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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

THE STATISTICS

These are the results of giving the state the power to determine who deserves death.

Innocent people sentenced to death
  • Since 1973, over 180 former death row inmates have been found innocent and exonerated in the United States. [source] 

  • It is not clear how many innocent people have been executed, but some studies estimate the innocence rate may be as high as 4%. [source] 

  • From 2000-2011, there was an average of 5 death row exonerations per year. [source]

unfair application among the guilty

  • Men are drastically more likely to receive death sentences. As of fall 2018, women make up just 2% of the total death row population. [source]

  • Additionally, minorities are disproportionately sentenced to death; black Americans make up just 13% of the United States population [source] and 42% of death row prisoners. [source]

    • Note: one interpretation of this statistic could lead to the incorrect conclusion that black Americans are more likely to commit violent crimes. However, reports which analyze crime statistics across both race and economic status find that the latter is the factor which most accurately predicts whether a person will commit crime. In other words: low-income, black Americans have roughly the same likelihood of committing crime as low-income, white Americans. [source] Black Americans tend to receive harsher sentences for the same crimes because of racism in the judicial process (particularly during jury selection). [source]

  • Race of the victim also seems to play a large role in sentencing. A study in California found that those convicted of killing white people were more than three times as likely to be sentenced to death as those convicted of killing black people, and more than four times more likely as those convicted of killing Latino people. [source]

no effect on crime rates

  • The death penalty does not work as a deterrent for crime. States which have abolished the death penalty experienced no change in their murder rates. [source]

  • A poll of 500 police chiefs found that they don't view the death penalty as an effective deterrent. [source]

"I wish I could tell you that the state of Alabama made an honest mistake. I wish I could tell you that it had nothing to do with the color of my skin...but when I was convicted, the prosecutor said: 'We don't have the right n***** today, but at least we got a n***** off the street.'"

–Anthony Ray Hinton. 

“Incarceration Reform” Spring Lecture, hosted by the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, in Pittsburgh, PA. March 15, 2019.

THE PHILOSOPHY

Rehumanize International adheres to the belief that the right to life is inalienable. All human beings deserve the right to life by virtue of their humanity, which is intrinsic and unchanging. No extrinsic quality, such as guilt, can be used to revoke that right.

After all, guilt and moral culpability are on a spectrum. On one end, you have the child in the womb or a newborn infant — someone perfectly innocent of any wrongdoing. On the other end, you have serial killers and imperialists who have caused the deaths of millions. The majority of humanity falls somewhere in the middle.