Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The right thing for the wrong reason

On Sunday, Dec 9, Pg B7 of the Providence Journal there was an article, "Ending death penalty on ballot".  California's Proposition 34 would change the death penalty to life without parole even for those those who are already on death row.

The reason stated is "the entire process is far too costly, and that scrapping the death penalty could save millions of dollars."  Excuse me, but that's a terrible reason to justify not putting a convicted murderer to death.  Using such logic, why not save even more money by limiting the trials for accused murderers to two days?  Now that would really save tons of money.

I have no emotional or ethical problem with the death penalty for someone who has demonstrated he or she is unfit to live among civilized people.

However there is a far more compelling reason to eliminate the death penalty and it has nothing to do with compassion or sympathy. Juries are people and one undeniable characteristic of each one us is that we can make mistakes. Even judges can make mistakes. Believe it or not even lawyers can make mistakes.

Until we the people become infallible, putting someone to death is simply wrong because courts can make mistakes. And saving a few bucks wouldn't hurt either.

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