lopez, Chicago