Monday, March 19, 2012

Message to Pennsylvania: "It is Well Past Time for the State to Stop its Machinery of Death"

While the amount of criticism surrounding the death penalty in the United States continues to build up, this so called “crime deterrent” still exists as part of our justice system.

An editorial published in The New York Times highlighted some of the issues raised against the death penalty in Pennsylvania. The article titled, “Pennsylvania and the Death Penalty,” mentioned recent reports done by a Philadelphia Judge that found the amount of money paid to court-appointed lawyers is severely inadequate and often leads to ineffective legal counsel.

The article also mentions the case of Derrick White, who was sentenced to death by a Philadelphia jury on February 29, 2012. Derrick White’s case follows the pattern of poor representation found by the RAND study. White’s lawyers did not take the most basic steps for a capital case; such as entering evidence of his background and failure to hire a death penalty expert to prepare for the case.

The death penalty in Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States continues to tarnish our status as a “civilized” nation. In order to transcend beyond barbarism, we must abolish the death penalty now.

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