Innocent Until Proven Guilty: Lester Bower's Death Penalty

1841 Words8 Pages
Innocent until proven guilty; this is America's renowned criminal justice principle. It states that a suspect is to be considered innocent until proven guilty with solid evidence; however, this was not the case in Lester Bower's death row sentence. After enduring thirty arduous years on death row upon reasonable doubt and being executed on June 3, 2015, Bower's innocence was confirmed (Executed But Possibly Innocent). Not only does this wrongful conviction contradict what America stands for, but a life that could have been justifiably spared has unpardonably perished. The world wide debate over capital punishment has been a heated topic over the years and is not going to appease any time soon. Capital punishment is not only immoral, but contradicting…show more content…
Whether a criminal is guilty of committing murder or any other capital offense, they should all be given the same sentence - life in prison. How is it fair to allow them to voluntarily choose the death penalty over prison? Criminals willingly sought to break the law and should endure the lifelong debt they owe not only to society but to the family of the innocent victims whose lives have been taken. As asserted by Robert Johnson, a professor of justice and law, and Sandra Smith, a professor of legal studies, death by incarceration is a more effective and suitable form of punishment than the death penalty (Cromie and Zott 174). Although some might argue that it is unfair to keep a criminal alive, they fail to understand that the freedom they once had is permanently lost. When forced to live in a contained area for the rest of your life, there is nothing you can do but ponder about what mistake led you there; if nothing can bring back the life of an innocent human being, at least the person responsible is rightfully sentenced as opposed to ending his life quickly and easily. After enduring life in prison, some inmates are miserable and opt to choose the death penalty as a last resort to end their suffering. In Joseph Parson's case, he was desperate to escape his life as a prisoner that he volunteered to endure capital punishment instead. He bluntly stated, "dying is easy... it takes guts to keep plodding on"(qtd. in Cromie and Zott 176). What a privilege to be given the opportunity to choose how your life will end after committing a capital offense; the man Parsons stabbed to death did not have that
Open Document