All of these things eventually led to my wrongful conviction.
Perhaps this is inevitable for poor black men in Texas, once the yoke of an arrest for murder is tightly fitted around our necks. In November 1994, two and a half years after my arrest, I was sentenced to death by the state of Texas for a crime I did not commit.
Throughout history, there have been many court cases that have ruled for or against the death penalty, but the issue of whether capital punishment is morally just or not is still debated today (Cole et al. As a criminal justice student, I view the death penalty as a successful and ethical form of punishment on the grounds that it deters citizens and prevents criminals from committing violent acts, is an extremely cheap financial method of punishing criminals that affirms righteous life, and provides retribution to victims and their families.
An argument against capital punishment, originally refuted by Edward Koch, is that it is the hypocritical, intentional, government approved, murder of a human being, in a society that criminalizes the taking of human life (par. An opposer of the death penalty on this argumentative platform could reference the Supreme Court case of Furman v. This appellate case was able to abolish the death penalty in 1972, with the argument that all present methods of execution, such as hanging, electrocution, and the gas chamber, were forms of cruel and unusual punishment (Cole et al. This view is understandable, but fails to realize that the government has different rights compared to individual citizens.
It has the ability to wreak havoc and totally change the lives of ordinary people.
I witnessed how law enforcement officials can get tunnel vision once they have a murder suspect in custody — and nearly any suspect will suffice once an arrest has been made.One of the main goals of punishment in the criminal justice system is retribution, which means equal punishment is ordered according to the severity of the crime.Some victims don’t agree that the “eye for an eye” mindset can be morally justified, according to their religion or spiritual standards (Cole et al. Koch reports that spiritually based arguments frequently reference the Ten Commandments and teachings of Jesus in the Bible (par. In their essay “Biblical Perspectives on the Death Penalty,” organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.This establishment ensures that indignant or mentally ill defendants will not be executed because they couldn’t properly represent themselves. The capital punishment requirements outlined by The Supreme Court allow victims and their families to know that justice was served for the despicable crimes committed against them, and relieves families of any guilt, knowing that the criminal was punished humanely and fairly.Despite all the opposing arguments that criminalize capital punishment, society cannot disregard the fact that by executing dangerous murderers, we make it impossible for cruel people to ever commit violent crimes again.Hours after he uttered my name, I was sitting in the back of a police cruiser heading to jail.I had no idea I was about to spend the next 18 1/2 years behind bars, including 12 years on death row, trying to prove my innocence.I did everything they asked of me — but quickly came to understand that what the officers wanted more than anything was an indictment, then a conviction.I witnessed the nearly unchecked power of the district attorney’s office and the direct impact it has on mass incarceration.However, others, like Koch and myself, argue that funding the well- being and sustenance of convicted killers is much more diminishing and disgraceful to the quality of human life, than if such monsters were just put to death.One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch; by allowing murderers to live in the same world as morally righteous people, we hinder the overall potential we have as a human race to achieve enlightenment and ensure positive environments for future generations.