top of page
  • gabrielleperez38

Can the Death Penalty Ever Be the Right Choice?

There has long since been a discussion of whether or not the death penalty should be a punishment that can be imposed by the American courts system. There are arguments regarding whether or not the death penalty is constitutional and whether or not it should be used in a flawed system.

The constitutionality has been called into question due to the 8th amendment which states that punishments cannot be cruel and unusual (Bomboy, 2020). The Supreme Court has never outright ruled the use of the death penalty as unconstitutional, but it has deemed the use of the death penalty unconstitutional in certain cases. For these cases the perpetrator was still punished by the courts, but the death penalty was taken off the time. One instance where this occurred was when a man was sentenced to death when he was fleeing the scene of the crime and tripped and fell accidentally shooting and killing a bystander. From these three cases the introduction of aggravating and mitigating circumstances was introduced, which came about when the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that capital punishment should be used in a limited manner. Therefore, the death penalty could not be automatically on the table for an offender (Bomboy, 2020). Even though strides have been made limiting the use of the death penalty there are still other concerns about the death penalty that have not been addressed.

The death penalty has been found to be racially biased. Research has found that the vast majority of individuals sentenced to prison were sentenced for killing White victims (Death Penalty and Race, 2017). In a look at death penalty defendants since 1977, 77% of the defendants were sentenced to death for killing a White victim and only 15% for a Black victim, 6% for Hispanic, and 2% for other (Death Penalty and Race, 2017). This is concerning as Black people represent about half of the victims of homicide, yet about three fourths of death row inmates are sentenced to death for killing a White person. If half of the homicides are for Black people, then how are 77% of the people on death row there for killing a White person? There is clear racial bias in sentencing of offenders based on the victim’s race (Death Penalty and Race, 2017).The University of Maryland found in a study conducted in 2003 that prosecutors were more likely to seek the death penalty in a case if the victim was White (Death Penalty and Race, 2017). The increase in severity of punishment for White victims does not just apply to the death penalty, but to any crime conducted against White people.

There have been 18 death row convictions overturned since the use of DNA testing. These individuals have served a combined 202 years on death row (The Innocent and the Death Penalty, 2009). In fact, since 1973 185 death row inmates have been exonerated for all charges rendered against them (Innocence, 2021). This shows that the death penalty can be rendered against innocent people. Once a life has been taken it cannot be reversed. How can a flawed system justify killing people if they are not absolutely sure of their guilt? Why is the death penalty still used when racial bias has been proven to be in the sentencing process? Can the death penalty ever truly be a viable option in a country that holds such contempt for minorities and venerates Whiteness?

There are many other reasons why the death penalty should not be used, but the most striking is that innocent people have been put on death row. How many people who have been executed were innocent? The use of the death penalty should be made illegal.

Links to Sources

Death Penalty and Race -

Innocence -

The Innocence and Death Penalty -

Bomboy -

71 views3 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Policing in the Nation's Capital

Overall crime is down from this time last year, but homicides are up 20 percent, shootings are up 34 percent, motor vehicle theft is up 47 percent and carjackings (as of Nov. 17) were up an eye-poppin

Breaking Bad: Law Enforcement on Television

I have not seen a ton of crime-centric tv shows. I have seen AMC’s Breaking Bad which chronicles high school chemistry teacher needs to pay his medical bills for lung cancer. This drives him to manufa


Dudley Sharp
Sep 21, 2021


You have to fact check/vet your sources.

Every source you used was an anti death penalty source. As a matter of reason, you must expect a non objective review from them.

I was anti death penalty, until I fact checked and vetted both sides of the debate, over a two year period.

You, certainly, should fact check/vet the material I presented, herein, as well as what you did not fact check/vet for your article, which appears to be all of it.

Presume not. Know.


Jul 10, 2021

The death row "exonerated"/innocent" claims have been a well known deception since 2000, as anti death penalty folks decided to redefine both "innocent" and "exonerated", as if they had redefined "lie" as "truth".

This is not in dispute, is well known and ,very easy, to confirm, as detailed:

The Death Row "Exonerated"/"Innocent" Frauds

71-83% Error Rate in Death Row "Innocent" Claims, Well Known Since 2000 from: Dudley Sharp, independent researcher, pro death penalty expert, former opponent, 832-439-2113, CV upon request The "Exonerated"/"Innocent" Frauds 1) Deception: The DPIC "Exonerated"/"Innocence" List (see fact checking/vetting model-use it) 2) Death Row, "Exonerations", Media & Intentional Fraud 3) The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Deception 4) How many DNA "exonerations" are guilty?


Jul 10, 2021

Please review:RACE & THE DEATH PENALTY: A REBUTTAL TO THE RACISM CLAIMS White murderers are twice as likely to be executed as are black murderers From 1977-2012, white death row murderers have been executed at a rate 41% higher than are black death row murderers, 19.3% vs 13.7%, respectively. "There is no race of the offender / victim effect at either the decision to advance a case to penalty hearing or the decision to sentence a defendant to death given a penalty hearing." For the White–Black comparisons, the Black level is 12.7 times greater than the White level for homicide, 15.6 times greater for robbery, 6.7 times greater for rape, and 4.5 times greater for aggravated assault. As robbery/murder is, by far, the…

bottom of page