The death penalty has been a hotly debated topic for many, many years and for good reason, we are debating on whether or not, as Bryan Stevenson says, we deserve to kill. I don’t think we do deserve to kill. Even the slight possibility that an innocent person might end up being put to death makes the whole thing a terrible gamble in my mind. The gamble is compounded if we take into account that we place far too much value on eye witness testimony that is “largely bologna” (see previously posted video on why this is the case). Additionally, capital punishment is extremely costly for tax payers and not the best method of deterrence. I won’t go into the details of the cons of the death penalty as many of us have heard them repeated over and over again, but I do want to share a video posted on TED of a talk by Bryan Stevenson regarding the injustice of the criminal justice system and how it affects many of those sentenced to death. More broadly, he speaks brilliantly about the injustice that is pervasive throughout the whole system in general, not only on death row.
“Wealth, not culpability, shapes outcomes.”
Bryan’s Organization: Equal Justice Initiative
- TED’s first response to Bryan Stevenson’s talk on injustice (ted.com)
- Be Courageous: Bryan Stevenson (metacool.typepad.com)
- 300th Person Exonerated by DNA Evidence in US (blog.amnestyusa.org)