Earlier this week, a judge vacated the decision against George Stinney Jr, a black teen who was convicted of murdering two white girls in South Carolina. For Stinney, this came 70 years too late.
Despite not having evidence that Stinney committed the crime, and Stinney’s sister testifying that she was with him the entire day, it took the all-white jury just 10 minutes to convict and sentence him to death. At 14 years old, Stinney was one of the youngest people executed in the US and actually had to sit on a phone book to fit in the electric chair.
Unfortunately, Stinney is not the only innocent person which has been put to death. Today, it is estimated that 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US are, in fact, innocent.
Capital punishment is still widely supported in the United States and legal in 32 states. This practice, however, has been abolished in 140 other countries. Regardless of whether anyone morally agrees with the death penalty or not, one thing is true- it certainly costs taxpayers more than keeping someone in prison for life. As stated by the Death Penalty Resource Center, a death penalty case carried out in South Carolina, costs taxpayers more than $1 million more than life in prison.
Despite evidence that numerous innocent people have been put to death through a process which costs us more money, much of our country continues to support capital punishment. And I’m still unable to find any logical answers for why.
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