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Conservative constitutional attorney John Whitehead: ‘The Death Penalty Is a Miscarriage of Justice: It Should Be Abolished’

John Whitehead

John Whitehead

In “The Death Penalty Is a Miscarriage of Justice: It Should Be Abolished,” conservative constitutional attorney John Whitehead, founder and president of the Rutherford Institute, lays out his reasons for abolishing capital punishment. Some highlights:

  • “There is nothing moral or just about the death penalty–certainly not the way it is implemented in America, and anyone who says otherwise is either deluding themselves or trying to get elected by appearing tough on crime.”
  • “Unfortunately, [Troy] Davis’ journey to death row and his impending execution are indicative of the many failings of the capital punishment system in America, a system sorely lacking in justice and riddled by racial prejudice and economic inequality, not to mention outright corruption.”
  • “America’s Western allies have abolished the death penalty, leaving America as one of only three industrialized democracies still carrying out capital punishment. Internationally, the U.S. ranks fifth in terms of the number of prisoners put to death, putting America in such ill-esteemed company as the regimes of China, Iran, North Korea, and Yemen.”
  • “The greatest argument in favor of a moratorium on the death penalty rests in the overwhelming evidence that the system is consistently error-bound and flawed.”
  • “The racial disparities in sentencing are well known. For example, there are 1,371 blacks on death row (42% of the total death row population) despite the fact that blacks only make up 12% of the U.S. population.”
  • “Rejection of the death penalty arises from many practical considerations as well. Abolishing the death penalty would save money to fund public works programs to reduce poverty and child abuse, or simply to reduce taxes and put more money in the pockets of Americans.”
  • “As for the argument that the death penalty is a deterrent to future violent crimes, there is no convincing evidence to support that claim. Indeed, 67% of U.S. police chiefs do not believe that the death penalty significantly reduces the numbers of murders.”

Read Whitehead’s entire article on The Rutherford Institute’s website.

Photo: Courtesy The Rutherford Institute

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