First, the death penalty puts innocent lives at risk. The above is so due to inadequate legal presentation in court. As a result even though not guiltily, some end up in death penalty thus losing their lives for mistakes not done. In the US, since 1976, about 138 innocent people have been saved from death row. Also, one the most frequent causes of reversals in capital punishment cases is ineffective assistance of counsel. For instance, a study at Columbia University showed that 68% of death penalty cases were reversed on appeal, due to inadequate defense. Accordingly, to execute an innocent person is morally reprehensible thus a risk that should not be taken. Also despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has said that people with mental retardation should not be persecuted, research has shown that one percent of those executed in the US since 1977 are mentally ill. Many mentally ill defendants are unable to take part in their trials in an efficient way and appear un-engaged, cold, and unfeeling before the jury. Some are even forcefully medicated to make them competent to for execution (Haines,1999).
Second, Racism and social class inequality also plays a role in the provision of the death penalty. Research has indicated that injustice is practiced on race and social class, as far as the death sentence provision is concerned.