Celebrities are criminals too

It often seems as though being a celebrity makes you “untouchable”. People who are in positions of power often like to use their status as a weapon. They threaten their victim’s success and usually end up getting their way whether it’s consensual or not. 


Woody Allen has been accused of pedophilia since 1992 (25 years) and has been involved in the creation of 32 projects in the film industry since. Bill Cosby has been accused of rapedrug-facilitated sexual assaultsexual battery, and child sexual abuse since the early 60’s, and still, awaits the verdict from his trial. R. Kelly was charged with statutory rape and child pornography in 2002, with actual video proof of him engaging in sexual relations with an underage girl, and was somehow found not guilty. In 2009, Chris Brown viciously physically attacked his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, and has come out with 4 albums since. 


Now, we have Harvey Weinstein, who is being outed for sexually assaulting and threatening the careers of multiple actors and actresses in the industry. The whole world knows about what despicable things he’s done. He has allegedly been fired from his job as a top film producer, and his wife is divorcing him. 

The worst thing with all these men previously mentioned, besides their crimes, is that they’ve all somehow managed to get away with it. What usually happens when a normal, mundane middle-aged man is found with possession of child pornography? Or when some guy serial-rapes 20+ women? Prison. Sometimes even capital punishment. Our entire society turns on them. They are considered the scum of the earth.


But when Woody Allen does it, he ends up with an Academy-Award winning movie grossing over $40 million worldwide. Ignition, R. Kelly’s top hit song, is still heard on the radio daily, even though he raped a 17-year-old girl on camera and urinated on her. Chris Brown beats up his girlfriend and wins a Grammy.


Even the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, has been proven of sexual assault and abuse of many women. But he’s a rich, white, socialite, man so we can let him be president of one of the world’s most powerful countries!


Although we always seem to forget, men aren’t the only ones who commit criminal acts and get pardoned. In this current season of the ever-popular television anthology series American Horror Story, popular actresses Emma Roberts (niece of Julia Roberts) and Lena Dunham both have brief roles. But did we forget that Roberts physically assaulted her boyfriend (and American Horror Story actor), Evan Peters? And didn’t Dunham sexually assault her younger sister many times and even write about it in her recently published book?


Our daily entertainment is built off of criminals. We pardon them because they said “sorry” and happen to be our favorite artist, or produce our favorite movies. But why? Why do we, as human beings, find that okay? Why didn’t Chris Brown’s record label drop him? Why do actors and crew still want to work on films with Woody Allen?


How can you say that Woody Allen is your favorite filmmaker while knowing that he’s an awful pedophile? How can you re-watch the Cosby Show and not feel disgusted every time Bill Cosby pops up on the screen? How can you not mentally see the scarring photo of Rihanna after Chris Brown pummeled her everytime you hear his voice on the radio?


It shouldn’t matter who the person is. Because justice is not served until they are convicted, or labeled as a pedophile or rapist. Harvey Weinstein should go to jail. Just like Ted Bundy did, or Jeffrey Dahmer. Just like every single person in the world who commits a crime and breaks the law. 


It is a colossal, throbbing slap in the face for every abuse victim there is to sit at home and watch Entertainment Tonight or TMZ talk about a man who has sexually abused multiple people, and that still has his huge, successful career. It would be daunting and horrific to watch your abuser live his life normally, let alone win a Grammy or an Oscar.


We shouldn’t show any more remorse to these people than we would to anyone else. Pedophilia is a crime. Rape is a crime. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse are all crimes. And until we deal with people like Harvey Weinstein as we do with criminals, we are allowing other celebrities in positions of power to feel like it’s acceptable to abuse people.

How The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air changed black culture in the 90’s

 

The 1990’s were a decade of monumental events shaping African American culture in North America to be as it is today. Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, showing resilience and power as a leader. Rodney King, an African-American taxi driver, was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers, who were later found not guilty. The displeasure of the citizens of L.A was clearly seen and heard, as they caused the biggest racial prompted riot in the 20th century, causing the city of Los Angeles over $1 billion in damage with 54 people dead, 2000 injured and 8000 arrested. [1] Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G, some of the greatest names in rap history, were both murdered. Six African-American individuals became mayors in different states, breaking the cycle of Caucasian mayors. Mae Carol Jemison was the first ever African-American female to travel in space. Tiger Woods won the golf master’s tournament and became the first ever African-American to win. [2]

These are just a few of many, many more incredible accomplishments which the African-American community achieved within 10 years. Those 10 years were a great push for more negative and positive change to come in the 2000’s. Within the decade, a new television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, was aired 1990 – 1996. Starring rapper turned actor/comedian Will Smith, this cult classic sitcom documented the life of young Will moving from Philadelphia to Bel Air to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousins. Will’s trials and tribulations were shown on the show weekly, of him tackling high school, adapting to a ritzy neighborhood, and being black. The Fresh Prince was without a doubt one of the most eye-opening, entertaining, and informative shows for people of all races to have a revelation of what black culture truly is.

While being irresistibly comical and relatable, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air taught many lessons. During the nineties, all-black casts on sitcoms became the new and trendy thing for TV networks to do. In the eighties, sitcoms such as Diff’rent Strokes, The Jeffersons and most notably The Cosby Show. Being close to bankrupt from his rap career in the 80’s, Will Smith signed a contract with NBC to start filming the show, based loosely on Will’s life and the producer’s.

The main characters on the show were the Banks family; aunt Vivian and uncle Phil, cousins Hillary, Ashley and Carlton, their butler Jeffrey, and of course Will. The Banks are your stereotypical rich family – they live in a lavish mansion, belong to country clubs, drive expensive cars, wear nice clothes, go to private schools and obtain fabulous careers. The only thing which divides them from the rest of their neighborhood is that they’re black. The show pokes fun of that continuously through the seasons and shows the struggles which they go through.

In Season 1, Episode 6 named “Mistaken Identity”, Will and Carlton drive down their father’s law partner’s fancy Mercedes-Benz to palm springs for him. On the way down, the two get stopped by a police officer. Being street-smart, Will catches on and follows the orders, yet a very naive Carlton who thinks they’re being stopped for speeding persists on communicating to the officers about the truth and how they aren’t criminals. After being held under arrest for a string of car thefts, their parents pick them up and all is well.

The turning point of this episode is when Will and Carlton have a conversation at home about their evening. For the first time, Carlton had experienced racial discrimination and was truly in denial. Being brought up in a safe, sheltered environment, he was protected and stayed out of trouble. Will, on the other hand, had spent most of his life in West Philadelphia slums and was no stranger to being a minority due to his skin tone.

After many statements made by Carlton to defend the police officers, Will tells him; “You just don’t get it, do you? No map is going to save you and neither is your glee club, or your fancy Bel-Air address or who your daddy is. Because when you’re driving in a nice car in a strange neighborhood, none of that matters. They only see one thing.” Will then points to his cousin’s face, implying that the color of his skin will always be seen before anything else about him. Carlton later asks his father if he would’ve stopped a car “driving two miles an hour”, and Phil replies “I asked myself that question the first time I was stopped.”, leaving Carlton in a state of confusion as to why he and Will were really stopped. [3]

This episode holds a very strong and important message about privilege, naivete, and prejudism which still remains extremely relevant in 2017. White police officers, especially in North America, have been well known to have a bias towards their own race. In 2015, 1134 African-American people were unnecessarily murdered by police officers in America. [4] Research shows that 69% of those people were unarmed, non-violent and only suspected of committing a crime, meaning that more than half of them were virtually innocent. And despite essentially committing manslaughter, 99% of the officers in the country have been convicted of any crime. [5]

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reminded us in this episode that people of color will always have a disadvantage due to years of racial based ignorance and stereotypes. It is embedded in our culture that black people are a threat. They have been accused of being thieves, thugs, criminals and so much worse due to astigmatism created by white people. White police officers think it’s acceptable to kill and abuse an innocent bystander because of the color of their skin threatens them. Police brutality is never okay no matter the reasoning, but having it happen due to someone’s race should be absolutely unallowed. When this episode aired in 1990, shortly before the Rodney King incident was publicised, it certainly gave NBC’s viewers of all ages, genders, and races a wake-up call about the racial injustice that Americans have been plagued with during all of history.

In effort to break down stereotypes put on African-American people and turn the tables on racial success, the Fresh Prince created many characters, plots, and storylines to show people of all races that your ethnicity does not change who you are, and cannot infringe into how you live your life.

The Fresh Prince certainly did question what being “black” really meant. Throughout the seasons, Will is always teasing Carlton for not being “black enough” due to him not living a stereotypical life of a person of color in the 90’s. In Season 1, Episode 23 “72 Hours, Will challenges Carlton to a bet that he wouldn’t last a weekend in Compton, Los Angeles’ most infamous neighborhood. Carlton takes on the bet, and soon enough fits in perfectly with Will’s friend group. After hearing what dangerous things naive Carlton was preparing to do, Will became concerned and brought him back home.

Yet again, the two cousins find themselves in a disagreement. Carlton tells Will “..you always act like you carry around some measure of blackness that I don’t live up to.” An attacked Will replies with “Wait a minute, you never judged me? You do everything except carry around a big ‘ol gavel. You act like I’m an idiot just because I talk different.” [6]

In another episode from Season 4, Episode 8 “Blood Is Thicker Than Mud, Will and Carlton try out for an all-black fraternity at their university. Will is loved by everyone and accepted, yet the guys dislike Carlton because of his background. During an argument, Carlton gives an unforgettable speech. “Being black isn’t what I’m trying to be. It’s what I am. I’m running the same race and jumping the same hurdles you are, so why are you tripping me up? You said we need to stick together, but you don’t even know what that means. If you ask me, you’re the real sellout.” [7]

Will and Carlton are polar opposites. One being privileged, well dressed, poised and groomed, while the other is rough, wild, eccentric and quite ghetto. Will represents what most people think an African-American person would be like. He says things like “yo” and listens to rap music. He disobeys his parents and is free-spirited. Carlton, despite being as black as Will, acts differently. More white. He wears fancy clothes, studies hard at school, has an extensive vocabulary and always obeys the rules.

Having two main characters on one of the biggest television shows be so same but different at the same time truly opened up viewer’s eyes as to what stereotypes we subconsciously believe in. Black people can be intelligent, successful and ordinary. They can live in nice parts of town, go to good schools and be presentable. Carlton is not any less “black” than Will because he belongs to his school’s glee club. Will is not a thug or an invalid because he grew up in a slum, or wears his hat backward.

As human beings, we tend to assume things about people based on their looks and how they act. Our privileges and disadvantages should not divide us as people, especially as to how we treat and view others. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air consistently made it clear that your race does not define who you are. It is your skin color, and your heritage. It is not a synonym to describe your personality or how you act. As a society, we need to stop using race to divide each other, especially to those in the same race as us. As Uncle Phil says at the end of Season 4 Episode 8, “When are we gonna stop doing this to each other?” [8]

The nineties were a time of change and evolution. The events which took place during the decade shaped how the future 2000’s would be like for African-Americans in the U.S.A. The way which African-American people have been treated has changed drastically throughout the years. There has been positive change such as when Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American president in the U.S, and there has been negative change such as continuous police brutality against black people and the recent comeback of the Klu-Klux-Klan.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sent a strong message to Americans and viewers worldwide of being yourself, accepting your heritage and that anyone can live in a huge mansion and become a judge if they work hard enough, even if they’re a minority.

______________________________________

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/us/los-angeles-riots-fast-facts/index.html

[2] https://www.thoughtco.com/african-american-history-timeline-1990-1999-45447

[3] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0583008/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men

[5] https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/

[6]  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0582934/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

[7] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0582945/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

[8] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0582945/trivia?tab=qt&ref_=tt_trv_qu

Sciences Humaines

1896 – 1913

  • L’hausse d’immigration (1912)
  • L’ethnocentrisme et la xénophobie
  • Les personnes de Premières Nations ont étè envoyés aux réserves et les écoles résidentielles
  • Les femmes ont pris d’action sur la prohibition et leur droits (voter, suffragettes)
  • Les Étas Unis ont accès à l’Alaska (1903)
  • Les Canadiens ont étè contre les Britanniques

La Première Guerre mondiale

  • La Première Guerre mondiale (La Grande Guerre, the European War) était de 1914 – 1918, En Europe, fini au 11 Novembre
  • Elle était commencé par l’assasinat de l’archiduc Ferdinand, le futur roi Austro-Hongrois et sa femme
  • L’assasinat était fait par un terroriste serbe
  • Il avait deux groupes, la Triple Alliance: l’Allemangue, l’Empire Ottoman, l’Empire Austro-Hongrois et l’Italie
  • Et la Triple Entente: L’Empire Russe, Le Royaume-Uni et la France
  • Parce-que Le Royaume-Uni est leur mère patrie, le Canada, l’Australie, L’Inde et La Nouvelle Zélande était automatiquement oubligé d’aller supporter la Triple Entente
  • Les 4 batailles –
  • 1. Ypres (France) en 1915
  • 2. Somme (France) en 1916
  • 3. La Crête Vimy (France) en 1917
  • 4. Passchendaele (La Belgique) en 1917
  • Pendant la guerre, les femmes avaient deux chois; d’être infirmières où conductrices d’ambulance. Elles étaient aussi volontaires
  • Les innovations technologiques pendant la guerre était les aérostats, les ballons dirigeables, les avions, les biplans, les gaz toxiques, les chars blindés, les sous-marins, et les paquebots navires
  • Le soutien à l’effort de la guerre était les obligations d’aregeant, l’effort volontaire (les ressources comme la nouritture et l’essence), l’impôt (1 à 15% revenu), l’impôt d’entreprises (42)
  • Le Canada était toujours en dette à cause de leur emprunt d’aregant de l’Étas-Unis
  • Pendant la guerre, les femmes ont eu la chance d’avoir des métiers industriels (comme travailler sur une ferme, ou conduire un bateau) car les hommes était partit en guerre
  • Plus de 4000 Autochtones canadiens se sont enroulés en
  • En 1917, Borden a crée la Loi du service militaire, qui faisait joindre l’armée obligatiore pour les hommes canadiens
  • “L’election Kaki” est arrivé en 1917, qui a donné les hommes qui était née en pays étranger avan 1902 le droit de voter, et certaines femmes qui était en relation des hommes militaires
  • En 1917, le tsar Nicholas II de l’Empire Russe a abdiqué son pouvoir à cause des révolutions fait par les russes frustrés qui avait une grande perte de merchandises et nourritture
  • Il y avait aussi le début d’une guerre avec les Étas-Unis et l’Allemagne parce que les allemands ont coulé plusiers navire dans une zone neutre
  • La campagne des cent jours est arrivée en 1918, c’était l’offensive finale des alliances contre les empires centraux
  • Sur le 11 Novembre 1918, un armstrice a étè signé en France pour finir la guerre
  • Le Canada a obtenu un siège dans la conférence de paix de Paris

Le Français en le Liban

Quelque-part entre la Syrie et Israël vivent environ six millions de personnes dans un pays qu’on appelle le Liban. Situé dans le Moyen-Orient, le Liban comprend d’une grande variété de nationalités, langues et religions. Malgré d’être un pays assez petit, le Liban est très divers et as environ 17 majeures communautés religieuses. Il y a surtout beaucoup de Palestiniens et Arméniens qui vivent au Liban, car eux et leurs familles étaient des réfugiées des guerres passées. L’arabique est la première langue utilisée dans le Liban, avec L’anglais, L’arménien, le Kurde et surtout le Français. Le Français est nommé la deuxième langue officielle du Liban et est parlé très souvent entre les Libanais. Dans le texte suivant, on vais élaborer au sujet des Libanais francophones et comment le Français s’est établi dans le Liban.

Commençant en la Première Guerre Mondiale, la France à pris contrôle du Liban, qui était précédemment gouverné par l’Empire Ottoman depuis le 16e siècle. La prise de contrôle des Français était le début le la langue française en le Liban. Depuis ce temps, le français est toujours une langue qui est entendu parmis les Libanais. Le français est utilisée sur leur argent, des assiettes de licence, des signes de rue et d’autres. Environ 45% des Libanais aujourd’hui sont considérées Francophones, avec 500,000 des 900,000 étudiants qui vont aux écoles Francophones. Leur dialecte de français est différent que le traditionnel français en France ou Canada, lequel est un mélange du français et l’arabe. Le français et surtout l’anglais sont plus utilisées par les nouvelles générations aujourd’hui, ce qui cause la langue Arabe à disparaître.

La langue officielle du Liban, l’Arabe, disparaît plus en plus de chaque journée. L’anglais et le français sont les langues plus populaires et apprises entre familles. Beaucoup de parents préférés d’envoyer leurs enfants aux écoles anglaises ou françaises car ils pensent que ces langues leur donneraient un futur meilleur aujourd’hui que l’Arabe. À cause de ça, les enfants n’apprennent jamais l’arabe à l’école ou avec leurs familles, qui créent une perte entière de la langue dans les futures générations. Ceci est très triste, et plusieurs ont peur que l’arabe va éventuellement être une langue complètement perdue au Liban.

En conclusion, c’est très malheureux que l’arabe disparaisse vitement en le Liban. Par ailleurs, c’est intéressant que le Français reste toujours parmi les Libanais depuis tout ces années. Le français existe évidemment dans plusieurs dialectes et versions différentes parmis tous les pays du monde. C’est vraiment intéressant d’apprendre sur ce sujet, et de trouver l’histoire de chaque place et leurs langues!

Unsolicited Opinions – My Blog

This year I’ve taken it upon myself to start putting all of my opinions, ideas, and thoughts onto a single platform to share with others.

I love to write things that make a statement, and that prove a point. Journalism has always been a strong interest of mine, and I have always admired writers and journalists who are brave and aren’t afraid to say what’s on their mind. An incredible inspiration of mine is Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote iconic masterpieces such as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and founded Gonzo journalism. Thompson created a new era of journalism that was so fearless and detailed that made the reader feel as though they lived through the stories themselves.

On my blog, you will see me writing about topics which I feel very passionate about such as feminism, social and criminal justice, human rights, and equality. My goal is to build a vast library of my writing and to write pieces that stand out from most mainstream articles or essays.

My Blog: https://emmanoakes.blogspot.ca/

What the Canadian Liberal government has done so far – Essay

What the Canadian Liberal government has done so far – Essay

This essay briefly touches on the highlights of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party’s progress throughout the past 500 or so days of them leading Canada. It touches on what progress they have made on issues such as the environment, immigration, health, biased discrimination, and Indigenous people.

The essay also touches on a few things which they have done wrong/that have been scrutinized so far, and why people are so unhappy with them.

I have mostly researched and been interested in American politics so far, so learning a bit about Canadian politics and the government was a very interesting and enlightening experience. Although Justin Trudeau is nowhere near as entertaining and goofy as Donald Trump, I personally do share many personal values with him and will be paying a bit more attention towards the government in my country.

Rights while under arrest and in jail – Essay

Rights while under arrest and in jail – an Essay

Here is my finished essay on Canadian and American rights while being arrested and in prison. I learned very much about what rights I have (which I mostly had no idea about!) and found it very fascinating.

An infographic version of this essay will be done soon as well. I really enjoy creating infographics based on my essays as they really transform my new found information and make it much more fun to learn!

Book Discussion: Unfair

Synopsis: Good.  Succinct.

Things learned:

  1. Learned that the US justice system is unfair and biased.
  2. Police have been know to skip over evidence.
  3. Corruption is a problem.
  4. Basic training for police officers is not high and they need more training to deal with societies problems.
  5. There is still a tendency  to judge people by their appearances.  There are still a lot of assumptions by people in power.  More testing needed.
  6. Gained a different perspective on how the US treats people.  There are still many biases.
  7. This book has opened her eyes and made her think more critically about justice and laws.
  8. Gained a perspective on how important rights are.  Everyone deserves to know what their rights are.
  9. Understands the importance of the need to fix the system.
  10. The US is not cohesive in its laws.  It varies from state to state.  It needs a more unified vision.

Death Penalty Defence Thesis

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

 

We live in a world that for a long time, has killed human beings for a crime they were appointed guilty for. When you think about it, it’s a strange concept. We do something unspeakably inhumane to someone who originally did something unspeakably inhumane themselves. Believe it or not, there is an overwhelming amount of countries, states and continents on our Earth, which still uphold the capital punishment today. The top 10 (in order) are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United States, Pakistan, Yemen, North Korea, Vietnam, and Libya. Although some places do appoint the death penalty more than others. For example, a study done in 2012 shows that through 2007 – 2012, China had over 2000 executions while Libya had 39. The thought of a government purposely killing over 2000 people within the span of five years is quite shocking, criminal or not. Killing a human being, in general, is not a very humane thing, no matter what they’ve done or who they are. It has been proven that throughout centuries, the death penalty has done nothing but harm us as a society. It contains much too many flaws which make the procedures of execution much too unsafe, unfair, very costly and absolutely barbaric. There is no doubt that in 2017, the death penalty should be abolished worldwide.

Executions have been a way of criminal justice used in our society for a very long time. According to researchers, the beginning of the death penalty laws go as far back as the Eighteenth Century B.C, and the death penalty was an option for 25 different crimes. They used methods such as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. The death penalty also has a large chunk of its history in England. In the Sixteenth Century, under the reign of Henry VIII, an approximate 72,000 people were executed. They would use boiling, burning at the stake, hanging and beheading, put their criminals at justice. Most of the people who were being executed had committed crimes such as marrying a jew, treason and lying, which at the time were despicable felonies. Today, the death penalty is given to a wide array of felons which vary from each country. Most countries who practice capital punishment use it to punish acts of murder, sexual offences, treason, and espionage. Countries who are ruled by religion use it against religious crimes such as leaving an Islamic nation, an offence against the state religion, blasphemy, Islamic crimes and even witchcraft. In China, the death penalty is given to many people involved in human trafficking as it is currently a huge issue in their country, as is drug trafficking in Southeast Asia.

Today we now use slightly more “humane” methods, if executing someone can even be classified as humane, as someone being burnt alive or crucified is just taking it WAY too far. So instead, we inject them with a cocktail of fatal drugs, lock them in a gas chamber, and electrocute them as well as a few other “safer” procedures. In the United States, most executions are done by unqualified civilians who volunteer to do the process and sometimes even get paid a small amount. This is obviously completely unsafe and unfair to the inmate. A study done by a professor in the United States shows that through 1890 – 2010 8,776 people were executed in the U.S. and 276 of those executions (3.15%) were botched. Lethal injection had the most failed executions (85, with 1,054 total executions in this timeframe) and the firing squad had the least (0, with 34 executions). It is no secret that while being the simplest, lethal injection is the riskiest and unpredictable method of execution available. So my question is, why is it the most used method of execution in the 21st century? With the amount of progress and knowledge we have gained, it really confuses me that we still continue to use a highly dangerous procedure that has been proven over time to be unfit for use on any living thing. This on its own is a huge reason why we should not continue to do executions.

The worst thing about the death penalty is that the process of choosing who receives it and who doesn’t can be very biased. Research done in 2011 shows that in Louisiana, the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher for those whose victim was white than those whose were black. Another one found that in California, those who murdered a white person were more than 3 times as likely to be sentenced to death as those who murdered a black person, and more than 4 times more likely as those who murdered a Latino. Racism, xenophobia and prejudgment play an unfortunate role in our world and unfortunately, many people in positions of power are biased by their personal views while making life or death decisions about others. A study done in 2014 shows that jurors in Washington state are three times as more likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case. It’s just how most people are, and what makes our society the way it is, that everyone’s opinions and views differ. We all see what we want to see, and that’s okay. But, if that’s the case, then a decision such as whether someone should be put to death or not shouldn’t be allowed to be made by anyone. It seems incredibly unfair to let people’s opinions and views dictate whether someone deserves to live or not. Everyone should absolutely have the right to control their life, no matter where you live or what you’ve done.

Surprise! Killing someone for committing a crime does not reduce the amount of crime being committed. A good example of this is how the Southern states in the U.S. seem to have the highest amount of executions, 80%, and still somehow has the highest murder rates. There is a strong misconception here, that criminals actually will stop committing crimes because they fear being executed. Past U.S. President George W. Bush was and still is a strong advocate for the death penalty. During his five years through 1995 – 2000 while governing the state of Texas (which upholds the nation’s majority of executions) he presided over 131 executions, more than any governor had ever done as it is quite rare for most governors to approve executions. He believes heavily that “The death penalty, when properly administered, saves lives” and relied well on that statement during his presidential campaign to win. While Bush spent 2001 – 2009 as president, America’s crime rates stayed very stagnant. According to the FBI annual crime reports, the highest number of crime during Bush’s time in the office was in 2002, with 11,878,954 crimes and the lowest being in 2009, the year he lost his presidency to Barack Obama, with 10,762,956 crimes. Since Obama’s inauguration date was on January 20, 2009, he was essentially that year’s president, making Bush’s full last year 2008. That year had a crime number of 11,160,543, which was still the lowest during the Bush administration. It’s interesting because 2009 was the lowest crime had been since 1974 in the United States. And throughout President Barack Obama’s 9 years as president through 2009 – 2016, the numbers went lower and lower each year, the lowest they’d been for over 30 years. It’s also important to note that Obama did not support the death penalty, and 5 states stopped using capital punishment during his time. In 2015 (the most recent year which U.S. crime data has been released) the number of crime committed went the lowest it was during the Obama administration, being 9,225,197 which went down 1.935.346 from Bush’s lowest in 2008. If the crime statistics lowered dramatically in the U.S while under the administration of a president who did not support nor participate in the activity of capital punishment, after having a president whose campaign was built off how the death penalty saves lives and stops crime, is it really working?

And finally, not only is the death penalty dangerous, immoral and unfair, but it also costs A LOT. There are so many facts to back this statement up. In Texas, a death penalty case costs approximately $2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone in a single cell at the highest security level for 40 years. Legal costs for death penalty trials in Kansas average about $400,000 per case, compared to $100,000 per case without the death penalty. A new study in California revealed that the cost of the death penalty in the state has been over $4 billion since 1978. Can you imagine that a country in billions of dollars of debt is forcing their taxpayers to dish out millions of unnecessary dollars to murder people? In Colorado, a death penalty trial can cost taxpayers up to $3.5 million, versus $150,000 for life in parole. These outrageous costs could save their population a lot of money that could be used to pay other things that are much more urgent than an execution of a criminal. An infographic shows that in Colorado, the money not used for the death penalty could be used for things such as paying 77 firefighter’s salaries, to buy more than 40,000 high school algebra textbooks, to provide one month of essential services to 10,000 elderly people, to give approximately 500 children access to the early start program and so much more. These are all such important things that the state of Colorado and many other locations are missing out on because all the money is being focused on one thing – executions.

It is without a doubt a pressing issue for the death penalty to be abolished worldwide. It has been a part of our history for thousands of years and is truly outdated in 2017. Executions are a cruel and unsafe practice, they can be biased and completely unfair, they do not prevent crime from happening and cost taxpayers everywhere a disgusting amount of money that is clearly being spent wrong. Our world is sadly filled with colossal amounts of crime, which will never be resolved. But I truly do believe that with proper reinforcement and practices we can diminish it. I think that it’s time for people to wake up, and realise that murdering a murderer is the most hypocritical thing we can possibly do. As Victor Hugo once said, “What says the law? You will not kill. How does it say it? By killing.”

References –

Death penalty statistics, country by country

Introduction to the Death Penalty

Capital Punishment in China

Botched Executions

Capital Punishment

Crime Levels: Countries Compared

Country vs. Country: Canada and United States compared

Bush and the Death Penalty

George W. Bush’s Death Penalty Catch-22

States with and without Death Penalty

The United States Crime Rates 1960 – 2015

Misplaced Priorities: An Infographic on the Cost of Death Penalty Trials

Death row infographic

I have transferred my learnings from my previous death row post and put them into an infographic! I love making infographics, and they make it much more fun to look at.

Link – https://magic.piktochart.com/output/21974736-death-row