Editors of Scientific American Journal Call for End of Death Penalty, Charge It’s ‘Racially-Biased’

By Praniti Gulyani 

NEW YORK, NY – In a recent op-ed published by the Scientific American Journal, entitled “Evidence Does Not Support the Use of the Death Penalty,” the authors of the Scientific American Journal state the “death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, but is a flawed, racially biased, and costly practice responsible for sentencing innocent lives to death,” and call for an abolition of the practice.

As per the op-ed, there is a “growing public opinion that the death penalty is applied unfairly.” Thus, the authors “urge President Biden to fulfill his 2020 campaign promise to work toward elimination of the federal death penalty and for state legislators to abolish the death penalty.” 

Furthermore, as per a report by The Death Penalty Information Center, “the Supreme Court found serious constitutional concerns with the arbitrariness and racial discrimination in the application of the death penalty and struck down existing death penalty statutes in Furman v. Georgia. 

The report goes on to state how “after a four year moratorium, the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 after the Supreme Court’s decision in Gregg v. Georgia.” 

Since the reinstatement of the death penalty, 1,585 executions have been carried out. As per the report, The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) has identified at least 197 cases where the “person was exonerated after being wrongfully sentenced to death.” 

Additionally, another 20 cases have been identified “where an execution was carried out despite credible claims of innocence.”

As per the op-ed published in the Scientific American Journal, “the authors have cited this data to support their contention that the current death penalty system is ‘wholly ineffective.’” Commenting on the racial disparities, the authors of the op-ed have gone on to state how “too many of these victims have been Black or Hispanic.” 

“This is not justice. These are state-sanctioned hate crimes,” the report states. 

According to the op-ed, “retribution, rather than evidence-based reasons, is the primary driving force behind retaining capital punishment.” 

Conversely, it also states how “the desire for violent retribution is the very impulse that our criminal justice system is made to check, not abet. Elected officials need to reform this aspect of our justice system at both the state and federal levels. Capital punishment does not stop crime and mocks both justice and humanity. The death penalty in the U.S. must come to an end.”

About The Author

Praniti Gulyani is a second-year student at UC Berkeley majoring in English with minor(s) in Creative Writing and Journalism. During her time at The Davis Vanguard as a Court Watch Intern and Opinion(s) Columnist for her weekly column, ‘The Student Vanguard' within the organization, she hopes to create content that brings the attention of the general reader to everyday injustice issues that need to be addressed immediately. After college, she hopes to work as a writer or a columnist in a newspaper or magazine, using the skills that she gains during her time at The Davis Vanguard to reach a wider audience.

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