Sunday, January 24, 2010

Death Penalities and Proof

This minimal political cartoon by Paul Conrad is great commentary on the use of technology and the acts of courts in the American justice system. Occasionally minorities and mentally impaired defendants are sent to prisons by circumstantial evidence or they have similar profiles to other criminals. A significant quantity of inmates in prison are in jail for false information. DNA testing is now a more efficient method of narrowing down perpetrators and finding felons.

Besides the causes and corrections this illustration is addressing it still shows the idea of prisoners sentenced to death and imprisonment as unknown entities. The inmate number instead of a name removes the personification of the grave stone. The plot being just dug up with dirt clogs visible indicates the recent burial and that it is a contemporary issue. The background shows more graves that are casted over with shadow and moving out of place. The other graves are more forgotten or unaddressed judicial sentences. I think this piece by Conrad ideally shows the void and eeriness on the subject of the death penalty and proving innocence.


  1. I like how this cartoon demonstrates how the individuality has been taken away from so many people. The unmarked grave and the fact that they were found not guilty makes this cartoon more powerful. I like how the artist conveyed a touchy subject through a cartoon, it doesn't always have to be funny.

  2. This illustration is spot on in the flaws within our society. That without just cause we prosecute innocent people everyday. It gives a voice to those who have their rights stripped away from them once incarserated. This also stresses the importance of evidence in criminal justice. The numbered tombstone indicates just how desensitized our society has become and thrusts us into reality- the illustration is subtly humorous while greatly informative.