Exit Essay

The benefit is that the innocent individuals would not be executed for crimes they did not commit. The death penalty puts innocent lives at risk . The Philippines cannot risk innocent lives just for the good of the people. The costs of taking away innocent human lives would not justify the removal of threats to the state which are  the criminals who committed heinous crimes. In the Philippines during the time capital punishment was in effect, there are cases where innocent people were sentenced of crimes they did not commit. Are you aware that 4 out of 5 inmates were wrongfully convicted by the lower courts. Of the 1205 inmates on death row, many have been wrongfully convicted, according to human rights groups that represented them. If they had not even helped by the human rights groups then the innocent men would have been wrongfully sentenced to death. Even the Supreme Court admitted that the lower regional trial courts had close to a 72 percent wrong conviction rate (PCIJ).

The thing with death penalty is once a man’s life is taken away, it can never be reversed. Even if the man was proven innocent after, it would not matter since it would not change the fact that he is dead. The government cannot afford to make mistakes because people are not dispensable. Also killing a life is not irreversible. The government will be denying the right of that innocent man to live. He is deprived of his own life, his freedom, and his rights. It cannot be denied the humans make lapses in their judgements but that does not mean that the Philippines is ready to trade off theoretical safety for the lives of many. There was a death penalty case wherein a 79-year-old man was wrongfully sentenced to death, unfortunately, the man died on death row before the Supreme Court could review his case, five years after sentencing.  He was not even a danger to anyone because the old man did not commit the crime (Justice Denied).

There are also many cases where poor quality defense leaves many sentenced to death.One of the most frequent causes of reversals in death penalty cases is ineffective assistance of counsel. In the U.S., a study at Columbia University found that 68% of all death penalty cases were reversed on appeal, with inadequate defense as one of the main reasons requiring reversal. The perfect example would be Parazo’s death penalty case. Parazo was a deaf, blind, muted, and retarded man who was convicted of the death penalty sentence in 1995 for rape and attempted homicide. The court that tried his case never bothered to ensure that he understood the proceedings against him. His multiple disabilities were never even mentioned in court, not even by his court-appointed lawyer. His sentence was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1997. Taking up his case, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) was able to have the high court reverse itself in 1999 (Justice Denied).

Death penalty is not beneficial because it is not a proper channel of retribution. It just becomes a leeway for vengeance instead of justice. All retribution does is give vengeance. It would not even provide the victim’s family what they have lost. Taking away the life of the criminal would never compensate for their loss, only that the murderer has met the same fate. One of the goals of criminal justice system is to rehabilitate the criminals to make them fit to join society once more or in other words, reclusion perpetua. The government wants to give them the change to change. Besides being in jail alone is enough punishment, it limits liberties meaning the criminal has no freedom and he is stuck in one little cell to rot away in.

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