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Discrimination and the Death PenaltyTwenty years have past since this court declared that the death penalty must be imposed fairly and with reasonable consistency or not at all and despite the effort of the states and courts to devise legal formulas and procedural rules to meet this daunting challenge the death penalty remains fraught with arbitrariness discrimination caprice and mistake--Justice Harry Blackmun Feb 22 1994 Capital punishment is one of the most debatable subjects in American society Proponents of the death penalty believe it is justice--retribution for the crimes committed The reason underlining Americans overwhelming support of executions is usually revenge We believe that most serious crimes deserve the most serious punishment as we recall the statement from the Old Testament An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth principle When we hear about a murderer rarely do we want to understand what drove him to murder more often we wish to kill him It is difficult to understand that the vengefulness we feel toward a murderer which drives us to champion execution is identical to the wish for revenge the murderer feels for what he believes to be the horrendous injustices in his life Our desire to tame the heart of the murderer is quite limited We feel as murderous toward them as they do toward those they have killed We wish either to kill or torture them This makes a murderer if he is imprisoned even more murderous Just as the murderers murder accomplishes nothing so too the death penalty has not in any way decreased murder The judicial system was created in hopes of providing justice for all people Although movements such as Civil Rights and Black Power have taken place to ensure justice for all discrimination still exists in our judicial system Capital Punishment is applied in an unfair arbitrary and discriminatory manner As long as it remains a part of our penal system it will be used
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