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Argument: The poor are unfairly vulnerable to capital punishment

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Supporting evidence

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. - People who are well represented at trial do not get the death penalty...I have yet to see a death case among the dozens coming to the Supreme Court on eve-of-execution stay applications in which the defendant was well represented at trial." The clear implication of this statement was that because good representation is arbitrary or based on socio-economic factors, and because the outcome of the court decision is largely dependent on such representation, that death penalty verdicts are often unfairly determined by socio-economic factors, and thus unfair or arbitrary.[1]


William O. Douglas, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice. - One searches in vain for the execution of any member of the affluent strate of our society.[2]


Frank Murphy, former Governor of Michigan, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, condemning the execution of Anthony Chebatoris. - [I]t's always the poor man who has no money or power who pays with his life, while another criminal may have committed an identical crime, but who is wealthy and powerful and escapes the chair or noose.[3]


Mark James, Senator (R-Las Vegas), about the death penalty in Nevada, Nevada Appeal, 4/21/2001. - There is not a single person on death row that had a fully funded private defense. If you're rich, you're not going to get capital punishment - period.[4]

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